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New England Patriots Links 7/05/11 - Marcus Cannon Finishes Chemotherapy This Week

Charean Williams (Star-Telegram) Marcus Cannon believes he will be in the Patriots' camp on time, ready to play.

Cannon had his first chemo treatment on the first day of the draft. He might have been a late first-round pick, but the cancer diagnosis scared the 32 NFL teams as much as it scared Cannon.

Despite NFL teams being told by doctors in a memo that his chances of recovery are 90 percent, Cannon's stock dropped.

"I just feel badly that it all happened to him," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "I think we're going to beat it, because we caught it early enough, and because of the attitude that he's approached it with, but he could have gone higher in the draft and made more money."

Cannon has had nausea only once. The day after his first treatment, he didn't feel well and cut short his fishing trip with Jones. He hasn't lost his hair, and he has maintained his weight despite losing his appetite. (He said he dropped to 338 after his first chemo treatment before figuring out he had to eat despite not being hungry. He now weighs 348.)

Cannon lifts three days a week at a local gym and runs at TCU with former teammates. He regularly tests his strength by benching 315 pounds.

"If I can do it eight or nine times, I'm good," Cannon said. The same day he had his third chemo treatment, Cannon swam and played basketball. He said he couldn't be better.

"All I can do is keep doing what I'm doing," Cannon said. "That's to keep praying and accept my healing."

Erik Frenz (Cold Hard Football Facts) YAC attack: The best receivers after the catch.

Slot Men and System Receivers:  It appears from the lists that the guys with the highest percentage of their yards coming after the catch are the slot receivers. St. Louis's Danny Amendola played almost exclusively in the slot, and reaped the benefits of his quickness and sure hands in the middle. He earned over 56 percent of his total receiving yards after he had already made the catch. That's a testament not just to his talents, but also how he's used and where he lines up.

Some receivers, meanwhile, are at an advantage by the system they play in.

Of course, this wouldn't be a YAC article unless we made some mention of Wes Welker. He has been a YAC monster since joining the Patriots in 2007. He thrived for two years in Josh McDaniels' system, with a total of 1,398 yards after the catch during the McDaniels 2007-08 era for over 6.2 AYAC. Just under 60 percent of his total receiving yards came after the catch in that span.

His success shouldn't be attributed entirely to the system, as he continued to post gaudy numbers in all YAC categories in 2009, after McDaniels went to Denver. But those numbers dipped in 2010. This decline in YAC production can be attributed to both the departure of Randy Moss (and defenses subsequently focusing on shutting down Welker) as well as recovery from ACL surgery. It'll be interesting to see how (and if) he bounces back.


  • Patriots Roster Report - 7/01/11: The PFW crew discusses what the Patriots first priority should be as soon as the lockout is over. (8.28 min. program)