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New England Patriots Links 4/14/11 - Belichick Again Expected To Lead Defense

<em>Matt Light, rehabbing a shoulder injury, says his health is "coming a long way"</em>.
Matt Light, rehabbing a shoulder injury, says his health is "coming a long way".

Mike Reiss catches up with Jerod Mayo to talk about coaching changes this year, with Patrick Graham promoted from assistant to linebackers coach and Matt Patricia moving from linebacker to safeties coach.

Graham, a former defensive lineman at Yale (Class of 2001), has earned praise from head coach Bill Belichick. In March, Belichick said: "I think he’s really a good young coach. I’m glad he’s on our staff. He’s done a terrific job for us."

With promising young linebackers on the Patriots' roster such as Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes and others, Graham's work in developing them figures to be important to the team's long-term success. It seems like a lot to put on a young coach.

Yet in catching up with linebacker and captain Jerod Mayo this week, he thinks it will be a smooth transition because Graham "kind of helped out with the linebackers last year" and "I think we have guys in the linebacker room willing to work."

Mayo also doesn't expect Graham to be alone in the role. "You know that Coach Belichick will still be in the [linebacker] room," he said.

For the second straight year, Belichick is expected to lead the defense, which doesn't have an official coordinator. It looks like a significant amount of his defensive workload will be focused on the linebackers.

Ian Rapoport talks with Matt Light about his "Matt Light and Peter King Lockout Breakfast: Inside the CBA, Free Agency, and the 2011 NFL Draft."

"I’ve just had an unbelievable amount of requests to talk about the issues," Light told the Herald yesterday, "to answer questions when I’m out with my kids at dinner. People are concerned, they’re curious, they want to know what the issues are, what’s happened. So, I took that cue and said, ‘Let’s have some fun putting an event together and invite people who want to come and find out more of what’s happening."

On Tuesday, April 26 Light, King — Sports Illustrated’s lead NFL reporter — and a few other notables including Pats guard Logan Mankins and former teammate Russ Hochstein will host 100 guests at the Liberty Hotel. The group will discuss the lockout, free agency, the draft and anything else that comes to mind during the 7:30-9:30 a.m. breakfast. Admission is $250 will proceeds going to the Matt Light Foundation.

With some time on his hands, Light has been able to delve deeply into the labor issues.  While Light, the Patriots player representative, said it’s good to have both sides back at the table, he wasn’t overflowing with optimism.

"That’s just given the fact that we went through the mediation process last time, and it didn’t get us anywhere," Light said. "But I think this process will be a little bit different. Hopefully it’ll be a little more serious. It would be nice to know that they have people showing up on the owners’ side that can actually make decisions on behalf of the group and really tackle the issues at hand."


  • Inside the Draft room - 4/13/11: Brian Lowe gives a global perspective of the 2011 Draft. (1 hour program).
  • Draft Prospect Review - 4/13/11: Breaking down the top Defensive Lineman. (18.52 min. program)