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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Alabama RB Mark Ingram

02.02.11 at 12:07 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2011 NFL draft.

Mark Ingram

Position: Running Back

School: Alabama

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 215

Achievements: All-SEC second team (2010), Heisman Trophy winner (2009), AP All-America, SEC Offensive Player of the Year, set school record for rushing yards in a season (1,658) and all-purpose yards (1,992), All-SEC Freshman Team (2008).

What he brings: A powerful, low-built runner, Ingram led Alabama to the national championship as a sophomore in 2009 and won the Heisman Trophy in the process, becoming the first player in school history to win the award. Ingram missed the Tide’s season-opener in 2010 after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and saw his rushing yards cut in half while splitting time with Trent Richardson, but he still averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Ingram is also a good receiver out of the backfield with 60 receptions for 670 yards in his three-year college career.

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Roger Goodell: Bill Belichick ‘deceived’ me with no public apology over Spygate

02.02.11 at 11:23 am ET
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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reveals in this week’€™s edition of ‘€œSports Illustrated’€ that he wanted Patriots coach Bill Belichick to make a verbal apology in front of the press in the wake of the 2007 video scandal, and when Belichick didn’€™t, he felt ‘€œdeceived.’€

Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and deducted a first-round draft pick for secretly videotaping an opposing team’€™s coaching signals. Owner Robert Kraft thought the penalty was too severe, but Goodell told Kraft that, as part of the disciplinary action, Belichick also must make a verbal apology in front of the press. Instead the coach issued a printed statement and refused to answer any questions on the topic.

‘€œI was given assurances that [Belichick] would tell his side of the story,’€ Goodell says. ‘€œHe went out and stonewalled the press. I feel like I was deceived.’€

‘€œI did not make any assurances about thoroughly discussing the subject publicly,’€ Belichick responded in the story. ‘€œI said I would address it following the league’€™s review. I then did that in a way I thought was appropriate. I don’€™t think that was deceptive.’€

The statement Belichick issued in the wake of the fine read as follows: ‘€œAlthough it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players. Following the league’s decision, I will have further comment.’€

Read More: Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, Rodger Goodell,

Complete transcript of Q&A Tom Brady did with NFL Network on Tuesday

02.01.11 at 9:54 pm ET
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Here’€™s the compete transcript of Tom Brady‘€™s Q&A with the NFL Network from Tuesday night, when he accepted the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award:

On what the award means to him: ‘€œI appreciate it, Fran. Obviously, we had a great regular season as a team. We just didn’€™t really take advantage of our opportunity in the month of January. The two teams that are there playing this week certainly have earned it, and they should be very proud. It’€™s going to be a great game.’€

On his injured foot: ‘€œI had surgery about a week ago … actually, about 10 days ago. It’€™s just something that’€™s been lingering a little bit. Over the course of the season, a lot of players throughout the league, a lot of players on our team deal with these type of injuries. I think … part of having a little bit of mental toughness is putting those things aside and still going out and trying to perform your best, you know, each week. I have a great training staff and my friend Alex [Guerrero] that works with me weekly. So I’€™m in great hands and they were able to get me out on the field feeling good and I was able to go out there and help our team win the AFC East, which we’€™re all very proud of.’€

On the difference for him over the second half of the season that allowed the Patriots’€™ offense to take off:
‘€œWell, it’€™s definitely a collective effort by the group of skill players that we have and the offensive line. I think there was … when you trade away a talent like [Randy Moss], a guy who’€™s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, other guys have to step in and do their job and fill the void left by a great player. BenJarvus (Green-Ellis) rushed for 1,000 yards, Danny Woodhead made up for the loss of Kevin Faulk, who was one of the best players we ever had on the team. But Danny stepped in. The group of receivers, with Deion (Branch) and Wes (Welker) and Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate, they did an incredible job of really committing themselves to the passing game ‘€” we were going to do what we needed to do. And the tight end position with two young tight ends ‘€” Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and then with Alge [Crumpler] ‘€” we had a great group of skill players. It was a lot of fun each week, trying to find different ways to utilize all those guys so that we can go into the game feeling really good, feeling really prepared with the game plan and understand if we just executed well, we were going to score some points.’€
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Read More: Aaron Hernandez, aaron rodgers, Alge Crumpler, Ben Roethlisberger

Tom Brady acknowledges he underwent surgery on right foot

02.01.11 at 8:45 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged he had surgery on his right foot ‘€œabout 10 days ago,’€ and said the injury was ‘€œsomething that’€™s been lingering a little bit.’€

In a Q&A with the NFL Network on Tuesday night after he was presented with the Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year Award, Brady, talked about the injury and how he managed to play through the problem.

‘€œOver the course of the season, a lot of players throughout the league, a lot of players on our team deal with these type of injuries,’€ he said. ‘€œPart of having a little bit of mental toughness is putting those things aside and still going out and trying to perform your best each week.

‘€œI have a great training staff and my friend Alex [Guerrero] that works with me weekly. I’€™m in great hands and they were able to get me out on the field feeling good and I was able to go out there and help our team win the AFC East, which we’€™re all very proud of.’€

According to reports, before his taped interview, Brady entered the room on crutches.

