Jeff Howe on NESN Sports Desk talks about the full house at Gillette, how loose the locker room is, how much the guys love having Randy Moss around, Brady's contract, the Draft, Tim Tebow and more. (5 min. video)
It's a good atmosphere. Guys are really excited to be back. It's basically a full house with the exception of very few people and that's a rare thing around the NFL these days. I was talking with somebody who was down there who has been with other teams and said that he was surprised at how many people have showed up, and not just in the last week but day one. At least 40 guys showed up the first day.
They're loose, they're relaxed, they're in the weight room, they're working hard, they're playing basketball together. It's a really good sign for this team that's trying to resolve some of the chemistry issues they had last year.
They love [Randy Moss] down there. I asked somebody about this not too long ago and they said that this is somebody that they need in that locker room. He's just this funny guy, they love him down there, he really loosens things up. He's been playing basketball with the guys and really having a good time down there. He really brings that team together. He may not be the most vocal person with the media, but the guys in that locker room love having him down there.
"This is when you build that connection, during the offseason -- just coming out here, playing catch, going through the motions, hanging out, having fun with it. Once the season starts, there's so much pressure, so much riding on it. Now, it's kind of laid back. You just get to know one another and just have fun with it."
Ian Rapoport looks at the TE position as broken down by Pro Fooball Focus.
According to their analysis, Alge Crumpler is the 9th best TE overall, 2 spots ahead of Chris Baker and 26 spots ahead of Ben Watson.
In run-blocking, Crumpler is seventh. In pass-catching, Crumpler is 31st. In pass-blocking, he’s 15th. In penalties, he was 10th. In the "thrown-at" categories, he’s 31st. See the pattern? Tough, good blocker, not involved in pass-catching, very involved in pass-blocking. That’s what you got.
- Andy Hart sees head coach Bill Belichick as consistent as ever.
- Patriots Today - Draft preview: Running backs. (5.31 min. video)
- Mike Reiss wraps up the NFL owners meetings with the top seven items that were learned from a Patriots perspective.
- Karen Guregian thinks Belichick just might gamble and pick Tebow in the second round.
- Tom E. Curran heard Tim Tebow may be drafted long before the Pats start sniffing, and wonders if RB Ryan Matthews (Fresno State) might interest Belichick.
- Kirk Minihane wonders if there were a QB in this year's draft that Bill Belichick was convinced would be a 10-year NFL starter -- and this player was on the board when the Patriots picked 22nd -- would they pull the trigger?
- Glen Farley reviews the 2009 Draft and asserts the Patriots should not trade down this year. The team has many holes and Belichick should take advantage of the talent available.
- Shalise Manza Young writes Sean Payton would welcome and seek out Bill Belichick's counsel on repeating as Super Bowl champs.
- Mike Reiss reports that it is highly unlikely WR Josh Reed will sign with the Patriots. His agent said it comes down to the fit, and Reed's expertise is in the slot.
- Karen Guregian points out that with Benjamin Watson and Chris Baker both gone, Alge Crumpler now stands as the only TE on the Patriots roster with any NFL experience.
- Tom E. Curran reports Matt Light is due to make $4.5 million in 2010, putting him behind only Randy Moss ($6.4 m) and ($4.9 m).
- Shalise Manza Young notes Tyrone McKenzie is set to return.
- Ian Rapoport looks at Ron Brace and explains why it's important for a defensive tackle to train with his specific scheme in mind.
- Mark Farinella discusses Roger Goodell's delay in announcing parts of the upcoming 2010 NFL schedule. The commissioner wants all Week 17 games to be against divisional opponents, and as many as possible in Week 16 as well.
- Christopher Price takes a closer look at the compensatory picks and what they mean to the Pats.
- WEEI offers the transcript of Peter King's guest appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday.
- Ron Borges says Pete Carroll found in Seattle a place where he's not only called the boss but actually is.
- Christopher Price offers a PDF document - direct from the NFL offices - that details all the rules changes involving overtime that were recently passed by the owners.
Chris Gasper feels the league's decision to overhaul its postseason overtime format is right on the money.
- Eric Wilbur says we should all stop the feigned enragement over new OT rules.
- Shalise Manza Young offers the transcript of her Thursday on-line chat.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Three-day draft gives Patriots leverage.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Official AFC East Draft rundown.
- James Varney (Times-Picayune) Bill Belichick, man of few words, goes deep on draft strategy. coach
- Chris Harry (NFL Fanhouse) After embarrassing playoff exit, Belichick tries to revamp Pats.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Herm Edwards has 'Hard Knocks' preview for Jets.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Are Bills making a play for McNabb?
- Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) Roethlisberger threatens Steelers' credibility.
- Sean Leahy (USA Today) Recovering Peyton Manning will be back throwing later this spring.
- Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Shift in Colts offensive staff bigger than it seems.
- Jim Corbett (USA Today) NFL owners say a deal will get done to avoid a lockout.
- Pat Kirwan (NFL.com) Catching up with league's power brokers at owners meetings.
- Peter King (SI) Saints' Payton voices displeasure with overtime reform, voting.