A closer look at Ryan Mallett

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A closer look at Ryan Mallett

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO - In the bizarre lockout world of the NFL, there's been a cloak-and-dagger feel to the proceedings.

Who can talk to whom for how long? What can players leave the building with? How long can team-incoming rookie relations last?

With that backdrop, media met with a couple of Patriots this afternoon in the dim, gray, concrete concourses of Gillette Stadium. The first was quarterback Ryan Mallett. His issues are well-documented. His talent as well.

The fact that several quarterbacks were taken ahead of him didn't slip his attention.

"When there are six other guys at your position taken ahead of you, theres going to be(an intention to prove people wrong)," said Mallett.

We got a little bit more on his background on Saturday.

On the offense at ArkansasThe Arkansas offense is pro style. Were under center, were in the shot gun, were making protection calls, were audibling. Were doing all that. Terminology is obviously going to be different from team to team, so thats going to be the biggest obstacle as well as learning the new plays, the new defenses of the NFL.

What was his redshirt season between Michigan and Arkansas like?It was productive and tough. Productive in the way that I could get really into the playbook and learn really everything in and out of it. It was hard knowing that I couldnt go play. I didnt have the chance to play because of the rule. No matter what I did, I couldnt get on the field. So, that was probably the hardest part of that year.

Without training and minicamp, how will he accelerate to the faster pace of the NFL?You practice harder. You train harder. You train faster, as fast as you can every rep whether its running, whether its throwing, whether its a drop back, a lift, you do it as hard as you can every time.

What does he like about being a quarterback?The thing I like about the position is you get to lead a group of guys during the practice, during the game, the final minute of the game, whatever it is. Youre responsible for the 10 other guys on the field and yourself to get things done right. And thats what I really enjoy about the position.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Cyrus Jones: 'I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to'

Cyrus Jones: 'I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to'

It was a tough rookie season for Cyrus Jones after being selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the the 2016 NFL Draft.

Despite struggling in the return game all season and being inactive for the playoffs, Jones will forever the labeled as a "Super Bowl Champion" after his team's victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

But you won't hear Jones bragging about the victory.

"I'll never take credit for something I don't feel I contributed to," Jones told Childs Walker of the The Baltimore Sun. "I was part of the team, but I didn't feel a part of it."

The 23-year-old rookie played in 10 games for the Patriots, seeing 147 snaps on defense. But his struggles in the return game were a talking point for most of the season after he came in with such high expectations as a returner out of Alabama. 

"Honestly, it was hell for me," he explained. "That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't feel I deserved to be part of anything that was happening with the team. I felt embarrassed that these people probably thought they wasted a pick on me."

Jones has already turned the page on his rookie season saying, there's "no such thing as an offseason" because he "didn't earn it."

Robert Kraft profiled on this week's 'Real Sports' on HBO

Robert Kraft profiled on this week's 'Real Sports' on HBO

Robert Kraft is a bit taken aback when he walks into a room at Gillette Stadium and sees the Patriots' five Lombardi trophies lined up.

"Wow. That's the first time I've seen five trophies there," he tells Andrea Kremer on HBO's "Real Sports" in a interview that will air as part of this week's episode Tuesday at 10 p.m.

"A lot of people have their big dreams and get knocked down and don't have things go their way," Kraft says, "And you never give up hope and you really just hold on to it. Hard work and perserverance. You just keep getting up and getting up and then you get that breakthrough. I think that's what happened in overtime down in Houston. And that's lessons in life that are good for anyone." 

Here's an excerpt: