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New England Patriots Links 6/11/10 - Patriots Send Mankins "Sign, Or Else" Letter

<em>Safeties coach Corwin Brown coaching up Brandon Meriweather</em>.
Safeties coach Corwin Brown coaching up Brandon Meriweather.

Mike Reiss recaps Patriots owner Robert Kraft's interview on Sirius NFL Radio Thursday, when Kraft was asked about QB Tom Brady:

What is the latest with Tom Brady and his contractual situation? Have you set a deadline, or have his agents set a deadline, for when you want to get a deal done?
"Well, look, we are so lucky to have Tom Brady. He’s under contract. He’s here. I’m privileged to have a pretty special relationship with him. I think he knows how I feel about him. I think we both want to solve the problem; or the issue. I don’t know that it’s a problem. It’s complicated. But we have basically have had a policy that we keep all those conversations between the principals. So it’s not something we’re going to discuss in the media. But we’re very lucky to have him here."

Tom is spending more time in California with his family. Is that an issue? Is that a problem? Does that surprise you, or is it overblown with fans and the news media?
"Well, I think if we had our druthers, we’d prefer that all our players would be here year round [and] work out. There is a certain chemistry with the team that develops that way. In fairness, as players mature and grow older, they have responsibilities. When Tom first joined us, he was single. He’s now married, with a child, as many of our players are. Rodney Harrison, there wasn’t a more dedicated team guy, and I remember I didn’t feel great when he went down to Atlanta and was with his family there. [But] he’d come back and man, he didn’t miss a beat. He’d kick in and play hard. So there are a lot of different; it’s hard to sit in judgment of what’s right or wrong. In the end, when he’s around, things are pretty special. We hope he’s here as much as he can be."

Ian Rapoport notes outside linebacker Pierre Woods isn't worried, even as he faces the stiffest competition yet.

"As a competitor, you can’t be scared to compete," Woods said. "Certain guys got different things they bring to the table, so what I bring to the table is something different from everybody else. At the end of the day, you want to be out there, want to compete. Let the best man win."

Mike Reiss offers several observations from yesterday's practice, including this one regarding the impact of Patriots new safeties coach Corwin Brown.

At the end of practice, as the Patriots worked on field goals, safety Brandon Meriweather saddled up next to "safeties" coach Corwin Brown on the sideline. Meriweather previously talked about how he’s never had a "safeties" coach (Brown’s official title is defensive assistant coach), and this was one example of how Brown might be making an impact with Meriweather and the team’s other safeties. Meriweather has the potential to be a star (he made a terrific break on a ball thrown to the sideline in this practice, closing extremely quickly) and a coach like Brown – hired this offseason – will be counted on to bring out the best in him.