|04.17.13 at 3:46 pm ET|
Faulk will be on the scene as part of a leaguewide initiative — which started two years ago — where 32 alumni announce second- and third-round draft choices in the draft. Other players who will be taking part include Atlanta’s Deion Sanders, Tampa Bay’s Warren Sapp and Baltimore’s Jonathan Ogden.
|04.17.13 at 12:46 pm ET|
Former Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham, who helped victims of the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday, joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday for an emotional recounting of his experience. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
Chatham and another former Patriot, Joe Andruzzi, were near the finish line to support marathoners who were running to raise money and awareness for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which aids cancer patients and their families. Chatham has estimated he was about 15 feet from the second explosion, yet he escaped relatively unscathed and was able to assist those who were seriously injured — including one woman who lost a foot in the blast.
“There’s still some people that we haven’t gotten word; I know the families probably want their privacy,” Chatham said. “But my wife and I are still laying awake at night wondering about that woman that we carried out, because she was one of the many that were really badly injured.
“There’s so many people from [the Andruzzi charity team] that were there helping. Our first instinct — the blast was in front of us — we were trying to get people off the street. Most of the carnage was right there in front of you. We were trying to get people back in the building. As I mentioned, I think there were some reports that Joe and I were helping people at the finish line; his deal was up there, we were back and more involved in the second blast.
“Our situation was there were a lot of I guess more of it being entrepreneurial, just makeshift, MacGyver-type situations. One of our friends was pouring drinks on a man that was burning, just trying to figure out ways to get him out. The woman that happened to move to the back of the alley way, I had to carry her because her foot had been blown off. She ended up at my wife’s feet. Like a nice husband and wife couple, we’re bickering about if I should be helping people in the street or if we should help people who had fallen in the restaurant. My thinking at the time was that the woman had simply tripped, and we just needed to help get her up and keep people moving. Then we turned and realized that she had had pretty traumatic injuries.
“It just speaks to sort of the chaos that’s around it. All of our sort of recollections will probably continue to meld here in the next several days and weeks. I think my account initially, I assumed she was blown into our area. But from accounts from some of the people near us were telling me that she actually crawled to that spot and needed to be carried. We’re really uncertain. It’s just that — I know it’s not war, but that fog of war kind of feel.
“Again, so many heroic things that happened that day. I’m just a tiny part of it. It really doesn’t seem right.”
Added Chatham: “If there’s anything good that came of this, I just think the volunteers that are involved in this thing are incredible people. The fact that we ended up carrying people out was just because we were there. We tend to hang out with all the kind of people that would always carry people out. I don’t know anyone that would have stepped over those people and not aided them.”
Chatham said the charity team members he’s spoken with are of the same frame of mind, that they are grateful to be alive and ready to make more of a difference going forward.
“The rest of the foundation and all the people that were there close and that for whatever reason are still here, most of our conversations have surrounded around how blessed we are and how we were out there for a good cause to begin with, and this seems like another lease on life,” he said. “It’s like we really have more good work to do. For some reason God spared us. For some reason that bomb didn’t make those few more feet back. I think we all feel like now’s the time to get to work and really make something positive out of all of this.”
|04.17.13 at 10:49 am ET|
If NFL free agency is like musical chairs, a handful of notable veterans have found themselves standing off to the side this spring while the music keeps playing. In truth, these are players who now will likely have to wait until after the draft — and teams adjust their rosters — to find a landing spot. Some of them could sign in the spring, while others could be pickups shortly before or during camp. Regardless, if they could make the money work, here are five veteran free agents still on the market who might find a match in Foxboro between now and the start of the season.
Dwight Freeney/John Abraham — Honestly, these two have been linked to the Patriots so frequently over the last month, we’re just going to start referring to them as a combo platter. Veteran defensive ends (Freeney played some outside linebacker last year in Indy), they both have shown an ability to rush the passer, and if used judiciously, could have the same sort of impact that Andre Carter had in New England in 2011. The 34-year-old Abraham, who recently was cut loose by the Falcons after seven seasons in Atlanta, has spent a total of 13 seasons in the league, and the 6-foot-4, 263-pounder has at least 9.5 sacks in each of his last three seasons, and 122 sacks over the course of his career. As for Freeney, the 11-year veteran was taken in the first round by the Colts out of Syracuse in 2002. Over the course of his impressive career, the 33-year-old has 107.5 sacks, including 13.5 over the last two seasons with Indy.
