By: Ian Logue
TRAINING CAMP COUNTDOWN: 30 days until Patriots training camp
News is scarce this morning, but here are today’s Patriots headlines.
We’ll kick off this morning with a piece that Christopher Price of WEEI.com wrote late last night. Price reminds us of an interesting event that occurred a few years ago, involving a meeting between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Patriots owner Robert Kraft where Putin ended up making off with Kraft’s Super Bowl ring. Kraft later on told reporters it was a gift for the Russian leader, but to this day it’s still kind of a funny story. Kudos to Price for remembering yesterday was the anniversary of the event.
Price also has a piece on former Patriots receiver Chad Jackson, who is trying to earn a spot with the Buffalo Bills this season.
Another article from today has Price talking about Floyd Reese, who he feels is going to be a busy man in the coming weeks as the team will likely be looking to lock up each of their first year players prior to the start of training camp.
As I mentioned last night in another blog post, here’s an article from Yahoo! Sports Jason Cole who mentions in his article that Patriots management is apparently concerned that Vince Wilfork is going to “bloat” now that he’s gotten his new contract. I don’t think it’s true – but that’s what he wrote. So form your own opinion.
The Patriots rookies are out on the west coast for the four day annual rookie symposium, and WPRI out of Rhode Island reports that commissioner Roger Goodell addressed the NFL rookies at the La Costa resort Sunday night in Carlsbad, California. In the article Goodell claims that he opened up the forum for questions, but said “there wasn’t a question” about the uncertain labor situation currently surrounding the league.
The symposium is to help the draft picks prepare for the challenges they face in the coming years both on and off the field.
“I talked on personal conduct. I didn’t speak about anyone in particular in that case,” Goodell said. “But I did talk about what I call protecting the shield. My job is to protect the integrity of the NFL and to make sure the game is as safe as possible.”
Patriots.com’s Andy Hart has a terrific piece on rookie defensive lineman Kade Weston. He outlines the rookie’s journey into the NFL, and also talks about Weston’s reaction to being drafted.
“It was one of the best moments of my life. I was so happy I couldn’t put it into words. Knowing that the program like the Patriots was calling me and wanted me to be a part of their program … I was very excited,” Weston said of the type of opportunities his family sought with the move to the States.
The Southern reports that the new SIU Stadium will contain the same turf that the New England Patriots just upgraded to at Gillette Stadium, becoming one of the first in the country to have the new surfce. The Southern Illinois Salukis will break in the new stadium this fall, looking for their first national championship in NCAA Division I-AA since 1983.
I added a blog post last night on rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes, which is a news compilation of the reports we’ve heard during minicamps and OTA’s on the progress he’s made so far here with the Patriots. There are also several videos in another post as well.
OTHER NFL NEWS:
ProFootballTalk.com reports that former NFL defensive star Warren Sapp is telling Washington’s Albert Haynesworth to “Stop the B.S.” Sapp reportedly told this to Vic Carucci and Howard Balzer on Sirius NFL Radio over the weekend, regarding Haynesworth’s holding out because he doesn’t want to play nose tackle in new head coach Mike Shanahan’s defense.
“I mean, c’mon, son. You sat at the table. The people told you they had a very lovely check for you. . . . Albert Haynesworth, you took the check, now show up to the job, son. It’s that simple. You take that kind of check. I mean, I’ll flip dogs for you. I mean, c’mon, what you want me to do, you want me to return punts? I mean, what? C’mon. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.”
Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat offers up a good “Inside the NFL column” where he feels that more players should listen to the advice that New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin recently gave his players.
“What you talk about here is when you make a choice make sure it is in the best interest of you and your family, and always make sure that whatever you decide to do, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t be proud of if it was on the front page.”
He also talks about the Giants Chad Jones, who is lucky to be alive after a serious car accident and there’s plenty of optimism that he could return in 2011.
We’ll end with an article by NESN’s Dan Podheiser, who reports that Pat Tillman will be honored in Tempe Arizona, with the former All-American linebacker from Arizona State to be posthumously honored during a National Football Foundation (NFF) Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during a game against Pac-10 rival Stanford in Tempe this season.
“It will be an honor for Arizona State University to share this on-campus recognition of Pat Tillman with our community and his family and friends.” says Lisa Love, vice president for university athletics at ASU. “Pat, an American hero, is a significant part of our history, and we are thrilled to recognize him and his family once again.”
That’s it for this morning. Hope everyone has a good day and we’ll have updates later on as they become available.