Mike Reiss reports Tom Brady is back in the area and will lead players-only workouts starting Wednesday, according to sources familiar with his plans.
Brady's return to New England is in conjunction with his charity work for Best Buddies International, as he is hosting a football game at Harvard on Friday night, before riding in the Audi Best Buddies Challenge on Saturday.
Brady has spent the majority of the offseason training in California as he works his way back from January foot surgery. Knowing he'd be in the region this week, he attempted to gather as many teammates as possible to join him, particularly pass-catchers.
Steve Wyremski (Pro Football Focus) Interview with CB Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots.
Looking back at your rookie season, what was the biggest adjustment for you?
The biggest adjustment was consistency. In college, you make a play. Sometimes you make a great play and [others] a bad play, but your bad play won’t be [terrible] because athletically you were able to do something to stick right with a guy, or something. I learned quick in the NFL that any little mistake will be exploited. I felt like if you didn’t know what you are doing on a play, the quarterback and the offense always found a way to get to your side and exploit it. With the talent level so high and so many great players, you need to make sure you’re always consistent and on top of your game, especially at corner.
A lot of veteran quarterbacks target rookie corners. Did you feel that you were a victim of that?
Oh, definitely. Starting in the first game and the first play against the Bengals, I lined up against Terrell Owens and they went deep to try and throw a fade route. I remember coming into the season, my corner’s coach told me, "Get ready, you’re the rookie corner, you’re starting, and they’re going to attack you." I think it helped in practice going against guys like Randy Moss, Wes Welker and lining up against Tom Brady. I came into the season with some confidence as a rookie from going against those guys.
Take me through your most memorable rookie struggle.
The first struggle came right in training camp. It seemed like I was lining up against Randy Moss a lot. We were doing a two-minute drill and some other drills and he beat me deep maybe five times in two days. It felt like it was happening every other play. It was frustrating. My coach was trying to teach me different techniques and in my head I’m just like, "it feels like I’m playing it pretty good; he’s just making a great catch." That was a little bit of a learning curve – trying to understand that even though you’re in great position and playing pretty good, [you have to] finish to try and stop the guy from making a great catch. During the season, I would say week 2 when lost to the Jets playing one of the worst games of the year and learning how to rebound in the NFL after playing a bad game as a rookie cornerback. I think I gave up two touchdowns that game. The coaches helped me out a lot just talking to me about being in the NFL, having a bad game and watching film to make sure you come back strong so it doesn’t become a habit/a pattern and people start attacking you because you’re not playing well.
How were you able to adjust so quickly to the NFL game and succeed in just your first year in the league?
By not thinking about it. Being in New England, the coaching staff and some of the players are very precise. They’re on top of everything, so I just followed the lead of everybody else. [Whether it be] how they practice, how they took care of their body off the field, how they approach the game mentally, or how they watch film. In sitting in meetings with Coach Belichick and hearing how he explains film or how he looks at things, I was able to use that and transition it. I think of it as something simple: just having that mentality of listening to other people and believing in what they’re saying helped me out the most.
- Ask PFW: Still locked out.
- NFL Network: The ins and outs of WR: Patriots Julian Edelman and Broncos Brandon Lloyd dissect the inside and outside game of the wide receiver position. (4.34 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Belichick addresses grads. (1.36 min. video)
- PFW in Progress - 5/31/11: The PFW crew discusses the latest news around the league. (2 hour program)
- Greg A. Bedard reports that between 40 to 60 players are taking part in a Tom Brady-led workout today including most starters and several rookies.
- Ian Rapoport wonders how important is it for the Patriots rookies to work out with Tom Brady while he's here?
- Mike Reiss analyzes Tom Brady and his offseason.
- Ian Rapoport notes Tom Brady is set to be Audi Best Buddies Challenge Honorary Chairman again this weekend.
- Tom E. Curran picks the brain of NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell about the Patriots wide receivers . Cosell says the precision of Branch and Welker makes them unique.
- Jeff Howe thinks Bill Belichick was borderline obsessed with Jason Taylor last offseason and 19 other NFL thoughts.
- Karen Guregian reports The NFLPA will run its own version of the NFL Symposium for rookies and Patriots RB Shane Vereen was happy to hear about it.
- Juliet Pennington reports several past and present Patriots attended a fundraiser to help out Al's House, a charity that offers on-site activities for Alzheimer patients.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag, focusing on the 18-game schedule, Brandon Tate and more.
- Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein post a pic of Bill Belichick with son Brian and ex-wife Debby at Brian's graduation from Suffield Academy.
- Glen Yoder reports former Patriot Jarvis Green made the final cut out of 100 amateur chefs to appear on the second season of "Master Chef" with Gordon Ramsay.
- Khalil Garriott (Pro Player Insider) NFLPA replaces canceled Rookie Symposium with "The Business of Football: Rookie Edition."
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday Edition: Mail; Polian says Manning's neck is not a concern for the Colts.
- Greg Gabriel (Nat'l Football Post) Tuesday news and notes: NFL paycuts.
- Cris Collinsworth (Football Pros) Lockout looming, I took a job for this fall: Wide receiver coach at Highlands HS. "... the NFL will probably miss at least half of their season anyway..."
- John Czarnecki (Fox Sports) 'Steelers Rule' will make NFL too soft.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Poking through the AFC East mailbag.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) O-linemen fight for Power Rankings respect.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) 100 days until regular season starts.
- Paul Kuharsky (ESPN) Top 10 offensive players [non-quarterback].
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL somehow ahead of last year's season-ticket pace.
- Len Pasquarelli (CBS Sports) Converting corners to safeties in post-lockout period no safe bet.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Struggles of an undrafted player: "My mom wants me to get a job."
- Vic Carucci (NFL.coom) Don't blow Goodell's role in Jets' scheme out of proportion.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) An elite team needs to step up and volunteer to be on Hard Knocks.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) Prelude to the Appeal: Setting up (sadly) the most important date on NFL calendar.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Expanded social media rules could make sense for both sides in next CBA.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Players need to make owners an offer.
- Larry Holder (CBS Sports) Keep your trifles, owners and players; fans want football.