|04.03.11 at 9:29 am ET|
Days after he was spotted throwing in Southern California without his walking boot, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was seen again on Saturday taking in a UCLA softball game ‘ and again it looks like there was no boot on the right foot that underwent surgery this offseason. Brady was at the game with his niece, and watched the Bruins take a 9-1 decision over Oregon State to improve to 25-2 on the season. Larry Brown Sports has a couple of pictures of Brady at the game here. In addition, someone took video of Brady and his niece hanging with the team afterward. We couldn’t see a boot on the right foot, but judge for yourself ‘ check it out below:
|04.02.11 at 6:08 pm ET|
A league source had confirmed a report from Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune that the Patriots had North Carolina defensive lineman Marvin Austin in for an official pre-draft visit on Friday. Austin is a 6-foot-2, 309-pounder who was suspended for the entire 2010 season for what the NCAA called ‘violations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules,’ specifically two trips to California and two trips to Miami.
Each team is allowed up to 30 players for pre-draft visits, and we have been able to confirm three of them for the Patriots ‘ Austin, Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey and Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter.
Despite the off-the-field problems, Austin is considered by many to be a second-round pick. In 2009, he played in all 13 games making 11 starts and finishing with 42 tackles, 6.0 tackles for losses and four sacks. He certainly impressed at the combine, where he ran an unofficial 4.9-second 40-yard dash and bench-pressed 225 pounds 38 times, the second most by anyone regardless of position.
Speaking at the combine, he said the year away from football was one of toughest of his life.
‘It’s still hard to watch some of the stuff that’s said about my character,’ Austin said. ‘I’ve never taken a drink in my life, I’ve never smoked in my life. I’ve done everything to get to this point but one mistake, taking a couple of trips — and one of them was taken to help me get better as an athlete — has cost me my whole senior season and my image.
‘It was a mental mistake. I got ahead of myself. I learned that I can never take anything for granted. This is a privilege. To be here is a privilege. A lot of guys would kill to be in the shoes of all of the 300 guys here and so you have to take advantage of it and never abuse the privilege. I went from being one of the top players and prospects in the nation to being a guy that is not even talked about. And it was a tough situation having to sit back and watch all the other defensive linemen go out and play and perform and not be able to do anything. It made you put things in perspective a lot more.’
Here’s some video of Austin in action:
|04.01.11 at 4:00 pm ET|
So it appears Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has returned from Brazil.
As is usually the case at this time of year, Brady took to a field in California. This time, it was in Los Angeles, and the paparazzi snapped some shots of Brady working out in Southern California on Thursday with his trainer and some friends. He certainly looks better than he did last month when he was dancing his way through Carnival ‘ while wearing a walking boot for part of the time, the result of offseason foot surgery.
For more shots of Brady working out, click here.
|04.01.11 at 3:19 pm ET|
A league source says that while the Patriots have worked out Arizona defensive end/linebacker Brooks Reed, they have apparently not had him in to Foxboro for an on-site visit. The source said Reed was one of three Arizona defensive ends New England recently put through a workout ‘ and that the Patriots did focus on Reed ‘ but Reed has not visited the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. (That would run contrary to initial reports that Reed had an official visit with New England late last month.)
Even though it seems incidental, there is a fundamental difference between a workout and an on-site visit. While teams are allowed to conduct as many workouts as possible, they are allowed to host up to 30 prospects on pre-draft visits to the facility. (Thus far, the only two pre-draft visits for the Patriots that we have been able to confirm are Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey and Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter.)
Reed is a 6-foot-3, 263-pounder who was a defensive end in college. He had 114 career tackles at UA and 17 career sacks, and earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors as a senior. However, his size and speed leave many thinking he would make a nice transition to outside linebacker at the next level. His time of 4.65 seconds for the 40-yard dash at the combine was among the fastest for defensive ends and linebackers, and his initial burst of 1.54 over the first 10 yards left many believing Reed will be a late first-round or early second-round selection.
|03.31.11 at 10:15 pm ET|
Maroney, a first-round pick of New England in 2006, was arrested with others Jan. 17 in his hometown of St. Louis after police approached cars slowing in traffic, smelled marijuana and located weapons in one of the cars. According to the Post-Dispatch, the circuit attorney’s office said an investigation determined those in possession of handguns broke no laws. Four others who were with Maroney that evening also face a misdemeanor drug charge.
