|Catching Jim Brown||05.20.09 at 2:27 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH – As someone who began his head coaching career in Cleveland, Bill Belichick has always had a keen appreciation for Jim Brown.
Now he’s got a running back who’s trying to catch him.
Fred Taylor, a veteran of 11 NFL seasons, took part in an organized team activity — otherwise known as an OTA — on Wednesday outside Gillette Stadium.
The running back showed up because he want to show Belichick and the team that he is dead serious about learning the playbook inside and out and earning a spot on the roster.
“I’ve always said I wanted to catch Jim Brown, whether I do or don’t. It’s been great playing the NFL this long,” Taylor said. “You look at the average (career) lifespan of a player, the things I’ve gone through in my career, the injuries, this and that. Whatever I end with, I’ll take it.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Wednesday OTA report: Bright sunny skies and plenty of Kevin O’Connell||05.20.09 at 1:45 pm ET|
The Wednesday on-field organized training activity just finished up here at Gillette Stadium. Here are a few notes — we’ll have some choice quotes along for you from linebackers Tully Banta-Cain and Shawn Crable, as well as defensive back Tank Williams and quarterback Kevin O’Connell in a few. (And our man Trags will have more on new running back Fred Taylor — look for that later this afternoon as well.)
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|New Orleans awarded 2013 Super Bowl||05.19.09 at 6:35 pm ET|
NFL owners voted Tuesday to play the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, the first time the championship will be played there since Hurricane Katrina shredded parts of the Louisiana Superdome.
New Orleans beat out Miami, which sought a record 11th Super Bowl, and 2008 host Glendale, Ariz. This is the 10th time New Orleans will be the Super Bowl site.
“We’re just thrilled about what’s going on,” Saints owner Tom Benson told The Associated Press. “We’re getting a new Superdome. Now we’re going to get a Super Bowl on top that. It couldn’t be any more exciting than that.”
It’s good news for Patriots’ fans — New England has played in three of the last four Super Bowls in New Orleans. The last Super Bowl played in New Orleans was Super Bowl XXXVI, back on Feb. 3, 2002. The Patriots upset the Rams, 20-17.
The 2010 Super Bowl will be played in South Florida, while the 2011 Super Bowl is set for a new stadium in North Texas. The 2012 Super Bowl will be in Indianapolis.
|Patriots Open OTA’s||05.19.09 at 5:41 pm ET|
According to reports, about 50 Patriots were in attendance on Tuesday in Foxborough for the second of 12 organized team activities, or OTA’s. Among those working out with the team were newcomers Fred Taylor, Chris Baker and Alex Smith. In addition, some players who were dogged by injury last season — like defensive back Tank Williams and linebacker Shawn Crable — took part in Tuesday’s action.
Vice President of Media Relations Stacey James indicated Tuesday afternoon the OTA’s are geared toward orienting the newcomers and rookies to the system in an attempt to get them fully up to speed prior to training camp. (The media will get its first access to the OTA’s Wednesday morning — we’ll have full updates for you tomorrow.)
|Patriots looking to deal for Oakland’s Burgess||05.18.09 at 8:05 pm ET|
WEEI.com has confirmed a report the Patriots are interested in acquiring Oakland’s Derrick Burgess. The deal would send Burgess to New England in exchange for a second- or third-round pick in 2010.
The Patriots’ possible interest in Burgess was first reported by ESPN.
The move would appear to fill New England’s need for a pass rusher that became necessary when outside linebacker Mike Vrabel was traded to Kansas City in February. The 30-year-old Burgess has 38½ sacks over the last four seasons in Oakland, including a franchise-record 16 in 2005. The two-time Pro Bowler is entering the final year of his contract, and is reportedly seeking a new deal — he has stayed away from voluntary workouts lately to show his displeasure. (According to NFLPA records, he’s due to earn a base salary of $2 million in 2009.)
It’s believed that Burgess, who is listed as a 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end, could move to outside linebacker in New England’s 3-4 defense. He has been hobbled by injury the last couple of years, but could still bring an instant jolt to the Patriots’ pass rush.
“It would be a great move for the Pats,” said a league source. “Burgess can rush very well, and the Pats need a rusher.”
Burgess’ agent Jimmy Sexton did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
A Mississippi product, Burgess was taken in the third round of the 2001 draft out by Philadelphia, and appeared in all 16 games as a rookie and had six sacks. In 2002, however, he broke his foot in the first game of the season and missed the rest of the year. He also missed all of 2003 due to a torn Achilles.
The South Carolina native came into his own in 2004, when he played in 12 games with the Eagles and had three sacks, including one in a Super Bowl XXXIX loss to New England. He then signed with the Raiders, and proceeded to have two of the finest seasons in Oakland history for a pass rusher, notching 16 sacks in 2005 and 11 sacks in 2006 and reaching the Pro Bowl both years.
The Patriots haven’t been able to land a pass rusher in free agency to replace Vrabel, and weren’t enamored with any of the possibilities in the draft. Earlier this month, New England’s director of player personnel Nick Caserio was extremely complimentary of the current crop of Patriots’ outside linebackers, but hinted New England could still make some moves between now and the start of the season.
“We don’t play a game until September,” Caserio said when asked specifically about the outside linebacker spot. “This isn’t the last opportunity for us — the draft — to find a player we believe could help us. There are other opportunities to build your football team.
“A lot can happen between now and [the start of the season].”
|Patriots’ OTA schedule||05.18.09 at 12:24 pm ET|
The Patriots open their offseason training activities today at Gillette Stadium. Here’s a look at the dates for the OTA’s over the next three weeks:
In addition, the Patriots Charitable Foundation Annual Golf Tournament is scheduled for June 8, and the team’s full squad minicamp is June 10-12.
|New TE Alex Smith meets the media||05.14.09 at 12:00 pm ET|
Just finished up a Q&A between new Patriots tight end Alex Smith and a handful of reporters down here at Gillette Stadium. The former Buc touched on a bunch of topics, including the chance to play alongside Tom Brady, his relationship with former Patriots tight end Daniel Graham and what it means to wear No. 80 in New England.
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2013 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS
2013 NFL DRAFT
- Dwight Freeney Signs With Chargers; Pats Showed 'Last Minute Interest'
- USA Today: Gronkowski Dealing With Back Issue, Could Face (Another)...
- Patriots Sign Second-Round Pick Jamie Collins
- New England Patriots Links 5/17/13 - Hightower Understands Work Ethic...
- Rapoport: Gronkowski Forearm Surgery 'Imminent'; Likely To Be Monday
- Kyle Love Claimed By Jaguars; Joins Brandon Deaderick
- On Kyle Love