Kyle Love's nose-to-the-grindstone approach has served him well the last two years.
The undrafted free agent was a backup at defensive tackle his rookie year. In 2011, he earned 13 regular season starts in 16 games played as an imposing presence against the run.
The Patriots rewarded Love's work with a contract extension last week. Instead of riding this year's 540,000 exclusive-rights free agent tender out into uncertainty, he's now signed through 2013 on a new deal worth almost 3.1 million.
"It's a blessing," Love said Sunday via conference call. "I just want to continue to work hard, play hard, and keep doing my role -- whatever the coaches ask me to do. I want to continue down that road."
The timing of the extension was likely influenced by New England's release of Jonathan Fanene. But that doesn't mean Love hasn't made a case all his own this preseason.
After joint practice, he had Saints guard Ben Grubbs talking on and on about his power.
He created plenty of problems (in limited snaps) for Philadelphia's offensive line in Game 2.
When the first team defense took the field last week in Tampa, Love was there. It's where he's projected to be all season.
To most, the 25-year old tackle has come a long way from Mississippi State -- his game is bigger, his wallet is bigger.
Love sees it as the same old grind.
"Nothing really changes for me. I just want to keep doing my job and getting better every day. Working harder, and playing harder and faster. I just want to continue doing what I've been doing."
With New England Patriots organized workouts finished until next month, Phil Perry puts together another 53-man roster projection.
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When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.
"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"
Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year.
Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone.
"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."
Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1.
Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.