|03.23.10 at 3:25 pm ET|
NFL owners voted 28-4 on Tuesday afternoon to change the league’s rules regarding overtime. Under the new proposal, the team that loses the coin toss at the start of OT would still get a possession — unless a touchdown is scored on the first possession of overtime. The sudden-death format would resume thereafter. For 2010, this rule change will only apply to playoff games. However, the league may amend the rules again during its next series of scheduled meetings in May.
According to several reports, the four teams who voted against the plan were the Bills, Vikings, Ravens and Bengals.
The Patriots were one of the teams that voted in favor of the plan, even though coach Bill Belichick has publicly voiced his displeasure with the proposed new format — as well as the current one. In an interview with ESPN.com earlier this week. Belichick said he likes “the rules of the game as they are in regulation,” which would extend to a timed overtime period, something he advocated in a 2007 interview in The Boston Globe. “I think that’s the way it should be in overtime, but that’s not the way it is,” Belichick said of the timed format. “So whatever it is, it is.”
|03.23.10 at 12:23 pm ET|
Quarterback Tom Brady has reported for offseason workouts at Gillette Stadium, the Patriots confirmed Tuesday.
While his absence through the early stages of the offseason workouts raised some eyebrows, Brady’s appearance Tuesday morning wasn’t a surprise. Owner Robert Kraft told the media at the NFL meetings on Monday that he “wouldn’t be surprised if before these meetings are over [Wednesday], he wasn’t at the offseason workouts.”
Brady had been spotted working out in Southern California last week, but his teammates didn’t seem too worried he wasn’t at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s the offseason right now — everyone has different schedules,” wide receiver David Patten said earlier this month when asked about Patten’s absence. “I’m quite sure when he’s in, he’ll get his receivers together, because what I remember from that time, he was big on putting the time in during the offseason, so I’m quite sure when he gets in, he’ll get us all on the same page and we’ll all be together.”
NESN.com’s Jeff Howe first reported Brady’s arrival on Tuesday.
|03.23.10 at 9:41 am ET|
Patriots coach Bill Belichick met the media this morning at the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL’s annual meeting in Orlando, and had plenty of good things to say about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
“Great career, great player,” Belichick told reporters. “I think it’s obvious that within the last six weeks, that he’s worked on his mechanics and they’ve improved, which is a credit to him. He’s very coachable and he works very hard. I’m sure that whatever he feels he needs to do, he’ll work very hard at, whatever that is.”
There’s been plenty of talk about Tebow possibly switching to another position in the pros. Belichick believes Tebow’s willingness will serve him well at the next level.
“My sense of Tim Tebow is that if you asked him to play nose, he’d play nose. I think he’s that kind of kid. Whatever you ask him to do, I think he’d do,” Belichick told reporters.
“I don’t know what a team would do with him, but he’s a really interesting player. He’s had a great career. It speaks for itself. Second-leading passer in SEC history. Tremendous production. They hardly ever lose. There’s a lot to like.”
For what it’s worth, Tebow also holds Belichick in high regard. At the combine last month, the Heisman Trophy winner was asked for his thoughts on the Patriots’ coach.
“I feel like I have a good relationship with Coach Belichick,” Tebow said. “He was a very close friend of coach Meyer’s so I feel like I knew him in college. He came and spoke to us quite a few times. I got to know him throw that and I respect him as a coach and as a person. He just does a great job.”
The Patriots are reportedly one of five teams who have a private workout scheduled with Tebow. The Florida quarterback also reportedly has private workouts scheduled with Buffalo, Seattle, Cleveland and Washington.
|03.23.10 at 12:46 am ET|
WEEI.com isn’t batting an eye when it comes to the 2010 NFL Draft. From interviews with experts to original mock drafts to weekly looks at potential Patriots, this is the place to be leading up to draft weekend, April 22-24.
Another week this time of year means another batch of mock drafts, fresh from the fingertips of draft enthusiasts across the Web. The Patriots have been projected the same handful of players to this point, but this week we find some new names mixed in with the usual suspects.
