Brady, Harbaugh both Michigan men


Brady, Harbaugh both Michigan men

FOXBORO - The University of Michigan was never quite "Quarterback U", but the Wolverines produced a chain of NFL quarterbacks through the 1980s and '90s that began with Jim Harbaugh and ended with Tom Brady.

The two ends of that chain don't know each other too well, however.

I asked Brady on Wednesday how often he'd interacted with the 49ers coach who'll try to stop Brady this weekend.

"He used to have a golf tournament every summer (when I was at Michigan)," said Brady. "He'd come back and it was a big deal. The guys all got excited when he was around. I didn't get too many chances to talk to him. I was just one of the plebes."

Since then?

"I saw him out golfing out one day while he was coaching at Stanford. Talked to him a little bit," said Brady. "He's a tough, hard-nosed guy."

Harbaugh was the Wolverines starter from 1984-86. Elvis Grbac, Todd Collins and Brian Griese were some of the quarterbacks in between Harbaugh and Brady who was the most-of-the-time starter in 1998.

Brady's had a better pro career than Harbaugh did.

Harbaugh, of course, is working very hard to cultivate a hard-ass, no-nonsense persona in the NFL, so it will be interesting to see what kind of interaction he has with Brady on Sunday prior to the game.

Given Brady's penchant for using slights for fuel, if Harbaugh goes hard-ass, it might not work out so well for him.

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?

Phil Perry and Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran debate which receiver has been better for the Patriots: Wes Welker or Julian Edelman? It's part of this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.

Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots


Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

The Patriots went into Wednesday with what could have passed as the deepest receiving group in team history, yet by lunchtime they had added another. 

Former Browns and Bengals wideout Andrew Hawkins announced on Twitter (via uSTADIUM) that he had chose to come to terms with New England. He explained that the opportunity to work with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick proved to be enough to convince him that he should pass up more lucrative offers from other clubs.

"After giving it a lot of though, I've decided that I'm going to join the New England Patriots," he said. "Super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender, and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs.

"The program is top-notch, and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history, man, so it's super exciting. It was never really about the money. To be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation . . . but it was all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so."

Hawkins (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) may be a familiar name to Patriots fans as he caught four passes for a season-high 56 yards and one touchdown against New England in Week 5 of last season. He finished the year with 33 catches for 324 yards and three scores. The 31-year-old has recently seen his name in the headlines as he completed his Sports Management degree at Columbia and graduated last week. 

The Patriots have receivers room that's currently pretty loaded with talent. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell figure to make up the top end of the depth chart, while former practice-squad wideouts Devin Street, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White figure to compete for playing time as do undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

"Nothing's for sure. I got my work cut out for me. It's an opportunity," Hawkins said. "That's how I'm approaching it. Going there and seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. I'm jsust excited to get there, get to work, and hopefully I can be part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy."