TRAINING CAMP COUNTDOWN: 28 days until Patriots training camp

We’ll kick off this morning with a piece from Jeff Howe of NESN.com, looking at Patriots defensive back Brandon Meriweather -¬†who Howe expects will lead a talented group of safeties into the 2010 campaign.

Paul Perillo has a great piece this morning in the next edition of “Meet the Rookies”, highlighting seventh round pick Thomas Welch.¬† Welch has made an interesting transition, going¬†from high school quarterback, to trying now to make the Patriots roster as an offensive tackle.

The Harvard Pilgrim 10K Road race is set to kick off on July 4th, with a 10,000-meter run through the town of Foxboro, which starts at Patriot Place and ends at the 50-yard line inside Gillette Stadium.¬† The race is off to a good start, and they’re hoping to have 10,000 – 20,000 by the date of the event.

The Palm Beach Post has a story with a local flavor on runningback Fred Taylor, who played high school football there and obviously kicked off his career in Jacksonville.¬† It’s¬†an interesting interview where Taylor looks back at a career that he never would have imagined has spanned 13 seasons.

“I remember back in Year 1 with coach (Tom) Coughlin, my mind set was ‘Two more years and I’m outta here.’ Every time I tell somebody I’m going on my 13th season, it shocks me just to say it,” Taylor said Wednesday

According to some reports, depending on where head coach Bill Belichick decides to place an importance on depth Рthe runningback position could be an area where a cut is made.  Some feel Taylor could join BenJarvus Green-Ellis as the two guys battling to hang on to the roster.

The Boston Herald’s Ian Rapoport received an interesting package from Vince Wilfork yesterday, and is wondering what help the veteran defensive lineman may be looking for as he shows a picture of what he received.¬† Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com¬†apparently received the same package and is also curious.

Rapoport also takes a humorous look at the Patriots rankings in the new Madden ’11 which was just recently released.

Erik Scalavino has a piece in the latest “Meet the Rookies” on DL Brandon Deadrick, who is a guy that up to this point hasn’t gotten much press.¬† Interestingly enough¬†after reading the report Deadrick¬†is not only lucky to be alive, but he possesses plenty of heart and desire – two traits that tend to fit in well with the Patriots.¬† It’s definitely an article I recommend reading.

Jeff Howe of NESN.com takes a look at the depth the Patriots have on defense this season, which he feels will give New England more options this season.

KSPR.com out of Missouri reports that former New¬†England Patriot Jack Peavey’s son has made a verbal commitment to play his college football for the University of South Alabama in 2011.

Tim Graham of ESPN¬†has an interesting blog post where former Patriots linebacker¬†Tedy Bruschi says that the 2004 team he played on was so good that he felt “invincible” that day¬†when the team took the field and won their third championship.

“2004 stands apart. The Patriots claimed their third Vince Lombardi Trophy in four seasons to establish themselves as one of the all-time great teams. Brady and head coach Bill Belichick ensured their place in Canton.”

OTHER NFL HEADLINES:

Alex Marvel of FoxSports reports that the NFL and the Players Union have their eyes on a 6-year CBA deal.   According to the report NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said he and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are working to finalize a Collective Bargaining Agreement that would run through the 2016 season.

According to the report the Players Union wants some sort of financial proof regarding the league’s claim that they’re losing money.¬† Marvel reports that while Smith states some progress is being made,¬†he remains adamant that the NFL provide detailed financial records for its teams before an agreement can be struck. Goodell reportedly has strongly resisted such requests and shows no sign of acquiescing.

But to have this much progress so early on is promising, so hopefully they’re one step closer to making sure there’s football in 2011.

In one of the more sad stories I’ve read in a while, as many of you may have already heard former NFL Quarterback Randall Cunningham¬†lost his two year old son in a drowning accident at his home.¬† The Las Vegas Review-Journal has the story,¬†with the youngster’s death impacting the local church community that he was a part of.

After sitting through a lopsided Arena Football game that I watched on television last Friday night, I’m happy to see that the NFL Network will be airing Canadian Football games this season.¬† USA Today reports that the network will air its debut broadcast of¬†CFL games on Thursday between¬†Montreal at Saskatchewan at 7 p.m. ET.¬† With a little over three weeks to go until the season begins,¬†my feeling is you¬†can never have too much football to help pass the time.

The San Diego Tribune has some interesting statistics regarding the number of DUI arrests in the NFL, which according to the report accounts for 28% of the arrests that happen with their players.

One out of every 165 NFL players is arrested for DUI each year. Nationwide, one out of every 91 males aged 21 and over are arrested for DUI.

We’ll end with a report from the Morning Call’s Nick Fierro¬†who reports that after last week’s shooting¬†incident that took place following Michael Vick’s 30th birthday bash,¬†the Eagles can’t afford to keep him on their roster.¬†¬†Fierro cites the league’s talk of a¬†“zero¬†tolerance” policy¬†and says “He has to go.”¬†

Not a wise move by Vick, who I still can’t believe would have been stupid enough to hang out with guys who obviously couldn’t do their friend a favor and simply have a good time and then go home.¬† Vick should have been smarter about who he surrounded himself with, especially considering what he’s already lost and the time he spent behind bars.¬† Whether he was there or not may help him legally – but in the end it¬†may not help him in the eyes of the Eagles.

That’s it for this morning.¬† Hope your day goes well and we’ll have updates later on.