With the 22nd pick, NEPatriotsDraft likes Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick for the Patriots. The website explains that Odrick “still gets after the QB while staying stout against the run.”
Chad Reuter of CBS Sports has the Patriots adding to their skeletal tight end arsenal by going after Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham. Reuter uses the first-round selections of Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson as rationale.
|03.22.10 at 9:02 pm ET|
The Patriots picked up four compensatory picks Monday afternoon at the NFL Meetings — one sixth-round selection (No. 205) and three seventh-round selections (Nos. 247, 248 and 250). These are not glamorous selections by any means, but at the same time, it’s important to remember that these picks represent great value on a number of levels.
First, the Patriots have found good value in this neighborhood. Last year, Julian Edelman was taken at No. 232. In 2005, Matt Cassel was selected No. 230. Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain was taken 239th overall in 2003. Wide receiver David Givens was selected No. 253 in 2002. And a certain quarterback out of Michigan was taken — with a compensatory pick — at No. 199 in 2000.
Second, the Patriots now have 12 draft picks in next month’s draft, including two in the sixth round and an astounding five selections in the seventh round. While the compensatory picks cannot be included as part of a trade, they can give a team more flexibility when it comes to making some moves on draft day.
Here’s a look at the Patriots’ current picks, keeping in mind they traded the 3rd and 5th round picks to Oakland for Derrick Burgess:
1st round (22nd overall)
2nd round (acquired from the Jaguars, 44th overall)
2nd round (acquired from the Titans, 47th overall)
2nd round (53rd overall)
6th round (compensatory)
7th round (acquired from the Eagles)
7th round (compensatory)
7th round (compensatory)
7th round (compensatory)
In all, 32 compensatory picks were given out Monday, with 19 teams getting at least one. Carolina, Pittsburgh and Tennessee each get three, while Atlanta, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Philadelphia received two.
|03.22.10 at 8:00 pm ET|
When it comes to questions about the labor situation and the National Football League, we always caution people to take whatever comes out of NFLLabor.com with a grain of salt because it’s a league-run site that will often only give you the party line. That being said, they had a sizable portion of the Q&A that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had today at the meetings in Orlando. The portion of the transcript posted to the site deals with the labor-related questions Goodell faced today, and it serves as a status report as to where negotiations are right now between the league and the players.
Goodell said “there haven’t been any discussions for several weeks” between the two sides, but says that’s due in large part to logistics. When asked about the possibility of playing football in 2011, Goodell answered, “The best thing I can say is we are still at a very early stage. Let’s allow the collective bargaining process to continue.
“We are in the first quarter here. We are in an uncapped system now and we’ll continue to negotiate. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to figure out the right way to structure something so it works for everybody and we can reach a fair agreement for the players and the game.”
As for Patriots-specific things, Goodell said Patriots owner Robert Kraft “has been at some of those negotiating sessions.”
|03.22.10 at 5:15 pm ET|
The Patriots were granted a league-high four compensatory draft picks Monday afternoon at the NFL Meetings.
Based on their free agent losses from last offseason, New England received three extra seventh-round picks and one extra sixth-round selection. The Patriots now have 12 draft picks in next month’s draft, including two in the sixth round and an astounding five selections in the seventh round. While the compensatory picks cannot be included as part of a trade, they can give a team more flexibility when it comes to pulling off a draft day trade.
The league uses an abstract formula to determine compensatory picks, one that includes total free agents gained and lost the previous offseason, as well as how those players performed with their new teams. A team can receive a maximum of four picks, and they could fall anywhere between the end of the third round and the end of the seventh round.
The Patriots suffered five departures in free agency last offseason — wide receiver Jabar Gaffney (who likely drew the sixth-round pick), long snapper Lonie Paxton, fullback Heath Evans, running back LaMont Jordan and linebacker/special teamer Larry Izzo.
Trailing New England were Carolina, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, which were each awarded three additional picks.
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