McCourty buoyed by offseason work
One group of players
adversely affected by the 2011 lockout were the 2010 rookies that
weren't able to benefit by a full offseason program heading to their
Cornerback Devin McCourty, a first-round pick in
2010, acknowledged the group of rookies from that year had some issues
last season. He can tell the difference now after having an offseason
program this year.
"Yeah, you just see it's a difference,"
McCourty said. "Last year, you're on your own, feel like you're working
hard doing different things, but I just think it's a better feeling
when you can be with your teammates working on the things and working
with the people that you actually do this sport with the most.
"During the season, you're with the coaches and the players all the
time, so just to be around those guys, be able to get their input on
different things is key to any player's development."
All About Concussions
former current and former NFL players have made headlines of late by
saying that they don't want their children to play football due to the
current awareness of the long-term ramifications of concussions and
head injuries. But don't count former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi
Holding his fifth annual youth football camp
sponsored by SBLI at Gillette Stadium this week, the former Pro Bowler
and three-time Super Bowl champion is looking forward to his boys
playing football. He admits he'll make them wait to play, just as his
mother did with him. Bruschi didn't begin playing until he was 14.
"My oldest is 11. He talks about playing football. I'm teaching him the
fundamentals of football. He hasn't put a helmet on his head yet,"
Bruschi said. "I believe in letting my kids develop a little bit before
they play. That's the way it was with me, and I'm pretty sure I'm OK.
So hopefully it works out for them that way also.
"Football, I would want them to be a part of it.
It's a great sport."
Quarterback Tom Brady and guard Logan Mankins both made Forbes' list
of the top 100 highest-paid athletes of 2011. Brady came in at No. 28
on the list thanks to his $27.1 million in earnings, which includes
salary, bonus money and endorsements. Mankins ranked No. 51 with $21.9
million in income, tying for that spot with former Patriots and current
Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
No Return To Glory In Foxboro
Tight end Bo Scaife
was released June 19. The 31-year-old former Titan had signed with the
Patriots on June 7 as the team struggled with depth at tight end during
OTAs and minicamp. Scaife, who was on injured reserve with the Bengals
last season, struggled mightily with his conditioning on the practice
field and was barely able to contribute during minicamp action.
Faulk Bides His Time
Running back Kevin Faulk, currently a
free agent, continues to hope
that he might get a call from the Patriots, the only team he says he'll
play for if he indeed returns for a 14th NFL season.
waiting, being patient," Faulk said at a recent charity golf tournament
held by former Patriots guard and current assistant strength coach Joe
New England currently has a committee of running
vying for playing time that includes second-year players Stevan Ridley
and Shane Vereen as well as offseason free-agent addition Joseph Addai.
Faulk is being patient, but also admits that it
can be a bit frustrating.
"Of course, I'm human, but at the same time you keep your trust in God
and you understand what goes on, you understand the business, and you
move on," he said. "It's just one of those things that happens -- your
career comes to an end at some point."
Ridley Wants To Be The Man
At a fundraiser in his
Natchez, Miss., hometown, Ridley said his goal is to win the starting
job. "Everything I could have asked for is right in front of me," he
said. "It's all about 'What do you do right now.' I'm smiling and
happy, but at the same time, it's a business, and you have to realize
if you don't do your job somebody's coming to replace you.
going into this year focused with an edge I've never had. It's put up
or shut up at this point, and I'm ready to play and try to put this
city on the map and do well for Natchez, Mississippi."
Gronk Says Both Sides Are Happy
for the first time since reaching a six-year extension in New England
that could pay him more than $54 million, All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski expressed great pleasure in the fact that he could be in New
England through 2019.
"I'm just happy," Gronkowski said with his
characteristic big smile. "Both sides are really happy. I love all my
fans out there. It's a great community, a great team. It's awesome
going out there every single Sunday in front of that crowd. I'm happy
to be here long-term, definitely. It all worked out well."
TO NOTE: "Great!" - Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski when
asked at a recent charity golf tournament about the status of his
surgically repaired left ankle. Gronkowski did not take part in OTA or
minicamp practices this spring.
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