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Wes Welker to Peyton Manning: ‘Your arm is not the same’

01.29.11 at 11:54 am ET
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Patriots receiver Wes Welker wore a video camera on his helmet during the AFC’s Pro Bowl practice in Honolulu, resulting in some entertaining footage of the four-time Pro Bowler on, including some footage of Welker working with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. At one point, the two appear to be discussing a ball on which Manning underthrew Welker, with the wide receiver joking, “I know — your arm is not the same. I understand.”

Presumably, Welker was referring to Manning’s arm strength as compared to that of Patriots QB Tom Brady.

To see the clip, click here.

Read More: Peyton Manning, pro bowl, Tom Brady, Wes Welker

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Alabama WR Julio Jones

01.29.11 at 10:06 am ET
By   |   Comments 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.


Position: Wide Receiver

School: Alabama

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 211 pounds

Achievements: Sylvester Croom Commitment to Excellence Award (2010), Ray Perkins Outstanding Receiver Award (2009), SEC Freshman of the Year (2008), First team Freshman All-American (2008), Second team All-SEC (2008), SEC Freshman of the Year (2008).

What he brings: Jones has the body and the speed, but he is by no means the complete package ‘€“ yet. After a successful and consistent college career in which he proved he could be depended on by a pro style offense, Jones must now prove that his route-running, and most importantly, hands, are where they need to be for him to be a true No. 1 receiver on an NFL squad. He had seven touchdowns last season at Alabama and 1,133 receiving yards.

Where the Patriots could get him: No. 17

Notes: The choice to leave Alabama a year early probably wasn’€™t a hard one for Jones, as he made the most of his three years of college ball. A starter since his freshman year, Jones led the Crimson Tide in receptions every year he was there. There’€™s also the Nick Saban connection, which can’€™t be overlooked.


Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Potential Patriots,

Logan Mankins doesn’t think the Patriots want to keep him

01.29.11 at 12:36 am ET
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Patriots guard Logan Mankins told the Boston Herald on Friday that he doesn’t believe the Patriots want to re-sign him. Mankins, the team’s first round pick (32nd overall) in the 2005 draft, is a free agent and feels his next deal could be with a different team.

‘€œI would never say the door is totally shut,’€™’€™ Mankins told the Herald. ‘€œBut the way it’€™s looking right now, I don’€™t see it happening. I don’€™t see them trying to keep me, unless it’€™s with the franchise tag.’€™’€™

Mankins, who sat out the first seven games of the season over his displeasure with his contractual situation, said he would be unhappy with the team if they were to franchise him.

‘€œNo, I wouldn’€™t be happy about that, if that’€™s what they chose to do, to be dealt that kind of hand,” Mankins said. ‘€œBut we’€™ll see what happens.”

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Patriots by Position: Running Back

01.29.11 at 12:02 am ET
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As the Patriots offseason gets underway, we’€™ll continue to present a snapshot of the team by position. We’€™ve already examined the defensive backs, the linebackers, the defensive line, special teams and quarterbacks. Here’€™s a look at the running backs:

On the roster: Thomas Clayton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor and Danny Woodhead. (Kevin Faulk ended the season on injured reserve.)

Stat standouts ‘€” total rushing yards: Green-Ellis, 1,008; Woodhead, 547. Yards per carry (minimum 20 carries): Woodhead, 5.6. Rushing touchdowns: Green-Ellis, 13; Woodhead, 5. Total receiving yards: Woodhead, 379 yards. Best single game: We’€™ve got two: The first is Green-Ellis against the Vikings in October, when he had 17 carries for 112 yards (6.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. Second is Woodhead against the Bills in December where he finished with 13 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown on the ground, to go along with three catches for 32 yards in the air.

2010, in three sentences: Much better than anticipated. After the September trade of Laurence Maroney and the season-ending injury to Faulk (plus multiple injuries to Taylor), not much was expected from the running back position. But the combination of Green-Ellis and Woodhead proved more than a serviceable duo, doing their part to help fuel a record-setting New England offense.

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Read More: Antowain Smith, BenJarvus Green Ellis, bll belichick, Corey Dillon

Report: Kosar meets with Belichick about job

01.28.11 at 5:09 pm ET
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According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, retired NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar has met with Patriots coach Bill Belichick about a position with the Patriots. While the report said that Kosar would “probably not” be interested in a coaching gig, he would welcome work as a consultant to a team’s football operations.

Kosar played for Belichick with the Browns in the early-1990s, when the coach infamously cut the Cleveland icon. But the two have since reconciled any differences (Kosar spoke highly of Belichick when he was named coach of the Patriots), and Belichick recently praised Kosar when Tom Brady surpassed his record for most consecutive passes without an interception.

