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Update on Patriots pre-draft workouts

03.17.11 at 4:20 pm ET
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Here’s a list of players who have had or will have private workouts or meetings with the Patriots. This is by no means a complete list ‘€” simply a rundown of those we have independently verified:

Offense
Hillsdale wide receiver Andre Holmes
Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey
Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith
Kentucky wide receiver Chris Matthews
Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams
Nevada tight end Virgil Green
TCU quarterback Andy Dalton
TCU wide receiver Jeremy Kerley

Defense
Citadel defensive back Cortez Allen
Miami defensive lineman Allen Bailey
Northwestern defensive lineman Corbin Bryant

In addition, Patriots coaches and scouts have been confirmed as being in attendance at the following Pro Days: Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Alabama, Auburn, Cal, Fresno State, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arkansas, FIU and Oklahoma State.

Here’s a look at the Pro Day schedule for this week:
March 17: Appalachian State, Lehigh, Marshall, Michigan, Missouri, Slippery Rock, Stanford, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia.
March 18: Arkansas State, Missouri State, New Mexico State, Richmond, Temple.
March 21: Abilene Christian, Iowa.
March 22: Georgia, Iowa State, Mississippi, Nevada.
March 23: Arizona State, Boston College, Central Florida, Connecticut, East Carolina, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Tennessee-Chattanooga.
March 24: Boise State, Fort Hays State, San Diego State, South Florida.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, allen bailey, Andre Holmes, Andy Dalton

Report: Tom Brady disciple Greg McElroy tops list of QB Wonderlic scores

03.17.11 at 10:12 am ET
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Alabama’€™s Greg McElroy finished with the highest Wonderlic score of any quarterback in this year’€™s draft class, according to ESPN’€™s Chris Mortensen.

McElroy finished with a 43 out of 50. Missouri’€™s Blaine Gabbert had a 42, and Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder rounded out the top 3 with a 35. As for the rest of the group, Iowa’€™s Ricky Stanzi (30), TCU’€™s Andy Dalton (29) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The rest of the field looked like this: Arkansas’€™ Ryan Mallett had a 26, while Auburn’€™s Cam Newton scored a 21 and Washington’€™s Jake Locker ended up with a 20.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound McElroy talked last month about wanting to get the chance to back up Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, saying the New England signal-caller was someone he wanted to emulate at the next level.

‘€œHe’€™s the most fun guy to watch in the league right now,’€ McElroy said of Brady. ‘€œThere’€™s a lot of efficient quarterbacks, but as far as his control, his balance, the way he sets up in the pocket, the way he is so mechanically sound, it really is such a joy to watch. It really is such a joy to watch. He’€™s so fluid. He never gets flustered. Just his subtle movements, all of his subtleties, every little detail is addressed.

‘€œCoach [Nick] Saban would never let me watch another quarterback play. He thinks that’€™s soft or something, but yeah, I obviously have spent time watching Tom Brady. He’€™s a hero of mine and a guy who I would love nothing more than to try to pattern my game off of.’€

For what it’€™s worth, Brady’€™s Wonderlic score was a 33. Among current NFL quarterbacks, Buffalo’€™s Ryan Fitzpatrick ‘€” a Harvard product ‘€” is tops with a 48. Alex Smith (40), Eli Manning (39) Matt Stafford (38) and Tony Romo (37) round out the Top 5.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert

NFL Lockout, Day 5: Giants say season-ticket holders won’t pay until CBA is resolved

03.16.11 at 9:15 pm ET
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A roundup of lockout news at the end of Day 5 of the NFL work stoppage:

‘€¢While many owners have done plenty to alienate fans since the lockout began, Giants president and CEO John Mara scored a clear victory in the court of public opinion with his statement Wednesday that the Giants won’€™t require their season-ticket holders to pay anything until there is a resolution to the current labor dispute between the owners and the players.

In an interview with WFAN radio in New York, Mara said season-ticket invoices will be mailed out next week with a letter from ownership saying season-ticket holder will be given the choice of paying by May 1 (the usual day full payment is due) or exercising the option to wait until a new CBA is agreed upon between the owners and players.

