NFL Draft Review: Seymour and Light, 2001

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NFL Draft Review: Seymour and Light, 2001

Back in 1999 when Matt Light was still a junior at Purdue, Scott Pioli was out at the Boilermakers' practice. He wasn't scouting juniors per se, but what he saw from one lineman stuck with him. Light agitating about some teammates not going full speed in practice. When Light's time to be drafted came in April 2001, Pioli and the Patriots knew who they wanted in the second round. But the Jets -- who employed Pioli when he first saw the Light -- wanted him too. The Patriots wrangled their way ahead of the Jets, swinging a deal with the Lions to take Light with the 48th pick. The Jets took Lamont Jordan at 49. The Lions used the 50th pick -- acquired from the Patriots -- on center Dominic Raiola. Aside from his fiery demeanor, what else stood out about Light? At the Combine, Light was 6-5, 311 and ran his 40 in 5.29 (an eyelash off Tom Brady's 5.28 a year earlier). He put up 225 pounds 26 times. He protected the blind side of Drew Brees at Purdue. He was rated by NFL Draft Scout as the fourth best OT out of 31 and Leonard Davis, Kenyatta Walker, Jeff Backus and Maurice Williams were all taken before him. The Patriots also drafted Kenyatta Jones (later released after dumping scalding water on a roommate while he was on the toilet) and Brandon Gorin as tackles. And the Patriots first-round pick in 2001? Richard Seymour.
Just 20 when the Patriots drafted him with the sixth overall pick, there was much hollering about Drew Bledsoe needing a downfield target like David Terrell or Koren Robinson instead of Seymour. The Patriots never had Seymour in for a visit nor did he have off-the-charts production at Georgia. But the size (6-6, 305 on a chiseled frame) and absurd strength of Seymour plus his quiet confidence and 4.95 speed made Bill Belichick jump at the chance to get him. Some other interesting Combine tidbits from 2001? Safety Adam Archuleta put up 225 pounds an astounding 31 times. Drew Brees got a 28 on his Wonderlic, weighed 213 (two pounds heavier than the 6-5 Tom Brady), ran a 4.83 40 and had a 32-inch vertical. Andre Carter, who went seventh to San Francisco and was with the Patriots in 2011, had a preposterous 38.5 vertical for a 6-5, 249-pound defensive end. Wide receiver Chris Chambers ran a 4.33 40. Heath Evans? Great Combine. Ran a 4.56, put up 225 30 times and had a 34.5 vertical. Old friend Russ Hochstein? Bad Combine. A 5.40 40 and 16 reps on the bench. Santana Moss ran a 4.31 at the Miami pro day. Finally, LaDainian Tomlinson ran a 4.46 40 and had a silly 40.5 vertical.

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

Turner jokes that Celtics will retire his number

It’s not the craziest thing someone has said on Twitter, but Evan Turner tweeted Monday that the Celtics should retire his number. 

It was a joke, of course, as the former Celtic was reacting to news that Isaiah Thomas had said he liked the No. 11 and would change his jersey number if so many people in Boston hadn’t already purchased his No. 4 jersey. 

After Turner joked that No. 11 was going to be retired, Thomas joked back that he would wear No. 11 as a tribute to the current Trail Blazer. 

Prior to being traded to Boston, Thomas wore No. 22 for Sacramento and No. 3 for Phoenix. 

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

Curran: McDaniels staying with Pats shouldn't be a shocker

For weeks the speculation regarding Josh McDaniels wasn't a matter of "if" but "when."

But while national media had McDaniels signed, sealed and delivered to multiple landing spots, the proposition that he'd leave at all was never a likelihood. 

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The Rams weren't attractive to him from the outset. Jacksonville didn't excite him, either. And on Monday, he passed on the 49ers opportunity. 

The lure of a blank slate in San Fran at quarterback and GM didn't outpace the uncertainty of going cross-country to work for a seemingly dysfunctional franchise that's cycled rapidly through coaches and has an unrealistic sense that it's a long, long way removed from its glory days, the only remnant remaining from that being perhaps the logo on the helmet. 

With four kids and a job McDaniels considers one of the 10 best on coaching -- head man or no -- he will stay on as the Patriots' offensive coordinator.

"I was really impressed with (Niners owner) Jed York and (team executive) Paraag Marathe . . . and the people that came from the 49ers organization," McDaniels said on a conference call this morning. "They did a great job with their presentation. Humbled to be included in that process. At this time it's just best for my family and myself to remain here in New England and focus on this year's playoffs and finish out the year however it turns out."

The same faulty speculative reasoning that had McDaniels as good as gone from the Patriots will move on undeterred today and surmise that McDaniels is staying with the Patriots because he knows, or has been promised, that he'll receive the head coaching job when Bill Belichick steps aside. 

While the Kraft family certainly thinks highly of McDaniels and that could come to pass, anyone tapping their foot and checking their watch waiting for Belichick to step down is in for a long wait. He's showing no signs of wrapping it up and, while I haven't been told directly McDaniels isn't the automatic successor, he wouldn't be taking interviews at all if he were assured that. 

What will be interesting to see is whether interest remains high in him for other jobs or the perception that he's never going to leave means teams don't bother to ask. San Fran obviously had its heart set on McDaniels. Even though Nick Caserio passed on the chance to interview with the Niners for their open GM job, the team did talk to Louis Riddick about the spot. He and McDaniels have high regard for each other. 

Between McDaniels, Caserio and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia, the people closest to Belichick on the coaching flow chart all had chances to go somewhere else and all passed on the chance. It's another example of not why the Patriots are good but why they remain good. Stability.