NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
Since James is on vacation, I’ll be taking over Musket Blasts for the day. Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as we choose our five favorite New England Patriots and NFL Draft links to share. Feel free to submit your own links in the comments.
Roster prediction/training camp notes on every position (NEPatriotsDraft.com)
With Vollmer’s continuing back injury, I feel that it will be necessary for the Patriots to carry a fourth tackle. That seemed all set since Robert Gallery had played the position earlier in his career, but with his retirement, it makes the position even more shallow. Solder and Cannon have had a strong camp so far, and Vollmer is an All-Pro when healthy, but he’s almost a guarantee to get injured at some point in the season and the Pats can’t be left without a backup tackle.
I think this tells you more of what you need to know about New England’s further offseason obsession with tight ends: The Patriots were interested in acquiring Kellen Winslow from Tampa Bay before the Bucs dealt him to Seattle. I’m told the relationship between Bucs coach Greg Schiano and Bill Belichick had something to do with the deal not getting made with the Patriots. Schiano knew Winslow wouldn’t be Belichick’s kind of player, and so the Bucs — who would have been advantaged by sending Winslow to an AFC team instead of the NFC ‘Hawks — made a deal for a conditional seventh-round pick with Seattle.
Luke Kuechly making an impact (Bradenton.com)
On Luke Kuechly’s first night in Charlotte after being drafted by the Carolina Panthers, he stood outside his hotel in the dark, waiting for teammate Cam Newton to pick him up for dinner. When a Ferrari pulled up, Kuechly reached for the passenger door, thinking it was Newton’s car. The door was locked. When the driver-side door opened, Michael Jordan stepped out.
Tom Brady presser (WEEI.com)
They were great teammates and I certainly learned a lot from them in terms of how to play the position and how to prepare mentally and physically for the season. Both were great athletes and I really enjoyed having them as guys that I could play with. I’m a long ways from 42 and hopefully I’m still talking to you guys when I’m 42
Brady, Hoyer and Mallett QB battle (Boston.com)
“Ryan and I are both trying to compete with Tom,” Hoyer said. “That’s how you get better is chasing the guy in front of you. Competition is healthy. We all get along great, we all help each other out, and we can all learn from each other, too.
“When you’re chasing the guy in front of you and that’s Tom Brady, that’s a pretty high standard. So when I get out there, I’m trying to outperform him, which for me, that’s a level that is up there. So you always try to be the best, and having the best in front of you, that gives you a good goal line for that.”