Andy Hart introduces us to rookie Rich Ohrnberger.
"The best story I could tell about him and the one where I thought that he just did an outstanding job for us was the game we played at San Antonio against Texas A&M," [assistant coach Dick] Anderson said, recalling Penn State's Alamo Bowl victory after the 2007 season in which his offensive line paved the way for 270 yards rushing.
"During the course of the week that we were out there Rich lost 10 pounds. He had a virus. He had a fever. The whole week virtually that we were there he was sick in his room. He would not miss a snap in practice, would not step out for any reason. He played the game with a fever, the entire game indoors. So Rich is a durable guy. He's a tough guy mentally."
Tony Massarotti tells Patriots Nation to prepare for life without Vince Wilfork.
Let’s be clear here. Nobody is criticizing the Patriots for their way of doing business -- it works. As an evaluator, administrator, and coach, Belichick has proven he is the most important part of the operation. The Pats haven’t had a losing season in this millennium. The Patriots drafted former BC defensive tackle Ron Brace with one of their first selections in the April draft. As has most often been the case -- Samuel looks like the one exception -- the Pats appear to be one step ahead in the game that is played off the field.
Wilfork? He is a talented, likable man with a colorful personality. Between the lines and in the community, he has been a valuable asset to New England. But Wilfork has his Super Bowl ring and he has his own family, and no one can begrudge him for making selfish decisions at an important point of his career. In New England, especially, there comes a point where the paths of the player and the organization diverge, and Wilfork certainly appears to be at that point.
Jeff Legwold (Fox Sports) puts Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio and QBs coach Bill O'Brien on the hot seat.
Some folks wondered why the Patriots were so intent on bringing former long-time Titans general manager Floyd Reese on board earlier this year when Caserio was expected to have a big hand in the team's personnel department with Scott Pioli's departure.
It may be because Bill Belichick has had Caserio coaching on the field with the offense in offseason work with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' departure. O'Brien, the team's quarterbacks coach, was promoted to that job when McDaniels left, as well.
With Tom Brady back, the two find a hefty helping of expectations greeting them.
More Shots after the jump...
- John Cockrell Friday Out-Takes: When Swaggerlicious works.
- Patriots Now! - Harrison retires, Kraft , Belichick reactions. (8 min. video)
- Totally Patriots Talent Search: Weekly, youth-oriented New England Patriots program seeking talented 16 to 21-year-old hosts. June 20 event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for high school or college students with dreams of a career in broadcasting.
- Christopher Price notes Randy Moss has been keeping a very low profile this offseason.
- Globe 10.0 Bob Ryan and Tony Massarotti discuss if Vince Wilfork will be a problem for the Patriots. (2.28 min. video)
- Karen Guregian notes LB Paris Lenon believes he can adapt to the Pats' complicated 3-4 scheme, after spending the past three seasons playing in a Tampa-2 style defense.
- Mike Petraglia says Pierre Woods is no longer just a special teams player but rather a viable option at outside linebacker.
- Jeff Howe calls LB Pierre Woods a harder-than-nails bruiser, who has become a true Patriot.
- Mike Reiss comments on reader questions regarding what they would look for at the Patriots practice. Part III and Part IV.
- Mike Reiss participated in his weekly on-line chat Thursday. Lots of good insight here as usual.
- Michael Hurley offers two Mike Reiss videos, one saying the Wilfork holdout is indeed a big deal and the other discussing Rodney Harrison's chances of getting into the Hall of Fame.
- Christopher Price offers Rodney's Greatest Hits.
- Jeff howe asserts Rodney Harrison was a revolutionary safety.
- Jim Donaldson says Rodney Harrison was a good player, but not worthy of the Hall of Fame. Pffffffffttttt
- Karen Guregian says with Patrick Pass back, the Patriots now have 7 players from the three Super Bowl teams (Brady, Bruschi, Faulk, Light, Neal, Seymour).
- Michael Felger answers plenty of Patriots questions in his weekly reader mailbag.
- Don Banks (SI) Rodney Harrison provided Brett Favre a lesson in how to retire.
- Rich Cimini (NY Daily News) Jets coach Rex Ryan not intimidated by rival New England Patriots.
- Rich Cimini (NY Daily News) Rhodes says Jets will have NFL's best defense.
- Mark Gaughan (Buffalo News) The Buffalo Bills have a martial arts expert working with their players this week.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Porter pumped about Miami's pass rush.
- League needs more effective solution to curb off-field behavior. (SI)
- Alex Roup (Bleacher Report) Exploring the Bill Belichick coaching tree.
- Mike Florio (Pro Football Talk) Rex Ryan insinuates that there is contact at the Jets offseason workouts - A league no-no expressly prohibited by the NFL rules.