While the Jets are working out in front of a swarm of media in sunny California, the Patriots are doing the same in a much more low-key manner in the Foxboro area.
Since NESN.com's report in March, the number of players has increased in size, nearly doubling in total attendance. Names were not given, but NESN.com reported in March that captain Jerod Mayo helped organize the workouts, which have involved gym sessions, plyometrics training (strength and speed) and field work. The workouts are completely permissible because they're being run by players, and the Patriots' staff has not been involved. By working out together, their hope is to avoid injuries once training camp begins.
"We're working hard, and it's intense," one source said. "It's a football workout, and everybody comes in there day in and day out, grinding and ready to work and ready to go. I don't know too many people who are working out as hard as we are right now. We'll definitely be ready. All of the people there will be ready when football comes back around."
Christopher Price talks with Central Arkansas defensive coordinator Matt Williamson about the evolution of pass rusher Markell Carter.
"He really started to work hard at it after two years, and about the middle of his junior season, the light came on — and it hasn’t gone off yet," recalled Williamson. "He probably saw it as a sophomore, but just didn’t have that extra gear he needed. By the time he was a junior, that gear was there."
"I can tell you that he went through the whole program here and not one time has he gotten into trouble," Williamson said of the 21-year-old Carter. "He’s always on time, he does the right things, he’s real diligent with how he represents himself — both on and off the field — and he works really hard at what he does as a football player. Succeeding at football is an important goal for him. He’s the type of person who will always strive to get better and improve. Every day."
"He’s a great pass rusher, I’ll tell you that right now," Williamson said of Carter. "He’s never really played much outside linebacker in the 3-4 — we did mess with that a little bit — but he was hands’ down our best pass rusher. We had our best chance to win when he was rushing the passer.
" If I’m playing to win a game, he’s going to be the guy I want coming after the quarterback off the edge."
"He’s one of those guys who will be noticed because he plays hard and he plays fast. I can’t compare him to anyone in the NFL — they all play like that there — but there’s no doubt he will get noticed. There’s no doubt," Williamson said. "He has speed and athleticism and he’s hard to block. He’s not elusive, just sort of slithery. A lot of guys have had trouble blocking him. He’s hard to get hands on him."
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- Mike Reiss helps us learn more about Patriots 6th-round draft choice DE Markell Carter.
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- Nate Davis (USA Today) Rewind to 2008 Draft: Time has shown Falcons ruled the day. Patriots graded C+
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