Ian Rapoport notes Vince Wilfork is using a hands-on approach with Ron Brace.
"Basically, everything this man is doing, I’m watching," Brace said after a workout at Gillette Stadium yesterday. "Hopefully I’m going to try to play to the caliber that he does."
"Whenever he has a chance, V will pull me aside," said Brace, referring to Wilfork. "I just ask, ‘V, what do you look at while you watch film? Or ‘Come watch film with me.’ Those little things right there are going to make a big difference. You realize you got to really get in-depth."
Mike Reiss notes that one of the more interesting points of view he heard about the NFL's new OT rule for the playoffs had a strong Patriots connection.
Part of the reason one team opposed the rule change was because of the added stress it places on coaches who make risky decisions.
Someone connected to ownership from one of the teams opposing the OT change pointed out how Belichick was crucified for his unconventional decision. With that in mind, he didn't want his coach put into the same position when all the decisions that come with the new overtime rule were put into play in such a high-stakes environment as the playoffs (e.g. if the receiving team advances the ball to the 5 yard line, does it kick the field goal or go for it?).
The line of thinking went like this: Since Belichick was so vilified for a risky regular-season decision that backfired -- and coaches already have enough critical decisions to make -- imagine what it would be like if something like that happened in overtime of the playoffs or Super Bowl.
Tom E. Curran gets Belichick's thoughts on the new draft format and the different strategies it opens up.
"I kind of think the second round will be like the first round," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said this morning at the AFC Coaches Breakfast. "You take those 32 players [selected in the first round] out of there . . . and you start all over again . . . You stop and have the whole night to sit there and think about it and talk to other teams and develop a new strategy. You reset your board, take the names off and reset it. Based on who you drafted, you may change your draft strategy a little bit."
"Even though you have certain grades on players, you may feel a particular player is undervalued or overvalued in the league and if you want this player this is where you're gonna have to take him," Belichick explained. "Like last year, we saw a run on [offensive] tackles. There are trends that are unique to each draft. This year there'll be an opportunity to recalibrate after the first round and the second round. Your draft strategy and how you view the board -- especially when you have three picks in the second round -- [will change]."
"To move up, you have to give up something," he said. "There's a question of whether teams will want to do that. I've been there before thinking, 'If we could just get ANYTHING for this [pick]. Case of beer. A gift certificate.' But there's no takers."
"You never know. There were teams last year trying to drop down in the first round who took, on trade charts, very little to move down. That A) showed how much some of those teams wanted to move down and B) how reluctant other teams weere to move up. Yeah, they'd move up but at a discounted rate."
- Ask PFW: March madness.
- Contract situation: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are in the last year of their contracts, find out how close they are to signing a new deal. (3.21 min. video courtesy of NFLN)
- Bill Belichick Press Conference (54.12 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Belichick chatter, OT rule change and more. (4.30 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport asked DT Ron Brace if having Tom Brady and Randy Moss around has an impact on the rest of the team. "It's good to see the veteran faces around...but I think it's more beneficial for the guys in their positions."
- Mike Reiss explains how the Patriots could benefit from the new Draft day schedule, noting trades are more active after an overnight break.
- Ian Rapoport notes Tom Brady put the boxing gloves down and arrived at Gillette Stadium yesterday to participate in the offseason conditioning program with the team.
- Jeff Howe reported Patriots QB Tom Brady reported to Gillette Stadium for offseason workouts Tuesday. Now that Brady is back in New England, all systems can move forward with this team-building plan and that’s exactly what is happening.
- Jeff Howe notes offseason workouts are a time for Patriots to bond and jell as a team. The Patriots have had near-perfect attendance numbers which is a good sign.
- Ron Borges provides some comic relief when he begins his column with, "The beauty of Rex Ryan..." Even when Rex is on his best behavior he just can't help himself.
- Ian Rapoport reports after a little late-night deal-making, the Patriots have officially secured TE Alge Crumpler. Terms are not yet available.
- Mike Reiss reports a decision on DE Derrick Burgess could likely come within the next week. Belichick said the team was still interested in his return.
- Karen Guregian reports Logan Mankins has his own conditioning program: Wrestling cows with his dad on a 10,000-acre ranch in Mariposa, CA.
- Tom E. Curran offers 10 takeaways from Tuesday's breakfast with Belichick.
- Tom E. Curran gets Belichick's thoughts on the new draft format and the different strategies it opens up.
- Christopher Price writes an excellent piece on Logan Mankins, an underappreciated bedrock along the New England offensive line.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag. This week's questions touch on absences from the offseason program and more.
- Michael Hurley examines the question of whether Tom Brady would be better if he played in a dome.
- Jeff Howe notes the NFL is hoping to protect long snappers with a new rule that says no defensive players will be able to line up across from the long snapper on field goals.
- WEEI Mocks the Draft: Take 6. Pats take DT Jared Odrick (Penn State) at 22.
- WEEI looks at who the experts are predicting the Patriots will take in the first round of the Draft. Some new names mixed in with the usual suspects.
- ESPN crew Mike Tirico, Mel Kiper Jr., Trent Dilfer and Chris Mortensen discuss the New England Patriots' biggest needs in the upcoming NFL draft. (3.11 min. video)
- Chris McKendry and Mike Golic (ESPN) discuss what AFC East team has fortified itself the best so far this offseason. Golic likes the Jets because of their running game, great defense and the acquisition of cornerback Antonio Cromartie. (1.18 min. video)
- Michael Lombardi (Nat'l Football Post) OT rules make tougher decisions.
- Aaron Wilson (Nat'l Football Post) Coaches critical of OT vote process. Vote taken day before it was scheduled.
- Peter King (SI) NFL owners make the right call on overtime, even if coaches disagree.
- Gene Wojciechowski (ESPN) NFL outsmarts itself with new OT ruling.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Rex Ryan giddy over Revis, Cromartie pairing.
- Jim Trotter (SI) NFL players confident Smith is right man to lead battle against owners.
- Brad Biggs (Nat'l Football Post) Report: Pot use way up in this draft class.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday edition: Assistant coaches worried about their jobs in 2011.
- Dave Goldberg (NFL Fanhouse) 2000 NFL Redraft: Pick No. 199 climbs 198 spots.
- Q's 2 B (Fox Sports) The New England Patriots scheduled this QB for a private workout. Could he be the next Tom Brady? Meet former Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson. (6.46 min. video)