|03.25.10 at 12:09 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Just wrapped up a 10-minute Q&A session with Patriots center Dan Koppen down here at Gillette Stadium, and one of the big topics was leadership. Koppen echoed the words of cornerback Leigh Bodden, who said recently that there was good leadership on the team, but it could always be better.
And like Bodden, Koppen openly speculated that this might be his time to step forward and become more of a vocal presence in the locker room.
“I think everybody needs to do their part,” he said when asked about the state of leadership in the Patriots’ locker room. “Really, that just starts with doing your job and coming in here and working out hard every day and … people like myself who maybe haven’t been as vocal in the past, maybe I need to step up and get a little bit more vocal.
“I may not be the most vocal guy, but maybe that role will change a little bit. Hopefully, we’ll start that now.”
Koppen said that last season, it wasn’t necessarily a case of that leadership going missing.
“I just don’t think we went out there and performed the way we needed to perform. We’ve got a good locker room. We always have. And we always will,” he said. “But it was one of those things that winning takes care of a lot of things. And when you’re not playing well and you’re losing, that’s when all the stuff creeps in. So you have to stay strong and fight through all that stuff.”
Koppen also said that quarterback Tom Brady — who was absent for the early stages of the offseason program — didn’t necessarily get a lot of grief when he showed up a couple of days ago.
“Not necessarily for that. He got more grief for that Earth Day ad he did,” Koppen said with a smile. “He just had the general ‘make-fun-of-this…’ He deserved it. He understood it. It was for a good cause.”
Koppen was asked if Brady got more grief for that or the pictures of him posing with a goat that popped up a few years back.
“The goat’s still up there,” Koppen laughed. “No. 1.”
|03.25.10 at 10:32 am ET|
While the Patriots have been looking at a wide variety of veteran free agent receivers in an attempt to bolster their receiving corps, don’t expect them to go after veteran Kevin Curtis. A league source tells me that Curtis, who was cut loose by Philadelphia earlier this offseason, has already heard from a number of teams, but the Patriots aren’t one of them.
The 6-foot, 186-pound Curtis is a 31-year-old who has been in the NFL for seven seasons, and has finished with 30-plus catches in five of those seven years. His best season came in 2007 when he caught 77 passes for 1,110 yards and six touchdowns with Philadelphia. However, he has struggled the last couple of seasons because of injury, including a knee problem that limited him to 12 games the last two years.
|03.25.10 at 9:38 am ET|
Patriots president Jonathan Kraft made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning and discussed the team’s recent maneuverings. “I don’t think the offseason is over,” Kraft said. “I think we’re definitely more secure in the core unit of our team. … We had a number of people on our team who were priorities, and we’ve taken care of them, which I think leads us to believe we’re in a better place. … I think we are on our way to having a materially better team than we did at the end of last season.”
Kraft said the Patriots are in good position to make some key additions to the roster, starting with a deep draft for which the team is stocked with a dozen picks. “We always felt that this draft would be a huge draft,” he said, noting the labor uncertainty has led to more quality collegians declaring early. Additionally, Kraft added, “I think between June and the start of the season, you will probably see significantly more players getting released with veteran-type experience than you have in the past.”
Asked about contract talks with Tom Brady, Kraft echoed comments made by his father earlier this week at the NFL owners meetings. “Tom’s going to be a part of this football team, and I think if you’re a fan of the team, that’s what you want to take away from it,” Kraft said. “I think both sides want to be together, and it’s just a matter of working out the details in a way that’s good for both sides in a time frame that’s good for both sides. The bottom line is he’s going to be the quarterback of the New England Patriots.”
|03.24.10 at 8:08 pm ET|
We went over some of this earlier in the week, but we now know the exact spots where the Patriots will pick in this year’s draft:
1st round: 22nd overall
2nd round: 44th overall, acquired from the Jaguars
2nd round: 47th overall, acquired from the Titans
2nd round: 53rd overall
4th round: 119th overall
6th round: 190th overall
6th round: 205th overall (compensatory)
7th round: 229th overall
7th round: 231st overall, acquired from the Eagles
7th round: 247th overall, (compensatory)
7th round: 248th overall (compensatory)
7th round: 250th overall (compensatory)
|03.24.10 at 4:36 pm ET|
Pretty much covered it with the title, but we had a ton of e-mails on Tuesday about what the new rules changes for overtime mean. So thanks to our man Berger from the Dale and Holley show, here’s a complete PDF document — direct from the NFL offices — that details all the rules changes involving overtime that were recently passed by the owners.
|03.24.10 at 3:21 pm ET|
Peter King of Sports Illustrated, SI.com and NBC chimed in with Dale & Holley on Wednesday to discuss some of the offseason issues in the NFL. With the implementation of new overtime rules, which reportedly upset many coaches, King said Roger Goodell and the owners pulled together to pass this new rule to prove a point to the players
“It was also a good example that these owners want to show that they were a united front and going into the negotiations with the players that 28 of them didn’t agree with this deal still voted for it,” he said. “I believe there was a message that was sent yesterday by the NFL and by Roger Goodell.”
King also talked about a more open communication from the Patriots, the Ben Roethlisberger alleged sexual assault case and gave us an update on everyone’s favorite draft pick Tim Tebow.
To read the interview look below, but to listen click here.
How mad were the coaches about the new overtime rules?
Mad. I just posted a story on SI.com about an hour ago, of Sean Payton ripping not only the decision by the owners, but how it was implemented. He told me that, “I hate it. They snuck it through the back door on us. They know we didn’t want it.” He said, “I was with seven coaches at the time of the vote on the golf course and including me we were all eight no votes.” So they are upset. I sort of ended my story by saying in essence welcome to the world: owners own and coaches coach. This was a great example of that. It was also a good example that these owners want to show that they were a united front and going into the negotiations with the players that 28 of them didn’t agree with this deal still voted for it. I believe there was a message that was sent yesterday by the NFL and by Roger Goodell to the players that basically said that, “This isn’t just about this rule, this is about us showing the fact that we are behind our commissioner and we are going to remain that way in negotiations with players.”
|03.24.10 at 8:32 am ET|
The Patriots have officially signed tight end Alge Crumpler, according to multiple outlets. The 32-year-old veteran, who had agreed on a deal earlier this month, has played for both Atlanta and Tennessee. Crumpler was known as a pass-catcher earlier in his career, but has become more of a blocker the last two seasons with the Titans. With Tennessee, he had 51 catches for 479 yards, including 27 receptions for a career-low 222 yards and one touchdown in 2009. New England lost its two tight ends — Benjamin Watson and Chris Baker — earlier in the offseason, as Watson departed in free agency and Baker was released. The team has yet to officially announce the move.
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