Having Galloway Gives Patriots Options

Joey Galloway

Once the Patriots signed wide receiver Joey Galloway, the top-heavy receiving corps became a little more balanced. With Galloway and Greg Lewis, the Patriots now have four legitimate targets for Tom Brady, not just the dynamic duo.

The benefits of having first-rate wide receivers such as Randy Moss and Wes Welker cannot be ignored, but the New England Patriots realized it doesn't matter much if no one else can get open.

Being top-heavy at any position - perhaps other than quarterback - is a recipe for disaster in the NFL, so the Patriots took steps toward solidifying their receiver corps by acquiring cagey veteran Joey Galloway.

"Once I was released, my goal entering free agency was that I would love to have the chance to play for a team that could win it all and had some stability at the quarterback position," Galloway said. "Once I was contacted by coach (Bill) Belichick, I was very excited about that opportunity. I took a visit and had a chance to go to dinner with the coaches.

"Then, the next day, I had some meetings and went through the physical. From there, we've just been talking about contract situations and finally we were able to work it out."

Galloway may be 37 years old, but he's an instant upgrade over Jabar Gaffney, who served as the team's No. 3 receiver last year and failed to respond to an increase in responsibility.

"I guess the same thing that kept me going at 24 and 26 and 28 (is) that I love to compete," Galloway said. "I'm looking forward to a new challenge, a new situation. I'm looking forward to competing with a team that expects to win football games. This is what I do. This is my profession.

"Nothing has changed for me over the years. I have the same drive. I have the same focus. As long as a new challenge is in front of me, and I physically and mentally feel very good, then I look forward to it."

And don't discount the motivation factor either. Galloway expressed his desire to win and the Patriots clearly fit that mold. They're coming off an 11-5 season marred only by the fact they failed to qualify for the playoffs. The good news is Tom Brady will be back at the helm again, providing Galloway with the top-notch quarterback he craves. Age may be nothing but a number in 2009.

"You can't really measure it," Galloway said. "I have been a fan of his for a long time. I've been a fan of the team, a fan of the organization from top to bottom, from Mr. (Robert) Kraft and all the way down. I've always looked forward to an opportunity to get into a situation to ... like I'd said, stability at quarterback has always been something that I've hoped for and looked for in my decision-making.

"Once the opportunity came to have a chance to play with Tom Brady, then I don't think you can do any better than that."

Not Standing Pat

The Patriots held a workout last week for West Virginia quarterback Pat White according to Scout.com, who might be targeted on draft day now that the team has a surplus of picks in the wake of the Matt Cassel trade.

Adding White would give the Patriots another young, inexperienced quarterback in their quest to find the next Cassel, who took his game to the next level last season while replacing Brady.

With Cassel in Kansas City, the Patriots need a viable backup. Kevin O'Connell is the answer for now. White could be added in the late rounds on draft day to give them another quarterback to groom for the future.

More Peppers Please?

While rumors continue to circulate about a possible deal sending superstar defensive lineman Julius Peppers to New England, the Carolina Panthers continue to insist there's been no contact between the two teams.

Peppers would be an immediate upgrade for the defense, which is looking to replace pass-rushing linebacker Mike Vrabel - a key cog in the Cassel trade with Kansas City.

Peppers has played defensive end throughout most of his career, but has expressed a desire to play linebacker and could be a prototypical specialist in New England's 3-4 system. Rest assured this deal will continue to be discussed as the offseason continues.

Patriots Honor Billy Sullivan

The Patriots added their first owner, Billy Sullivan, to the team's Hall of Fame, honoring a patriarch who, according to current owner Bob Kraft, is one of the reasons this franchise exists.

The late Sullivan paid a $25,000 fee in 1959 to make the then-Boston Patriots one of the eight original American Football League franchises. The team had no permanent home at the start and often shared venues such as Fenway Park and Harvard Stadium.

Missing Vrabel Already

Count young linebacker Pierre Woods among the players saddened by Mike Vrabel's departure.

"It was a big shock, a big shock for me," Woods said. "I normally don't speak to the media that much, but I have a lot of respect for Mike Vrabel, the things he taught me, the things I learned from him, not just being a person, but as an athlete, on the field, off the field, being a father.

"I have nothing but love for Mike. I love him like a brother, a cousin, a friend, everything ... but it's the business side of it. Who knows? Things happen."

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