Stan Grossfeld writes an excellent piece on Boston's four league leaders in intensity and passion: Milan Lucic, Wes Welker, Kevin Youkilis and Kevin Garnett.
Welker defines passion strictly in football terms.
"It is the energy that you bring when you are out there on the field,’’ he says. "The way you play each and every play. It’s how you get your teammates to buy into that same kind of energy and passion.’’
"It’s hard to bring it every single day. Sometimes you’ve got to reach deep inside yourself to make sure you’re bringing that same energy on a regular basis.’’
"There can be too much passion,’’ he says. "There’s so many assignments, like if the defense does this, you do this — you can be too ramped up where you screw up the play and you are all out of whack. You still have to have some calmness about you, but at the same time go out there and give it all you’ve got.’’
"For me, it’s just by talking to myself to get myself going,’’ he says. "It’s like, ‘Come on, Wes, let’s go, let’s go make some plays. Today is your day, let’s go.’ ’’
"Back in high school, I was like, ‘Give me the freaking ball,’ and the coach was like, ‘Well, OK, you’re getting it,’" he remembers.
"I love to play,’’ he says. "I can’t imagine myself doing anything else than playing football.’’
Welker says he ignored people telling him he would never succeed. "Yeah, I was too short, too slow, too all that stuff,’’ he remembers. "They said, ‘You’ll never make it.’ You’ll never play in college, a lot of the coaches thought. So I tried not to listen to them and to believe in myself and put my best foot forward, and do what I could with what I have.’’
WEEI highlights Peter King's guest appearance on the Mut & Merloni show yesterday afternoon.
"They’re going to get it done," King said. "My over-under is July 10. They get it done by July 15-17, they won’t lose any preseason games, which is really the goal here. I think they’re going to make progress and get it done by the middle of July."
"That’s about $700 million if they don’t play preseason games that comes off the table, not only that they owners don’t earn but the players don’t get a cut of. So if you’re talking about a specific cap number for players’ salaries only in 2011 of maybe about $118 million per team of which every team would have to spend a floor of 90 percent of that, you start taking $700 million out of there and all of a sudden, then that’s maybe $10 million less per team because they don’t have that money. That’s something both sides are cognizant of."
"If this deal goes too far into the preseason, I can tell you for a fact right now that there are going to be some major corporate advertisers, beer advertisers, car advertisers, who say, ‘You know what, thanks but we’re going to take all of our September advertising and we’re going to ESPN and we’re going to college football,’" King said. "‘Or we’re going to take some segment of it now and we’re going to make our decision. You can’t make your decision. We need to make ours.’"
- Patriots alumni to present $10,000 in Mosi Tatupu scholarships.
- PFW in Progress - 6/23/11: The PFW crew discusses the continued CBA talks, the free agent frenzy that will occur once a new agreement is reached, and more. (2 hour program)
- Ian Rapoport notes that after two full days of being holed up inside the Nantasket Beach Resort in Hull, optimism is still in play for owners and players.
- Tom E. Curran reports from the secret hideaway where negotiations between players and owners are underway.
- Christopher Price sees both sides as cautiously optimistic after two days of talks.
- Tom E. Curran says that even though Goodell and Smith are guarded in their public statements, it appears progress is being made towards ending the lockout.
- Ian Rapoport posts a pic of Robert Kraft ducking into his car after a day of meetings at Nantasket Beach Resort, commenting "Everything in Beantown is good."
- Ian Rapoport posts his video of the day: Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith addressing the media following the latest labor talks in Hull.
- Mike Rodak breaks down the Pats roster to see which players are under contract, which are still unsigned, and which are the free agents as the end of the lockout looms.
- ESPNBoston highlights Stephen Gostkowski's guest appearance on ESPN Boston Radio with Adam Jones Thursday afternoon.
- ESPNBoston introduces fans to Director of Football Operations Matt Caracciolo, who has spent 6 years with the Patriots.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) Breaking down Matt Flynn vs. the Patriots.
- Jason La Canfora (NFL.com) Expanded rosters would help teams get through training camp.
- Joe Fortenbaugh (Nat'l Football Post) The favorites and the dogs: 17 games on the 2011 schedule are up for debate.
- Kerry J. Byrne (SI) The most important stat in football: Passer Rating Differential.
- Andy Benoit (NY Times) Top 10 safeties in the NFL. Meriweather dropped from list.
- Jon Saraceno (USA Today) On NFL's fringe, rookie free agents wait out the lockout.
- Adam Schein (Fox Sports) Sizzle and fizzle: More Brady, less Osi and Tiki, please.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Goodell, Smith comment together after negotiations.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League, players should be meeting every day.
- Albert Breer (NFL.com) NFL owners, players regaining trust with 'all revenue' model.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Optimism still flows regarding labor deal.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Source: NFLPA tells players that a deal isn't close.
- Doug Farrar (Yahoo! Sports) Latest labor talks conclude, optimism persists.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Lockout Day 100: Hope still floats.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Kessler returns to the labor talks on Thursday.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Reduction of free agency to four years may be harder than it looks.