The biggest question in Foxboro will always be what if Tom Brady goes down with an injury? It happened once before and Matt Cassel answered the bell. Teams around the league tell me Brian Hoyer and backup Ryan Mallet could keep this team running for a month.
As for the other nine criteria, the Patriots did a masterful job in the offseason. Backups on this team include: WRs Deon Branch, Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney, OLs Robert Gallery, Marcus Cannon, RB Joseph Addai, TE Daniel Fells, DLs Jonathan Fanane, Ron Brace, Gerard Warren, LBs Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, DBs Raz I Dowling and Will Allen, and core special teamers Julian Edelman, Tony Fiametta, Spencer Larson, and Danny Woodhead who can all play a position well.
Alex Abrami (Burlington Free Press) Giving back: Patriots' McCourty coming to Vermont for youth football camp.
So why is a Pro Bowl cornerback from the New England Patriots coming to Vermont?
Just to give back. I know Vermont is a New England state and I thought it was a good opportunity to do something different. I thought it would be something cool and they would really appreciate. (Colchester football coach) Tom Perry said it is hard to get guys to Vermont.
Teaching and working with youth has turned into a mission for you and your twin brother Jason. Did something positive or negative happen in your life to want to make a difference for others?
My father passed away when I was three. When I was young, I could go to the football field or basketball court and just get away. I used to volunteer at a basketball camp in my high school and I always felt kids needed a chance and have something going on in their lives. They needed something to be inspired and to be motivated. I think it’s something me and my brother wanted to do.
How has your life changed since entering the NFL?
The biggest thing is you receive a little more attention and I’ve put more pressure on myself to do more to make a difference. I have to do more than just play football and that’s help out in the community. Why not help others?
What obstacles have your overcome to reach the NFL?
My father passing away was the main one. … Coming out of high school, I wasn’t rated top in the state – they wanted my brother. I looked at it as an opportunity to prove people wrong. It’s always been about proving doubters wrong.
- Erik Scalavino helps to get to know Donald Thomas in his Inside the Helmet series.
- Paul Perillo breaks down the Patriots roster position by position: Defensive line.
- Paul Perillo gives his thoughts on Tom Brady cracking ESPN's list of the top 25 individual playoff performances in all sports.
- Former and current Patriot players host Free Youth Clinics this Friday and Saturday.
- Jeff Howe discovers there are still contentious feelings within the Giants organization regarding the careless and 'borderline arrogant' decision to waive Jake Ballard.
- Jeff Howe digs around the botched NY Giants' Jake Ballard gamble, and says the Patriots claimed him with the future in mind.
- Mike Rodak reports Tedy Bruschi held his fifth annual youth football camp yesterday at Gillette Stadium.
- Jeff Howe details Tedy Bruschi's football clinic yesterday and says Brushi still gets a rush from running onto his home field.
- Mike Rodak catches up with Brian Hoyer, who was a guest instructor at Tedy Bruschi's football clinic Wednesday.
- Jeff Howe notes Tedy Bruschi says he has no trouble allowing his boys to play football but will wait until they're 14 before putting them in pads.
- Field Yates brings up Patrick Chung's status in relation to Titans safety Michael Griffin, who just signed a new contract worth $35 million over 5 years.
- Christopher Price takes a look at what the Patriots' AFC rivals are doing this offseason: Miami Dolphins.
- Jeff Howe wonders if disgruntled Vikings WR Percy Harvin would fit with the Patriots.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Deal or no Deal: Will Wes Welker and other big names get new contracts?
- Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Rookies will divide by conference at symposium.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) The agent's pitch: What to believe.
- Pat Kirwan (CBS Sports) Pre-vacation cleanup: 10 items on to-do list.
- Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Discussion of regular season game in Ireland crops up again.
- Ben Shpigel (NY Times) Football faces 'turning point' on safety risk.
- Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports) Bountygate has exposed that there's no such thing as labor peace in NFL.
- Nate Davis (USA Today) Congress won't probe NFL on Saints bounty scandal.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL creates anonymous bounty tip line.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballtalk) NFL concerned that players don't accept counseling in retirement.