It is the fifth surgery for the 33-year-old Brady, who acknowledged at the start of the 2010 season that he went under the knife for work on his shoulder, groin and knee, as well as one other one he did not disclose. He also finished up the 2009 season with a variety of injuries, including a rib injury and a broken right ring finger.

He is expected to be ready for training camp.

Read More: Alex Guerrero, Tom Brady,

Tom Brady wins AP Offensive Player of the Year Award

02.01.11 at 8:30 pm ET
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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been named the 2010 AP Offensive Player of the Year. Brady passed for 3,900 yards and a league-best 36 touchdowns with only four interceptions. In addition, he set a new league record with 335 pass attempts without an interception while guiding New England to a 14-2 regular-season record.

‘€œMy only disappointment is that we couldn’€™t take advantage of our opportunity in the playoffs, but hopefully we learn from that and use it as motivation toward accomplishing our goals for next season,’€ Brady told the Associated Press.

Brady received 21 votes for the Offensive Player of the Year award, while Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick finished second with 11 votes and Houston running back Arian Foster was third with seven votes. In addition, San Diego quarterback Phillip Rivers received five votes, while Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson each received two votes.

Read More: aaron rodgers, Arian Foster, DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick

NFL Mock Draft, Take 2: Ryan Kerrigan to Patriots at No. 17?

02.01.11 at 6:31 pm ET
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Since last week’s first installment of WEEI.com’s mock draft, we saw players both boost their stock and see it evaporate in the Senior Bowl. The pass-rushers looked good in Mobile, while Jake Locker once again failed to prove that he is anything better than a second-round prospect. Here’s the latest mock:

1. Carolina (2-14) Da’€™Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson Having the top pick is generally a good thing on draft day, but the Panthers aren’€™t in a position to get help where they need it, and that is at quarterback. Opting for the best player available in Bowers or trading down seem to be their only options.

2. Denver (4-12) Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn The addition of Fairley, coupled with the return of a healthy Elvis Dumervil would likely go a very long way in improving the numbers of a Broncos defense that finished tied with the Bengals with a league-worst 18 sacks. This also appears to be a pick that could be shopped.

3. Buffalo (4-12) A.J. Green, WR, Georgia Here’€™s a case in which the team’€™s offseason leading up to the draft will play a huge role. Lee Evans, chosen with the 13th overall pick back in 2004, had the worst season of his seven-year career in 2010. He played in 13 games (the first time in his career that he didn’€™t play all 16) and had career-lows in receptions and yards. Those two facts are directly related, but with a $1 million bonus due to him this offseason, it isn’€™t crazy to think he could be done in Buffalo. In that case, Green, who had nine catches last season despite being suspended for the first four games, could be the pick.

4. Cincinnati (4-12) Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU Here’€™s something you don’€™t see every day. Cornerbacks going in the top five isn’€™t a very common occurrence, as the last two to be drafted in the first five picks were Terence Newman in 2003 and Quentin Jammer in 2002. Neither of those guys had the size/speed combination that Peterson has, and if the Tiger becomes a Bengal, he’€™ll be the first cornerback to go fourth overall since 1998 (Charles Woodson).

5. Arizona (5-11) Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M Miller had a great week in Mobile, but it’€™s hard to really say he greatly improved his stock at the Senior Bowl. Should the fact that he made Colin Kaepernick’€™s day difficult surprise people? Miller’€™s got the speed to chase anybody down, and teams will gladly overlook his size for the sake of landing this draft’€™s premier pass-rusher.

6. Cleveland (5-11) Cameron Jordan, DE, California As has been proven over the years throughout the league, strengthening the lines strengthens the team. Jordan killed it in Mobile and may have leap-frogged Alabama’€™s Marcell Dareus as the best five-technique prospect in this draft. Luckily for those other 3-4 teams, including the Patriots, there are definitely more five-technique options early on than in last year’s class.

7. San Francisco (6-10) Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska Peterson was in this spot last week, and though his selection at No. 7 would represent tremendous value, landing Amukamara here wouldn’€™t be the end of the world for the 49ers. Amukamara would provide San Francisco with a long-term No. 1 corner to eventually replace Nate Clements, as well as an immediate upgrade over Shawntae Spencer. Read the rest of this entry »

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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Oregon WR Jeff Maehl

02.01.11 at 3:58 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2011 NFL draft.

Jeff Maehl

Position: Wide Receiver

School: Oregon

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 181 pounds

Achievements: Honorable Mention All-America (2010), 1st Team All-Pac-10 (2010), Cargill Award for Team Impact Player (2010, 2009), All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention (2009)

What he brings: Maehl shows great leadership ability as he led the Ducks in receptions and receiving touchdowns the past two seasons.  He is also deceptively athletic and has a tremendous work ethic. There are some questions of his speed, which will have scouts watching closely at the combine.

Where the Patriots could get him: 5th to 7th round

Notes: Recruited as a defensive back, Maehl converted to wide receiver late in his freshman season. He ended his career at Oregon with 24 receiving touchdowns, tied for the most in school history. His small size brings up durability concerns and with a lack of outright speed there are some some doubts whether his game will translate to the NFL.  However, this could make him the ideal sleeper pick for the Pats very late in the draft.  As a 7th round choice he is low risk, with a lot of potential due to his football intelligence and great hands.

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Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Jeff Maehl, Oregon, Potential Patriots
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