Checking out Patriots' early draft tendencies

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Checking out Patriots' early draft tendencies

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Every draft season until 2008, I could say with great certainty that the Patriots don't draft linebackers early. They converted players to the position (Tedy Bruschi) or signed savvy, veteran (Rosevelt Colvin, Junior Seau, Monty Beisel - oop!) free agents. And the history bore that out. From 2000 when they took Casey Tisdale in the seventh round, the linebacker draftees went as follows: T.J. Turner (7th, 2001), Ryan Claridge (5th, 2005), Justin Rogers (6th, 2007), Oscar Lua (7th, 2007). But since then, they've gone on a linebacker jag.In 2008, they took Jerod Mayo with the 10th overall pick, added Tyrone McKenzie with a third-rounder in 2009 then took Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham in the second round last year.What to make of that development? How about this:As muchas the Patriots speak of taking the best available player at a spot, or tradingdown from that spot if the best player available isn't a fit, they very much do draft for need. The Patriots didn't take linebackers from 2001 through 2008 because they had a cadre of excellent ones - Ted Johnson, Bruschi, Roman Phifer, Vrabel, McGinest. When the cupboard went bare, they moved to fill it. So as we look at where the Patriots might go in 2010, we have to ask ourselves two things - where are they getting old andor thin? Where is this draft deeply stocked? They are oldthin on the offensive line. Getting there on the defensive line (Wilfork, Warren, Stroud). This draft is deep at DEOLB, fairly deep at both defensive and offensive line. So don't be surprised if this year, the Patriots buck a trend of not drafting offensive linemen very early (one first rounder, three second rounders since 2000) and try to collect a few. Here are the Patriots tendencies over the first three rounds since Bill Belichick has been head coach. FIRST ROUND
Defensive end: 2 (Richard Seymour, Ty Warren)Tight end: 2 (Daniel Graham, Ben Watson)Nose tackle: 1 (Vince Wilfork)Guard: 1 (Logan Mankins)Running back: 1 (Laurence Maroney)Linebacker: 1 (Jerod Mayo)Cornerback: 1 (Devin McCourty)Safety: 1 (Brandon Meriweather)SECOND ROUNDTackle:2 (Sebastian Vollmer, Matt Light)Wide Receiver: 2 (Deion Branch, Chad Jackson)Safety: 2(Eugene Wilson, Patrick Chung) Linebacker: 2 (Jermaine Cunningham, Brandon Spikes)Cornerback: 2 (Terrence Wheatley, Darius Butler)Defensive end: 1 (Marquise Hill)Tight end: 1 (Rob Gronkowski) Guard: 1 (Adrian Klemm)THIRD ROUNDCornerback:2 (Brock Williams, Ellis Hobbs)Linebacker: 2(Shawn Crable, Tyrone McKenzie)Wide receiver:2 (Brandon Tate, Taylor Price)Quarterback: 1(Kevin O'Connell)Tackle: 1 (Nick Kaczur)Safety: 1 (Guss Scott)Running Back: 1 (J.R. Redmond)Where the Patriots have drafted and the personnel already on the roster have no doubt impacted their selections greatly. Still, it's fascinating to me that the first corner they ever spent a first-round pick on was Devin McCourty. And that they've never spent a first-rounder on a wideout oran offensive tackle. Or a pick in the first two rounds on a quarterback (thanks, Tom Brady!). They've not taken a center in the first three rounds since Belichick's been here. And one lonely little guard all the way back in 2000 (Adrian Klemm). There are assumptions that can be made from these tendencies, certainly. The wide receiver trend seems an almost hard and fast rule. But - as with Mayo - once it seems you've got their thinking figured out, the Patriots change. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.

Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

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Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape. 

OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.

@tombrady always fighting for that extra yard. 😂😂 #TBAsiaTour #IWILL

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The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.

Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent. 

Arigatōgozaimashita 🇯🇵🙏

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Brady vs Brady #therecanonlybeone 🏆

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