|03.17.10 at 11:38 am ET|
FOXBORO — The seeds for David Patten’s return to the Patriots were planted last November.
The veteran receiver had been released before the start of the 2009 season by Cleveland, was having a tough time watching any NFL games last fall because he was torn — after 13 seasons in the league, he was thinking about leaving the game.
“I really couldn’t watch the games because I was tossing between whether I still wanted to play or whether it was time to go on and settle into family life. I’m not getting any younger,” said Patten, who, by his own admission, only watched two or three games last year.
But on November 30, he flipped on the television to watch the Patriots and Saints in a memorable “Monday Night” matchup. Patten, who played for New Orleans shortly after departing New England following the 2004 season, was Patten was happy to see his former New Orleans mates do well, he couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness for his friend Tom Brady, who struggled against the Saints in a 38-17 defeat.
“As I was pulling for the Saints, I was looking at the Patriots and I was like, ‘It looks like they could use a little more help,’” Patten recalled Wednesday after a workout at Gillette Stadium.
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|03.16.10 at 10:31 pm 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.
The fifth edition of WEEI.com’s weekly mock draft sees massive changes from previous installments, including a top-five shakeup that sees new selections for the four picks following the Rams. Could the Lions take an offensive player? Could the Buccaneers pass on Ndamukong Suh? Could the draft’s top pass-rusher go in the second half of the first round? All of these scenarios are visited in our latest mock.
1. St. Louis (1-15) Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma Quarterback may not be the most logical choice, but franchise quarterback is, and that’s exactly what Bradford appears to be. Any return to the playoffs appears to be years away anyway, so the Rams would be wise to start over the right way.
2. Detroit (2-14) Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State This is a pick that I have written for previous installments and changed at the last second, but Matthew Stafford clearly has what it takes to be a solid starter in this league. Interceptions aside, he showed plenty of promise, albeit sporadically as a rookie. It is his offense, and the Lions need to do what they can to keep him and his knee protected. Detroit could have done what Atlanta did in ’08 by taking a franchise quarterback and offensive tackle in the first round, but instead opted for tight end Brandon Pettigrew, a teammate of Okung, in last year’s draft. Pettigrew still has time to prove his health and become a good target for Stafford, but there is no better gift a team can give its quarterback than an elite tackle.
3. Tampa Bay (3-13) Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma People have been saying since the beginning of the pre-draft process that the Bucs could wind up with either McCoy or Suh falling to them at No. 3, so imagine their elation if both were to be available. McCoy isn’t as strong but plays a more disruptive style than Suh and might be able to improve a defensive line quicker.
4. Washington (4-12) Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska It is not impossible that the player considered by many to be the top prospect in the draft could fall to the fourth pick. If he does, it would be a dream scenario for the Redskins, who released Cornelius Griffen this offseason. Playing Suh alongside Albert Haynesworth might motivate their big investment from last year.
|03.16.10 at 9:27 pm ET|
WEEI.com has confirmed via league sources that the Patriots held workouts Tuesday with a pair of BYU players, fullback Manase Tonga and tight end Dennis Pitta. A 6-foot, 238-pounder, Tonga gained 166 yards on 40 rush attempts (3.7 yards per carry), as well as 271 yards receiving on 30 receptions as a senior. Pitta, a consensus All-American tight end, is 6-foot-5 and 247 pounds, and was a finalist for the prestigious John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s premier tight end. As a senior, he caught 62 passes for a team-leading 829 yards on the season, including eight touchdown passes. The news was originally reported by the National Football Post.
|03.16.10 at 1:08 pm ET|
The Patriots All-Decade Team, which was unveiled on Tuesday, features plenty of old favorites and some surprising choices.
The team, which was put together by the 22-person Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee (made up of reporters, alumni and staff) has 11 offensive, 11 defensive, four special teams players and one head coach. Four of the 27 members were also members of the 1990s All-Decade Team — Willie McGinest was named to the 1990s All-Decade Team as a defensive end and to the 2000s All-Decade Team as an outside linebacker. He joins cornerback Ty Law, safety Lawyer Milloy and kicker Adam Vinatieri as the four players with the distinction of being on both teams.
Here’s a look at the rest of the team:
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|03.16.10 at 12:59 pm ET|
WEEI.com confirmed Tuesday that the Patriots worked out Northwestern cornerback Sherrick McManis Tuesday morning. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound McManis had 37 tackles for a Northwestern team that finished 8-5 last season. The news was first reported by the National Football Post.
|03.16.10 at 12:10 pm ET|
Clemson defensive end/outside linebacker Ricky Sapp has an early-afternoon private workout with the Patriots on Tuesday, he confirmed to WEEI.com. Sapp is considered to be among the elite pass-rushers in a very deep draft, and unlike many of the 4-3 ends who would convert to outside linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-4, Sapp saw a great deal of playing time standing up in his final season at Clemson. The 6-foot-3 7/8, 252 pound Sapp is projected to be a first round pick in April.
WEEI.com has followed Sapp, who seems to be a logical target for the Patriots at pick No. 22, rather closely during the pre-draft process. For more on Sapp from last month’s NFL combine, click here. For a general look at Sapp and what he brings to the table, click here.
|03.16.10 at 10:34 am ET|
Wide receiver Mardy Gilyard said he is scheduled to hold a workout with the Patriots on Tuesday. The 6-foot, 187-pound receiver out of Cincinnati, who told the National Football Post about the scheduled workout early Tuesday, caught 87 passes for 1,191 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Bearcats last season. In addition to Gilyard, the Patriots are scheduled to check out former Cincinnati QB Tony Pike later this afternoon.
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