Maroney played in New England for four-plus seasons, and was traded by the Patriots to the Broncos early in the 2010 season. Denver has not opted to re-sign him, leaving him as a free agent.
|03.31.11 at 8:41 pm ET|
A league source has confirmed a report that the Patriots had Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey in for a visit on Thursday.
Bailey is a 6-foot-3, 285-pounder who played defensive end and defensive tackle with the Hurricanes, and recorded 19 sacks in his college career, including seven as a senior. He recorded 31 tackles for a loss in with Miami, including 11 in 2010.
His numbers are off the charts for a many of his size: he’s posted a 4.71 in the 40, as well as a 36 1/2 inch vertical leap and a 9-foot-9 broad jump. Projected as a possible late first-round or early second-round selection ‘ NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said ‘there’s no way [he] gets out of the second round’ ‘ the Patriots worked out Bailey early last month, then got another good look at him at Miami’s Pro Day. Bailey reportedly also has visits lined up with the Falcons, Broncos and Buccaneers.
A converted linebacker, Bailey has some positional versatility. In an interview at the NFL scouting combine last month, Bailey ‘ who stayed at Miami for all four years, playing 50 games, just two shy of Brandon Meriweather for most in school history ‘ talked a little but about his ability to play both defensive tackle and defensive end, as well as how the transition went as a collegian.
‘It was an adjustment. I’d played strictly outside the last three years, so it was an adjustment going inside,’ Bailey said, ‘[But] I got the swing of everything and adjusted pretty well.’
Bailey is the second confirmed player to make a pre-draft visit to Foxboro ‘ Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter was the other. Teams are allowed to host up to 30 prospects at their facility prior to the draft.
For more on Bailey, check out our profile on him here. And here’s some video of his work at Miami:
|03.31.11 at 2:32 pm ET|
Patriots cornerback Leigh Bodden said on Thursday that his shoulder ‘feels good,’ and his rehab ‘ which he continues to go through every day ‘ has been ‘great.’ Speaking on Sirius NFL Radio, he told hosts Bob Papa and Ross Tucker that he’s ‘ready to play.’
‘Oh, man ‘ the rehab has been great. The arm feels good,’ he said. ‘I was thinking to myself the other day, I was like, ‘Man, I’m ready for some action. I’m ready to play.’ I haven’t played in a year, so I’m eager to get out there and do some things. Put in work. Use this arm. Jam some people up. But soon enough. The longer I have to heal, the better it is. But it’s really feeling good. I still continue to rehab every day. But it’s feeling great.’
Bodden also touched on a number of other subjects, including what it was like to sit out all last season while the Patriots ran up a 14-2 record, as well as the chance to see rookie Devin McCourty blossom into a Pro Bowler.
‘It was definitely difficult for me personally to sit out and not play football, the game that I love, the game that I’ve been playing forever. But to watch as a fan, to watch the season that [the Patriots] had, it was just amazing to watch guys like Devin McCourty grow up in a heartbeat.
‘You can never say, ‘This guy is going to be great or this guy is going to be this good,’ but when he first came, he made a few plays where I was amazed and shocked and like, ‘Man, he’s going to be a player.’ Me, personally, I didn’t think he would be as good as he was during the season, but like I told a lot of those young guys, ‘When you get that playing experience on the field, you just learn on the go.’
‘He’s a very smart player. He’s a smart player, and that’s the thing that some rookies don’t have, is the knowledge of the game. That’s the majority of football, especially as you get older, not going off your athletic ability any more. It’s knowing the game. And he knew that coming in. And, he had athletic talent. So that just propelled him to have the great season that he had.’
Here are some other highlights from the Q&A:
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