According to a Wednesday evening Tweet from Jim Trotter of SI.com, the Giants are the only team to require full or partial payment for season tickets during the lockout. Locally, the Patriots are requiring season-ticket holders pay by the end of the month ‘€” however, tickets will be refunded with one percent interest if individual games or the 2011 season is canceled.

‘€¢Former Patriots fullback Heath Evans made an appearance on WEEI’€™s ‘€œDennis & Callahan’€ show Wednesday morning to talk about the NFL lockout.

Evans, who now plays for the Saints, said he’€™s in good shape financially as a 10-year veteran, and he’€™s tried to prepare the younger players for what he hopes will be a short work stoppage. ‘€œI do feel really bad for some of the young guys,’€ he said. ‘€œAre we going to miss a season? No. I’€™ve told guys all along: ‘€˜You know what? Plan on missing one or two games, so plan on missing a couple of paychecks.’€™ But I’€™ve told the fans everywhere I’€™ve been for the last couple of weeks since this thing has started to build seriously: ‘€˜Listen, relax, we’€™ll get this done in a timely fashion and you’€™ll have your football on Sundays and Mondays and Thursdays.’€™’€

Evans said the players are more sympathetic to the fans than the owners. ‘€œThe players do know that we can hurt or damage this game,’€ he said. ‘€œWe do know that we will lose a strong fan base. The owners do not grasp that principle. The arrogance, the egotistical nature of these men that we’€™re battling is such that they think this game is indestructible. And I completely disagree.’€

The players got some bad press when reports came out that the union asked top college prospects to boycott the April draft. Evans defended the move. ‘€œYes, we love our fans and we owe them tremendous respect, but ultimately we’€™ve got to try to swing as much power in our direction as possible,’€ he said.
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Read More: Drew Brees, Heath Evans, Jim Trotter, John Mara

Report: Patriots will hold private workout with WR Andre Holmes on Thursday

03.16.11 at 5:58 pm ET
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Hillsdale wide receiver Andre Holmes has a private workout scheduled with the Patriots on Thursday, according to the Detroit Free Press. Holmes, who will reportedly work out for New England at Hillsdale, measured at 6-foot-4, 208 pounds at Michigan State Pro Day on Wednesday. He ran two 40s in roughly 4.5, with one scout clocking him at 4.45. (According to reports, Patriots area scout DuJuan Daniels was on hand to see Holmes’ workout.)

Holmes is a small-school star who had the most productive season of any wide receiver in the 119-year history of Hillsdale College football, setting single-season school records for receptions (104), and receiving yards (1,368) and catching caught 11 touchdown passes. At the combine, he showed great speed and agility, finishing with a 6.69 in the 3-cone drill, a stat that should get the attention of the Patriots for reasons we outlined here.

Holmes sees himself as a big-play threat, which should also intrigue a team that struggled to stretch the field in the wake of the October trade of Randy Moss to the Vikings.

‘€œI feel like I can be a big-play type receiver. I’€™ve got the speed to do that, and also a possession receiver,’€ he said. ‘€œI have the tools to be able to be successful.

‘€œIf there’€™s one thing ‘€” and I’€™ve said this many times in different interviews with different teams ‘€” I feel like I need to work on my hands. In practice, what I would do, I wouldn’€™t wear gloves in practice at all and then once I’€™d get to the game I would have my gloves and I wouldn’€™t drop any passe. I had everything,’€ he added. ‘€œSometimes you just get lackadaisical during practice and I just want to crisp up, get more crisp on that, because it’€™s going to be important in training camp that I’€™m making every play that I can. That’€™s going to be my game day until I can step foot on the field.’€

Here’s video of him running his 40 last month at the combine:

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Andre Holmes, DuJuan Daniels, Randy Moss

Randy Moss talks about Patriots, leaving Vikings and his relationship with Cris Carter

03.16.11 at 1:49 pm ET
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Former Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss was on with KFAN in Minnesota Wednesday morning, and touched on a wide variety of topics, including his feelings about the Patriots, his thoughts on leaving the Vikings and his relationship with former teammate Cris Carter. Here are a few of the highlights:

On leaving Minnesota:
“I left Minnesota ‘€” man, it was definitely heartbreaking, man. When I came to Minnesota ‘€¦ I left a lot of memories there. And by me coming back, being traded back there, a lit of things happen in the business that we’€™re in, the profession that we’€™re in. I had a lot of history there before I came. I wanted everybody to get their 84 jerseys out, because I had seen what the Vikings did the year before, and I thought they had a lot of key ingredients still in place there for me to come in and [help make a run]. A lot of things happened, and a lot of things happen in organizations that you don’€™t like and a lot of things you have to put up with, but I got out there and I went to Tennessee and that worked out OK ‘€” not too much ‘€” but you’€™ve got to live and die by what you believe in. That’€™s what I do ‘€” I live and die by what I believe in, and I believe in loyalty and being a good person, not just on the field but off the field. And some things got into play and some things got in the way, and I just felt it was right and best for me to just go ahead and get out of there.”

“I think that we kind of get a different look about athletes, especially when you’€™re on a certain pedestal than other athletes. I’€™m a country boy ‘€” I really come from nothing. Everything that has been given or put in my path has been a blessing from above. So for me to be able to give back to a young guy, or some guys what I’€™ve experienced on the field or the little bit I’€™ve experienced off the field, that’€™s just a way of me giving back. And I think you have a head coach of leading 70 men and 10 to 15 coaches ‘€¦ so I think that when you’€™re a veteran ‘€¦ when you’€™re a rookie, a second, third year guy, you come in with your head cut off not knowing what to expect. I think what I’€™ve been through and the years I’€™ve played in the league, I think I know what to expect a little bit for guys to prepare themselves and stuff, and now that we’€™re in this lockout, I hope guys were listening to me.”

What are you doing right now?
“I just got through getting my body worked on, getting stretched on. And now, I’€™m getting ready to take my behind to the casino and sit down and play some slots. That’€™s what I’€™m getting ready to do to be honest. ‘€¦ Certain casinos I go in, they do have everything others have, so if I go, most of the time I just go and bide time. A lot of people at the casinos I go to man, a few people know me. I’€™ve been generous before ‘€” I’€™ve given earnings away throughout my years, but nothing too, too crazy. A couple thousand dollars here or there. But I just think that’€™s what life is about ‘€” being good to people. Treat people the way you want to be treated. And I think that off the field, I’€™m a different person than I am on the field.”
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Read More: Bill Belichick, brad childress, Cris Carter, Randy Moss

NFL Lockout, Day 4: Goodell talks, while NFLPA clarifies stance on rookies at the draft

03.16.11 at 12:25 am ET
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A roundup of lockout news at the end of Day 4 of the NFL work stoppage:

‘€¢NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’€™t anticipate talks between owners and players resuming before a judge rules on the players’€™ injunction to try and stop the lockout. Speaking with the NFL Network on Tuesday evening, Goodell said the two sides haven’€™t talked at all since they walked away from the bargaining table last Friday.

‘€œI think we’€™re in a period where litigation and the litigation strategy … is ongoing. That will have to play out for the next couple weeks,’€ he said.

‘€¢Meanwhile, the players assured the public that they had no plans to try and sabotage the NFL draft by telling the to prospects to stay away from the first round, set for April 28. Instead, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told ESPN those players might be involved in a ‘€œdifferent’€ kind of event.

In a flurry of Tweets Tuesday afternoon, Atallah tried to set the record straight:
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Read More: Adrian Peterson, George Atallah, lockout, Patrick Peterson

Report: Despite lockout, 2011 NFL schedule will be released next month

03.15.11 at 9:34 pm ET
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The NFL schedule for the 2011 season will be released in “mid-April,” according to a report from Pro Football Talk. PFT checked with NFL spokesmen Greg Aiello, who e-mailed: “The plan is to release the schedule as we normally do in mid-April. An announcement date has not been set.” (Last year, the league released the 2010 schedule during the week of the draft.) That news comes less than a week into the first work stoppage in NFL history since 1987.

Read More: Greg Aiello,
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