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New England Patriots Links 3/01/10 - Colts LB Gary Brackett A Patriot?

Colts' LB Gary Brackett said he would "absolutely" contact the Patriots if he enters free agency.
Colts' LB Gary Brackett said he would "absolutely" contact the Patriots if he enters free agency.

Karen Guregian reports that when asked, Colts middle linebacker Gary Brackett said he would "absolutely" contact the Patriots when he becomes a free agent.

"After March 5, I’ll entertain all possibilities. I consider myself a blue-collar worker, a guy who comes to work and gives his all," said Brackett, who was attending the NFLPA’s safety and welfare summit. "(Former Patriots linebacker) Tedy Bruschi, I have a lot of respect for him and what he’s done for that organization. I’ve followed his career. That would definitely be a place I’d consider. Business is business. You have to prepare for everything."

"I have a great deal of respect for Bill Belichick, and really the whole New England organization," Brackett said. "Those guys are top class, and I think it’s a healthy rivalry. I think guys really respect each other. Before the game, I shake Kevin Faulk’s hand, and Tom Brady’s hand. And I say, ‘Here we go again.’

"I don’t think it’s one of those Cincinnati-Pittsburgh rivalries, where we’re kicking dirt in each other’s faces. So I think it’s mutual respect between organizations, and we just have a little fun with it, going back and forth."

Brackett, who had 99 tackles last season, is a Colts leader with a great locker room presence. If Indianapolis doesn’t sign him, it’ll be interesting to see if the Pats kick the tires to see what it would take to have him land in New England.

Christopher Price reports Nick Caserio notes this year has a deep group of DE/OLBs, and was asked if the Patriots will tweak their approach when it comes to looking for edge rushers.

"I think that’s an interesting point, because the reality is that pool of players, the 6-4, 260-pound guys that run 4.6, there's not many of them," Caserio said. "Some of the small guys … like, I think Dumervil is a great example. A 5-11, 260-pound guy … maybe he's not the prototypical outside linebacker type, but he can rush the passer.

"There’s different ways to skin a cat. You’re looking for this ideal. The reality is that sometimes that ideal is hard to find." One of the reasons those ideals are so hard to find these days — no matter the body type — is that more and more teams are playing a 3-4 defense these days. Caserio estimated that "half the league is employing some 3-4 type of configuration."

"It is becoming more challenging," he said, "because there are more teams that are essentially looking at the same pool of players, so it kind of limits your opportunities, because you realize you’re really competing really with the rest of the league on that front."

Karen Guregian notes Chiefs general mangaer Scott Pioli, at the combine, had a different sense being in Indianapolis the last four days.

"For the first time in I don’t know how long, I can walk down the streets in Indy, and not be cursed at by Colts fans," cracked Pioli, the Pats former vice president of player personnel. "So I think I’m making progress."