Robert Mays asks Brandon Spikes, "How does a star at the highest level of college football, the leader of one of the nation’s best defenses, come under so much scrutiny throughout the NFL draft process?"
"I just look at it as, ‘That’s life,’ ’’ said the Patriots rookie linebacker. "That’s the way it is. I know deep down that I’m a football player and I really love this game. I play with a lot of passion and a lot of energy, and that’s all I can handle — what goes on on the field. I kind of block all that [other] stuff out.’’
"I don’t want guys to think, ‘Oh, he’s a rookie. He might be second-guessing.’ I just want them to be confident that they can trust me and know that I’ve got their backs.’’
"I want to be an accountable player if my number’s called,’’ he said. "I just want to come in and get the job done."
Ian Rapoport notes Tom Brady has jumped onto the running-game bandwagon because he knows how much balance helps keep a defense honest. Kevin Faulk agrees.
"It’s great because if a team can’t stop (you at) the line, you’re just going to keep running it," Brady said. "That’s the reality. You control the whole game if you’re able to run the ball. Problems are when you can’t run the ball and it’s one-dimensional."
"It helps in any area but especially in the red zone because it’s that much (closer)," running back Kevin Faulk said. "Guys are not 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage - they are up there. If you put eight, seven, nine guys in the box to stop the run (it’s easier to pass). When you’re able to run the ball, they have to be honest on the pass, as well."
- Andy Hart cleans out his Training Camp notebook from recent weeks.
- Erik Scalavino reports from Middle-o-nowhere, Georgia.
- Kevin Faulk Wednesday conference call transcript.
- Patriots Today - Analysis from Atlanta. (3.51 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Matt Ryan talks Patriots. (3.48 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport lists Five things to watch in the Patriots-Falcons game. Karen Guregian feels there shouldn't be a rush to push Wes Welker into a preseason game.
- Mike Reiss shares the Ten things he'll be watching when the Pats face the Falcons tonight.
- Tom E. Curran offers 5 to watch for in Falcons-Patriots preseason.
- Christopher Price lists what he'll be watching for Thursday against the Falcons.
- Karen Guregian feels there shouldn't be a rush to push Wes Welker into a preseason game.
- Albert Breer notes the Falcons learned a lot by throwing their young to the wolves last year and the Patriots are in the process of doing the same.
- Albert Breer says by the end of the 2010 season, there's a chance Wes Welker will have put together the most prolific four-year stretch a receiver has ever had.
- Mike Reiss posts a projected depth chart along the line of scrimmage.
- Ian Rapoport explains why the Falcons spend 25 minutes of practice without any helmets on.
- Ian R. Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Rookie Brandon Deaderick has a chance to see some playing time tonight; Patriots reached an injury settlement with Torry Holt; Pats secondary is one targeted area for improvement.
- Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Kevin Faulk says everything's cool with Brady and the offense is finding more of a pass-run balance; WIlfork pokes in fun at Welker about him playing QB; Stephen Neal thinks the joint practices really help the team.
- Mike Reiss captures veteran TE Alge Crumpler's impressions of life as a Patriot. "Two words -- competitive and professional."
- Christopher Price notes Kevin Faulk and Ivan Fears have come a long way together as part of the remaining few who predate Bill Belichick.
- Tom E. Curran notes that yesterday, when asked how he's feeling physically during this camp, Faulk answered, "Miss Karen, I’m just trying to get better." Sweet.
- Kirk Minihane recaps the Wall St. Journal story that refers to Zoltan Mesko as "The NFL's most interesting man."
- Tom E. Curran calls the Spikes and Mayo combo a fitting tandem.
- Jeff Howe reports Terrence Wheatley's story belongs on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, since his stock has soared this summer.
- Mark Farinella says opportunity will be knocking tonight for Terrence Wheatley, in his uphill battle to prove he's tough and talented enough to play.
- Ian Rapoport catches Dan Connolly talking tough and going after teammate Ryan Wendell's mustache. The facial hair gauntlet has been thrown down.
- Ian Rapoport offers his video of the day: QB Tom Brady talking about his offense and Falcons QB Matt Ryan. (57 second video)
- Kirk Minihane continues his Hard Knocks diary for Week 2, pausing for a blessing first from Saint Dungy.
- Albert Breer explains how the return of Brett Favre, and his raise in pay, could help Tom Brady.
- Shalise Manza Young offers the transcript of her weekly online chat.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Randy Moss gearing up for contract year.
- Patriots depth concerns along the line of scrimmage. (45 second video) (ESPN)
- Aaron Wilson (Nat'l Football Post) Patriots broker injury settlement with Torry Holt.
- Andy Kent (NFL Fanhouse) Patriots bringing back old trend of combined practices.
- Mike Tanier, Football Outsiders (Rotoworld) The secret art of WR screens: which teams throw a lot of them, which teams don't, and which receivers get the most gimmies.
- 12 Angry Mascots (Atom.com) NFL Rookie Orientation: There's more to these training sessions than the public knows. (3.22 min. video)
- Don Banks (SI) Eli Manning's hit underscores need for the NFL's new helmetless rule.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Rex Ryan embarrassed by Jets' backups.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Rex Ryan says Dungy "unfairly judged me."
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