|05.05.11 at 12:26 pm ET|
Great story here on new Patriots defensive back Malcolm Williams, who was taken by New England in the seventh round last weekend out of TCU. Williams, who confessed to the media on the conference call shortly after the selection was made that he “wasn’t expecting to get drafted,” told the TCU Daily Skiff he’s “living in a dream right now,” and still can’t quite comprehend that New England called his name.
Williams’ journey to Foxboro is perhaps the unlikeliest draft story of the year for the Patriots. Out of high school, he worked at the DFW Airport for six months before landing at Trinity Valley Community College prior to transferring to Texas Christian. While at TCU, he spent most of his career sitting behind cornerback Jason Teague (who was second-team All-Mountain West selection), and as a result, was pretty much limited to special teams play over the course of his career with the Horned Frogs.
For obvious reasons, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Williams wasn’t invited to the combine, and realized that if he was going to catch the eye of an NFL team, he was going to have to knock it out of the park at TCU’s Pro Day. That’s what he did, pressing 16 reps of 225 pounds and jumping a 42-inch vertical. The kicker? A 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. That put him on the radar with NFL scouts, and the Patriots made the move at No. 219 overall last Sunday.
Even though Williams is taken aback at what has happened, TCU coach Gary Patterson isn’t shocked.
“He’s an unbelievable athlete,” Patterson said. “He just had to play behind a great corner in Jason Teague. He, more than anybody, epitomizes what we said this place is all about.”
|05.04.11 at 4:57 pm ET|
Big couple of weeks for Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. First, he starts tweeting ‘ and has fast become one of the most frequent tweeters on the team from his account here. Then, he gets some time with the gang at ESPN’s “First Take.” Check out the video from his Wednesday morning appearance here:
|05.04.11 at 4:26 pm ET|
Bodog has released it’s odds for the 2011 NFL season, and for what it’s worth, the Patriots and Green Bay are tied for the top spot when it comes to Super Bowl chances ‘ both are getting 7/1 odds. Other teams of note and their Super Bowl chances include Pittsburgh at 11/1, San Diego at 12/1, Baltimore at 14/1, the New York Jets at 14/1 and Indianapolis at 16/1.
Bodog also has some other interesting odds, including the 2011 NFL AP Offensive Rookie of the Year ‘ Cam Newton is the favorite at 5/1. They also have 2011 NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year going to Patrick Peterson with 6/1 odds. (No Patriots rookie is getting odds in either race.) In addition, they have odds on who will be the starting quarterback at the beginning of the regular season for Carolina (Newton is at 2/5), Cincinnati (Andy Dalton is favored with 3/2 odds) and Minnesota (Christian Ponder at 2/1 barely beats out Donovan McNabb at 4/1).
|05.03.11 at 7:33 pm ET|
Jets coach Rex Ryan made an appearance on “Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night to help promote his new book. While chatting with Letterman, he talked a little bit about Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Check out the video below:
|05.03.11 at 5:31 pm ET|
Herzlich, the 2008 ACC defensive player of the year, overcame Ewing’s Sarcoma in his left leg ‘ he had a titanium rod placed in the leg ‘ and returned to play for BC in 2010. However, by his own admission, he wasn’t the same player he was before he was forced to sit out a year, which likely caused the draft weekend slide.
It’s not known what route Herzlich will take at this time ‘ he could still sign with an NFL team as an undrafted free agent once the lockout is lifted. (As of now, no team is allowed to sign UDFA’s because of the labor situation.) However, there is no guarantee labor peace will return to the NFL anytime soon, which could leave the UFL as an option for the foreseeable future.
As for Herzlich, he made no attempt to conceal his feelings once the NFL draft had concluded. On Sunday, Herzlich tweeted: ‘Thanking everyone for their support tough times call for perseverance and a tough mind. Today sucked for me but everyone needs to pray for all the people in Alabama. They need us more than ever right now. ‘¦ I have been told that I can’t play football before. We all know what happened with that.’
|05.03.11 at 5:16 pm ET|
Football fans, circle June 3 on your calendar.
In the labor battle between NFL owners and players, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the NFL’s request for an expedited hearing on Tuesday, and that appeal will now be heard starting June 3 in St. Louis, with a ruling expected to come within a few weeks after that. That same court will still rule ‘ likely sometime late this week ‘ whether the lockout will remain in place until that date.
The lockout, which has been on and off for just over seven weeks now, is the first work stoppage in the NFL since 1987.
|05.03.11 at 6:16 am ET|
According to a source familiar with the situation, the surgically-repaired right foot of quarterback Tom Brady is expected to be fully healed for the coming NFL season.
Brady underwent surgery on his right foot on Jan. 20 to relieve a stress fracture, and a source close to the situation says that a recent exam showed that the non-displaced fracture of his navicular bone is bridging, an indication that the necessary healing is occurring to permit a complete and healthy return to the field.
The first inclination Brady had a foot problem this past season came when his name first popped up on the injury report with a right foot injury on Nov. 10, the Wednesday before the Patriots faced the Steelers in Pittsburgh. From that point on, he missed several Wednesday practices over the course of the season, but he did not miss a single game over the course of the 16-game season.
Despite the foot problem, Brady had one of the finest seasons of his career, finishing with 3,900 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and only four interceptions, and won his second NFL MVP award. In February, Brady acknowledged he underwent surgery, telling the NFL Network that it was ‘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,’ he said at the time. ‘Part 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.
‘I 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.’
As for Brady’s long-term health, Brady has been spotted several times over the last couple of months without the walking boot he had in the days immediately following surgery, and noted sports injury expert Will Carroll believes it will not be a problem going forward, comparing to the recent injury suffered by Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.
‘Absent a re-break, I don’t see any issues,’ said Carroll when he was informed of the recent news. ‘If you want to compare it to what Julio Jones has, it’s very similar and no one had any questions about him.’
It was the fifth surgery for the 33-year-old Brady, who acknowledged at the start of the 2010 season that he had previously gone 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 last season with a variety of injuries, including a rib injury and a broken right ring finger.