Charles Woodson — The 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year no longer is the dynamic presence that he once was, but he still is considered a smart and savvy defensive back. No longer considered an every-down player, the 36-year-old has the positional versatility to flip back and forth between slot corner and safety. While the Patriots were able to land safety Adrian Wilson in free agency, they also could add Woodson — it certainly wouldn’t make them any younger, but it would provide another wise veteran for younger players to work with. For what it’s worth, Tom Brady remains friendly with his former Michigan teammate. In addition, Bill Belichick has been a longtime fan of Woodson, and he certainly passes the Rosevelt Colvin test — this was the Patriots coach in December 2010, talking about Woodson: “Outstanding. Outstanding. He does everything well: man-to-man coverage, zone coverage, reads the quarterback well, has good anticipation of route and route combinations, outstanding ball skills, blitzer ‘ [he’s an] excellent blitzer [and] good run-force player. When he plays inside in the slot position, or even in the perimeter, he plays very well. … I think he’s as good and complete player in that position that you’ll find in the league.’ (Plus, it would bring the Tuck Rule full circle — Woodson was the one who delivered the hit on Brady that jarred the ball loose, and he’s still a little peeved the call went the way it did.)
Laurent Robinson — The Patriots presumably are in the market for an x receiver, and Robinson could fill that bill. (He could be an option if the Patriots don’t go after a receiver in the draft. For more on some draftable possibilities at the receiver spot, check out my story here.) He also has some positional versatility, which would make him attractive to New England. The 27-year-old out of Illinois State has played for four teams in his six seasons in the league — his best year came in 2011 with the Cowboys when he caught 54 passes for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns. But after signing a five-year $32.5 million deal last offseason with the Jags, he was cut after suffering a series of concussions.
Dallas Clark — The Patriots kicked the tires on Clark last spring, but the former Colt ended up playing on a one-year deal with the Bucs, coming away with an impressive 47 catches for 435 yards and four touchdowns. Clark, who will turn 34 in June, could serve as a short-term insurance policy at tight end for New England, as Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski both have dealt with injury concerns this offseason. Clark also passes the Rosevelt Colvin test, as Belichick has raved about him in the past. “He’s a terrific player, very hard to defend,’ Belichick said of Clark a few years ago. ‘He pretty much can do everything that you would ask a tight end to do. He’s a great vertical receiver. He can get open on the short and intermediate routes. He’s a good possession receiver on third down and in the red area. He’s good after the catch. He does a good job blocking.’ (One other thing to remember — since Bill Belichick’s pal Greg Schiano took over in Tampa, the Patriots haven’t been afraid to take a chance on former Bucs players like Aqib Talib or Kellen Winslow.)
|04.17.13 at 10:27 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady weighed in on the Marathon bombings on his Facebook page on Wednesday;
“My heart is saddened by the tragic events of yesterday in my hometown of Boston. My prayers are with all of the victims and their families.”
|04.17.13 at 7:11 am ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that might be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2013 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
School: NC State
Weight: 205 pounds
Achievements: 2012 All-ACC second team (media, coaches), 2011 All-America first team (Walter Camp, ESPN), 2011 All-America second team (AP), 2011 Jack Tatum Award (nation’s best defensive back), 2011 All-ACC first team, 2011 ACC single-season record for interceptions (13)
What he brings: Amerson has been praised for his size, physicality and overall athleticism. A safety in high school, he kept a physical edge to his game when he transitioned to cornerback. However, his play in 2012 fell off considerably from where it was in 2011, and recently his fluidity, speed and foot quickness have drawn some criticism. Both ESPN and NFL.com mention that he is susceptible to getting beaten on double moves because of his aggressive style.
Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2
Notes: Amerson is ranked behind Alabama’s Dee Milliner, Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes and Rutgers’ Logan Ryan among junior cornerbacks in the 2013 draft. In 2011 he improved on his freshman year, but in 2012 he struggled in big games, most notably when he was beaten for four passing touchdowns in a 44-37 loss to Miami. After recording 13 interceptions in 2011, second most in a single season in NCAA history, he had five in 2012.
Related articles: CBS Sports: Report: NC State CB Amerson heading to NFL
Video: Here’s Amerson vs. Clemson in 2012.
|04.16.13 at 7:46 pm ET|
The Patriots announced Tuesday night the Kraft Family will match up to $100,000 in donations made toward relief efforts in the wake of the Marathon bombings.
The Patriots and Revolution Charitable Foundations will collect donations online, with funds earmarked to assist with victim recovery. Donations can be made at Patriots.com/donate or RevolutionSoccer.net/donate (please note ‘Boston Marathon’ in field provided). The Kraft family will match the first $100,000 in donations.
‘We are grieving for the victims of this senseless act,’ said Robert Kraft. ‘It is not lost on us that this tragedy occurred on Patriots Day, at an event where our own staff and their families were participating, and where thousands of runners were raising money for charities with which we are associated either through our Foundation, our alumni or our friends. Our focus is on helping those in need and beginning the healing process. We hope by matching donations we will encourage more people to give.’
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|04.16.13 at 7:20 pm ET|
While Pat Summerall didn’t play for the Patriots, he was at the microphone for one of the biggest moments in the history of the franchise, working Super Bowl XXXVI for Fox.
Summerall worked for CBS Sports from 1962 to 1994. He called 13 Super Bowls, 26 Masters and 21 U.S. Open Tennis Championships for CBS. In addition, he spent nine-plus years as a kicker in the NFL, primarily for the then-Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants from 1952 to 1961.
In the wake of his passing Tuesday, several members of the NFL, as well as the broadcasting community, commented on Summerall’s impact as a broadcaster and player.
Commissioner Roger Goodell: ‘Pat Summerall was one of the best friends and greatest contributors that the NFL has known. He spent 50 years as part of our league, first as a player on the legendary New York Giants teams of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s and then as a Hall of Fame broadcaster for CBS and FOX. His majestic voice was treasured by millions of NFL fans for more than four decades. Pat always represented the essence of class and friendship. It is a sad day in the NFL. Our hearts go out to Pat’s wife Cheri and the entire Summerall family. Pat will always be an important part of NFL history.’
Broadcaster John Madden: ‘Pat was my broadcasting partner for a long time, but more than that he was my friend for all of these years. We never had one argument, and that was because of Pat. He was a great broadcaster and a great man. He always had a joke. Pat never complained and we never had an unhappy moment. He was something very special. Pat Summerall is the voice of football and always will be.’
Sean McManus, Chairman, CBS Sports: ‘There is no one more closely associated with the great legacy and tradition of CBS Sports than Pat Summerall. His voice was synonymous with big events whether it was NFL football and the Super Bowl, the Masters or U.S. Open Tennis.’
CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz: ‘Pat Summerall was a hero to me. I treasured the gift of friendship that I had with him. I was his understudy for 10 years. He could not have been more generous or kind to a young broadcaster. He was a giant and one of the iconic figures in the history of the CBS Television Network.’
Lance Barrow, Coordinating Producer, CBS Sports, Golf and NFL: ‘In 1976 I was a junior in college and Chuck Will put me in the 18th tower as a spotter for Pat Summerall. He told me, ‘You’re not going to meet a finer man in this business than Pat Summerall.’ And to this day, I never have. He was kind to everyone. When you were around him you never knew that he was the number one broadcaster. He taught me so much, not only about this business, but how to treat people. I’m sad on this day, but also smiling because I know he will be with his good buddy Tom Brookshier.’
CBS Sports’ Verne Lundquist: ‘Pat was a friend of nearly 40 years. He was a master of restraint in his commentary, an example for all of us. He was also one of the great storytellers who ever spoke into a microphone.’