“Bernie, like Tom, was very diligent in his preparation. He studied everything ‘€” the schemes, the players, the individual tendencies as well as the overall teams schemes and tendencies,” Belichick said in late-December. “I’€™d say both players are very well prepared and neither one make a lost of mistakes in terms of misreading something or not knowing who was going to run a certain route or who was hot or getting fooled by different defensive looks. Things like that.

“So Bernie’€™s preparation was excellent, and he was a good decision-maker ‘€” very careful about where he threw the ball in terms of not turning it over and making throws like that and making good decisions and knowing when he was pressured, not taking a sack and turning it into an interception and things like that. Trying to make plays that were impossible. I think Tom’€™s kind of the same way. He reads things. Even when plays break down for one reason or another, a receiver gets jammed or there’€™s a breakdown in protection, or sees a good coverage that matches up particularly well against a pattern you have called, that’€™s when a quarterback really has to be his most sharp and most alert and not let that become a turnover or a worse play than what’€™s already not a good play. I’€™d say Bernie and Tom throughout their careers, do a good job of that ‘€” better than a lot of quarterbacks do. It’€™s not only taking the plays that are there, it’€™s taking the plays that aren’€™t going to work out well, and keep them from being bad plays or turnovers.’€

Read More: Bernie Kosar, Bill Belichick, Cleveland Browns,

NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Tandon Doss

01.28.11 at 4:12 pm ET
By   |   Comments 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.

Tandon Doss

Position: Wide Receiver

School: Indiana

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 20o pounds

Achievements: First Team All-Big Ten (2009), First Team All-Big Ten (2010), Biletnikoff Award Watch List (2010)

What he brings: A possession receiver, Doss has terrific hands and runs routes well. Good size, but lacks the speed to be a serious deep threat. He was a productive kick returner at Indiana and could develop into a solid special teams player at the NFL level.

Where the Patriots could get him: Third or fourth round.

Notes: Doss led the Big Ten and finished fourth nationally with 175.8 all-purpose yards per game in 2010. His 5.7 catches per game ranked second in the Big Ten in 2010 and his 64.2 yards receiving per game finished eighth. Doss collected 1,016 yards on 41 kick returns for Indiana in 2010, a single-season school record and fourth all-time in conference history.

Video: Here’s a September 2010 interview with Doss.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Potential Patriots,

Peter King on D&H: Jay Cutler is not very well liked in the league

01.28.11 at 2:03 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports NFL reporter Peter King made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Friday to talk about the latest news around the league. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

The Titans’ decision to fire Jeff Fisher with one year left on his contract was a surprise to many, but King said it makes sense for owner Bud Adams if he did not plan to give Fisher an extension.

“If you look at the Tennessee Titans right now, they’re fated to have the kind of year ‘€” if there’s a normal NFL season in 2011 ‘€” that the Carolina Panthers have just gone through, if Fisher had stayed ‘€” lame duck coach, no starting quarterback, problems all over the roster as far as depth and ability go,” he said. “That’s a bad team right now. So, first of all, if you’re Bud Adams, why do you want Jeff Fisher to be a lame duck? Why can’t you start your rebuilding process right now? You look at it right now, it makes a lot of sense. But that assumes you can get a coach you really like. ‘€¦ I just think you’re better off trying to start anew when you know ‘€” or you’re almost positive ‘€” that Jeff Fisher is not returning in 2012. Why wait?”

One of the likely candidates for the Titans opening is Dom Capers, who is earning high praise for his work as Packers defensive coordinator, two seasons removed from his stint as Patriots assistant. King was asked why Capers spent a season in New England.

“I think Belichick has often times in his career, both with players and coaches, brought in people who may not necessarily be a great fit to their team,” King said. “And I talk about Randy Moss, maybe, as one of them. And Dom Capers is another. They may not fit exactly what they do. But Belichick is going to be a guy who’s going to want great players and great coaches around him.”

Asked for his Super Bowl prediction, King said: “I like Pittsburgh” by a score of 33-27. He also compared Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to Bill Belichick in the way they both command the respect of their team without raising their voice.

“He has that team ‘€” and I don’t want to say this in a nasty way ‘€” he’s got that team by the throat,” King said. “There’s no doubt out on that field who’s the boss, who runs it and who they’re all listening to. And he’s not one of these guys who screams a lot, at all. I remember watching the Patriots in that Super Bowl week with the Rams, and Bill Belichick in six hours ‘€” and I wrote this ‘€” never once raised his voice. And yet, when he was around, it was very, very clear that the man is here. The man’s in town. And it’s the same thing with Tomlin. He goes from person to person in practice, talking to everybody, laughing, just doing a few teaching moments on defense during a practice. And you can just tell that he’s got his finger on the pulse of his team, completely.”

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Read More: Bill Belichick, Dom Capers, Jay Cutler, Jeff Fisher
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