Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Breakout players: Stafford leads class of 20, including Sebastian Vollmer.
He has emerged as the best tackle on the New England roster -- passing Matt Light -- and one of the better right tackles in the league. Now entrenched as a starter, he should be pushing for a Pro Bowl berth this season.
Liz Mullen (Sporting News) Players, coaches adjust to 'culture shock' of lockout. Julian Edelman was one of a dozen NFL players from different teams working out at a private training facility near LA.
"Of course you miss your coaches," Edelman said. "This is the time where you put in a lot of film study and that kind of stuff with coaches. And they ultimately know what is best for you and the team, so it’s going to be good when (players) get back."
Kevin Fishbain (Pro Football Weekly) Lockout limbo: Patriots report. Top storylines and more.
1. Can the defense improve without any significant offseason additions?
An opportunistic defense that compiled a ridiculous plus-28 turnover margin helped New England post a league-best 14-2 record, and that overshadowed the league's 30th-ranked pass defense and the worst "D" on third down. Part of the problem was a lack of a pass rush, but the team didn't address it in the draft. The Pats' sixth-round pick, OLB Markell Carter, is a developmental project, and they're not expected to address the need via free agency. That puts the spotlight on second-year OLB Jermaine Cunningham and DE Ty Warren, who missed all of 2010 with a hip injury. Bill Belichick's schemes are still some of the best in the game, and they helped overcome the injuries and youth on the defense. But the problems came back in the playoff loss to the Jets, and will need to improve if the Patriots want to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2007.
- The Hall at Patriot Place will offer free admission to all veterans and active service men and women through Memorial Day weekend.
- Patriots Today - More from Ras-I Dowling. (1.40 min. video)
- PFW in Progress - 5/26/11. (2 hour program)
- Karen Guregian reports Vince Wilfork has been tweeting his incredulity at Roger Goodell bringing up an 18-game season when right now there aren't any.
- Ian Rapoport posts a video of Jermaine Cunningham talking about his offseason. The only revelation is that he's got "Beli-speak" down perfectly - Any iffy question gets a "it's going good" answer, with a smile.
- Ian Rapoport tells fans how they can have a chance to play on Tom Brady's flag football team to benefit Best Buddies.
- Ian Rapoport posts a picture of Aaron Hernandez speaking to local children in Allston, 70% of who are Latino, about his experiences.
- Christopher Price scouts possible fits for the Patriots in free agency: WR Brad Smith.
- Jeff Howe answers his weekly Patriots mailbag: Rob Gronkowski could reach Antonio Gates' level with better understanding of the game.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat. Position battles and more.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Flash Points: Franchise-turning events for all AFC East teams.
- Brian Billick (Fox Sports) Coaches must adjust to extra free time.
- DJ Gallo (ESPN Page 2) Tales from the NFL Rookie Symposium.
- Joe Fortenbaugh (Nat'l Football Post) 5 great choices for the next Hard Knocks.
- Adam Rank (NFL.com) In honor of the release of "The Hangover Part II," here is the ultimate NFL six-man wolf pack.
- Adam Rank (NFL.com) Photo essay: NFL's look-alikes.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) It's wrong for NFL teams to cut non-player pay.
- AP Report (SI) NFL: Court must honor labor law in lockout ruling.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) Caught in the crossfire: Coaches file brief, in the middle of the battle.
- Jim Trotter (SI) Brees sees lack of good faith in owners decision to lock out players.
- Jim Corbett (USA Today) Kurt Warner: Players have to give in for NFL to reach a deal.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Irsay's July 4 CBA deadline on the mark.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League submits reply brief in Eighth Circuit appeal.