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New England Patriots Links 3/23/11 - Rest Of League Suffers Patriots Draft Envy

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Christopher Price reports that private workouts are a key part of the Patriots' pre-draft process. Agent David Canter says that when it comes to evaluating a player at a private workout, the Patriots do two things better than anyone else.

"One, better than almost every team in football, they look at the totality of the player. What has he done? What’s his body of work? What will be bring to the table? What kind of leader is he?" Canter said. "They really do an incredible job of asking the questions that other teams might not.

"The second thing they do — better than anyone else, and they are the kings of this — is that there are no leaks. There are no loose ends in the building. That’s a testament to Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. If you end up talking to the media — especially about something like this — you aren’t going to be working for them long. There are no ulterior motives there. Loose lips sink ships."

"Nothing that goes on inside that war room is leaked out," said one league source. "If they have a particular player who is rising up their boards internally, no one outside the building knows about it."

Tom E. Curran speculates on why Bill Belichick missed the annual NFL coaches breakfast.

While Belichick satiated the Boston media to a degree on Monday with a 10-minute talk in a hallway at the Roosevelt Hotel, he eschewed the 75-minute sitdown scheduled for this morning.

After talking to him Monday, I said, "You're not going to the breakfast, are you?"

"We're day-to-day," was the reply.

Belichick is more non-conformist than he is hermit. At this point, the 59-year-old simply doesn't kowtow to being told where to be, when and for how long. With a labor fight halting his communication with the players and disturbing his football routine, Belichick would be less apt to play along with what he (my perception here) considers a league-wide dog-and-pony show.

This is not to say it's the "right" or "proper" approach from Belichick. And it's certainly not politically correct.

But given his disdain for the league office --which fined him a half-million for the Spygate imbroglio -- and the league's competition committee (which he harpooned Monday), it's not hard to see what Belichick's rationalization was for saying "no thanks" to eggs and bacon with the media.



  • Ian Rapoport notes Bill Polian and others around the league have New England Patriots draft envy.
  • Jeff Howe says Bill Belichick is a one-man trade machine, and 19 other thoughts.
  • Greg A. Bedard notes Roger Goodell says fans matter most, and defended the owners' role in negotiations.
  • Mike Reiss reports the NFL passed a revised rule on kickoffs, that is supported by Bill Belichick.
  • Mike Reiss looks at how the NFL's new kickoff rules -- specifically spotting the ball at the 35-yard line instead of the 30 -- will affect the Patriots.
  • Greg A. Bedard explains why the NFL has no choice but to try and make the game safer, not only to protect players from injury but also the league from a lawsuit.
  • Rich Levine doesn't believe the NFL when it says it changed the kickoff rules to keep the players safer.
  • Tom E. Curran notes that after condemning the proposed rules change to kickoffs, the Patriots head coach says he's okay with rule adopted Tuesday.
  • Jeff Howe reports the NFL announced a major rule change to its instant-replay system Tuesday, as all scoring plays will now be subject to official review.
  • Jeff Howe reports the NFL implemented a ruling that every stadium's field must be a league-approved shade of green.
  • Mike Reiss notes Bill Belichick was a no-show at the media breakfast.
  • Mike Reiss views Bill Belichick's absence from the annual coaches breakfast as an insult to his peers.
  • Christopher Price highlights Matt Light's outline of two of the major sticking points that remain between the sides in the labor situation.
  • Ron Borges gives us Rex Ryan's snapshot view of Jets-Patriots.
  • Tom E. Curran says NFL lawyer Bob Batterman understands why Tom Brady's name is on the lawsuit.
  • Kirk Minihane notes Bill Belichick did the impossible and came out ahead with Randy Moss. He's not going to tempt that again.
  • Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag.
  • Christopher Price puts out the latest edition of the "It Is What It Is Cast" with draft discussions and Patriots' preferences.
  • Nick Coman reports Tom Brady is selling his New York condo to Robert Stiller, the richest man in Vermont, for $17.5 million.
  • Ian Rapoport Meetings Notebook: Goodell wants negotiations with the players' representatives to continue; Five teams have been fined for illegal contact this offseason; Teams are not allowed to give draftees a playbook or strike any deals with undrafted free agents; Kickoff and replay changes were implemented; Pete Carroll calls Deion Branch a perfect fit in New England.