Addai, on other side of rivalry, ready to move on

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Addai, on other side of rivalry, ready to move on

FOXBORO -- If Joseph Addai is dealing with any inner turmoil at switching allegiance from Colts to Patriots, he's hiding it beautifully.

"You know what, actually I'm excited to be a part of the team," he said after Thursday's OTAs. "It's a great opportunity for me. Seeing them, playing against them over the years, I know I'm coming to a good organization.

"I think the Patriots . . . as far as what they do, they do a lot on the offensive side of the ball. And I see myself really fitting in. It was a smooth transition coming from Indy to here."

Makes sense. If a guy is going to move from pass-first offense to pass-first offense, it might as well be a slide from Peyton Manning to Tom Brady, right?

"Tom's been helping me out a lot," said Addai. "He's been showing me things, teaching me, explaining things to me and understanding that it's going to take a while for me to get it. But I am getting it and it's a great experience to play with him."

Ask who holds the rivalry's edge and all Addai could do is laugh.

"I'm still young on that," he said. "I can't . . . I can't call that, I'm a Patriot now."

Smart answer. But there ended the easy questions.

Addai had to answer for the injuries. The running back hasn't played a 16-game season since his rookie year in 2006. His numbers reflect that fact, declining steadily from 1,081 yards to 433 over the last six years.

Last season, Addai was limited to 12 games because of a troublesome hamstring. He told reporters, perched on a podium at Gillette Stadium, that his health is good. Good enough to focus on the future instead of the past.

"Injuries are a big part of football. The only thing I can do now is move forward. And the medical staff here has been great to me, as far as getting my body right and getting ready for this upcoming season."

It doesn't sound like he's expecting the bulk of running back snaps, which is good. Stevan Ridley will likely fill the void left by BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Addai could do better as a Fred Taylor-type.

He smartly said he'll do whatever he's asked.

"To me, it's all about playing ball. I've got a great chance to be a part of this ballclub and do what they do here. And I'm very excited about that.

"It's always team first for me, so if coach Bill Belichick wants me to run, catch, block . . . " Addai laughed. "Whatever he wants me to do, I just want to be a part of it."

Mentoring could be on his to-do list. Though he's technically The New Guy, Addai is New England's most experienced running back, senior to Danny Woodhead by two years.

He said he embraces the chance to teach as he learns.

"It's a team sport, so no matter what, you want to help guys --- if you're young, if you're old. That's never been a problem to me. At the end of the day, it's a team sport and it's about winning.

"The last couple of days we've been working together, really trying to get things rolling. It's been a good start; I think it will end well."

Steelers GM on Hightower: 'It didn't work'

Steelers GM on Hightower: 'It didn't work'

Speaking to reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert touched briefly on the team’s unsuccessful attempt to lure Dont’a Hightower away from New England in free agency. 

Hightower returned to the Patriots this month on a four-year, $43.5 million deal with $19 million guaranteed. He was also courted by the Jets and Steelers, among others, with his offer from the Jets reported to be the biggest before they reportedly pulled it due to physical concerns. 

The Steelers also reportedly offered more money than the Patriots, with Jason La Canfora reporting that Pittsburgh offered more than $9 million annually. Hightower’s deal with the Pats pays him $8.7 million per year. 

“We made an attempt [with Hightower], it didn’t work,” Colbert told reporters. “We’re fine. We move on. Vince Williams, we were very confident in Vince. That’s why we signed him to the extension last year. So that if we got to this point and Lawrence had left us, and we didn’t sign anybody from the outside, Vince was certainly capable of stepping up and being the next guy.”

Hightower is entering his sixth season with the Patriots, who selected him with the 25th overall pick in the 2012 draft. 

Tom Brady tees it up with Jordan Spieth at Augusta National

Tom Brady tees it up with Jordan Spieth at Augusta National

It's been a long time since Tom Brady's been considered a true underdog. You might have to go back to Super Bowl XXXVI for anyone to remember a time when it seemed like the quarterback with the most championships in NFL history was a long shot to win. 

Not when it comes golf, though. 

Brady's a talented golfer, no doubt. He's eagled at Pebble Beach. He once teamed up with Jim Nantz to beat up on two US presidents

But even Brady knew he faced long odds against Jordan Spieth at Augusta. According to Brady's Instagram page, it seems as though the two Under Armour pitch men made up a foursome at the famed course about two weeks before the Masters kicked off. 

Trying to beat @jordanspieth in golf is like trying to arm wrestle @therock... #DreamBig #NeverGiveUp

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Brady has also taken on Augusta with Rory McIlroy. Still waiting on those scores to come out, but as with the recent Spieth round, probably shouldn't hold your breath.