Murrell Wants To Prove Himself
As a former undrafted free agent entering his third season in the NFL, newly-acquired Patriots' linebacker Marques Murrell continues to play each day as if it could be his last in pro football.
"I'm always in that 'must prove myself' position, but that's fine," he said. "That just comes with the territory right now and how I came into the NFL as a free agent. Everything I get in the league I have to fight for it. You can look at that as a blessing or a curse.
"Some guys who are able to go to these big schools, they don't quite understand how hard you have to work ... I look at it more as a blessing because God blessed me to have this opportunity."
The Bledsoe Effect
Former Patriots' linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who's now an ESPN analyst, offered an interesting take on why the Eagles weren't cautious about trading quarterback Donovan McNabb to a team within their own division (Washington).
"Once Drew Bledsoe went to the Bills, I already knew how we were going to play him," Bruschi said in reference to the trade at the end of the 2001 season that sent Bledsoe to Buffalo.
"(Eagles head coach) Andy Reid talked about being comfortable with this. We were comfortable with this trade because we knew Drew inside and out. We knew his strengths, but we also knew his weaknesses, what he didn't like, where he didn't like pressure, what type of throws that were tough for him to make. Who knows Donovan McNabb better than Andy Reid? Especially when it comes to weaknesses. I think Andy Reid feels comfortable playing against him twice a year."
Where Should Tebow Be Drafted?
Why? That's the question a lot of people are asking these days, especially considering the Patriots have millions upon millions invested in Tom Brady, not to mention the fourth-round pick they used several years ago to nab proposed backup Kevin O'Connell.
The thing is, Tebow might not even be on their radar for his skills as a quarterback. At this year's combine, Tebow unveiled his new streamlined throwing motion, which is a far cry from the awkward delivery he used with success in college. That -- along with his overall makeup -- has made him an attractive commodity among NFL scouts.
One of the main problems, though, is it's become impossible to project where he'll get picked, so it's even more difficult for teams with interest to decide how high they're willing to go on their draft board to grab him.
The Patriots are in a similar boat. Some scouts project Tebow as a tight end given his natural athleticism and intangibles, but it's impossible to predict whether he'll be able to run routes properly at the NFL level or have good enough hands to survive vicious hits over the middle.
Likewise, if the Patriots are so desperate for help at tight end (which they probably aren't since they just signed Alge Crumpler) why wouldn't they just draft one who actually played the position in college?
The debate will rage on until draft day, but it's clear some of the current Patriots wouldn't mind seeing a player of Tebow's caliber come to New England.
"He's a winner. That's all I got to say," said veteran running back Kevin Faulk, who owns three Super Bowl rings himself. "Who doesn't want a winner on their team?"
Who's The Most Valuable?
The NFL is running a special promotion in which fans are allowed to select the 75 most valuable draft picks of all time.
To no one's surprise, Tom Brady (a sixth-round pick in 2000) is one of the top 20 vote-getters. Another Patriot on that list is Randy Moss, a first-round pick in 1998. Strangely, Brady is one of only four players among the top 20 who were not first-round draft picks.
--In a bit of light-hearted news, RB Kevin Faulk and his wife, Latisha, recently renewed their wedding vows in Faulk's hometown of Carencro, La.
"We've been married for 10 years, but we've been together for 20," Faulk said.
Several of Faulk's teammates and coaches attended the ceremony, which coincided with Faulk's recent contract situation with the Patriots.
Asked how he felt to get it all out of the way at once, Faulk said, "Whew! What a relief."