Smith will do 'whatever it takes' to contribute

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Smith will do 'whatever it takes' to contribute

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Continuing with their 2011 draft trend of selected guys whoare willing to do whatever it takes in order to contribute to an NFL team,the Patriots took tight end Lee Smith in the fifth round (159th overall) onSaturday.

Smith played four years at Marshall as a tight end, but saidhis nastiness on the field sometimes makes him an extra offensive lineman onthe football field.

He got that nastiness from his father, who used to tell himthat there are no friends inside the white lines.

I think its good to have a little nastiness in you, to bean extra offensive lineman on the field, at the tight end position, said Smithin Saturdays conference call.

Smith said he would be open to playing offensive line, if itmeant being part of Sundays game plan.

Whatever I need to do to compete, and contribute in theNFL, Ill do, said Smith. My goal is to contribute on Sundays. I dont wantto be a guy that doesnt contribute.

Im not saying that I have to be a starter, or I have to bethis, or I have to be that. I just want to make sure I contribute in the NFL,and I get to play ball. And if thats at tackle, tight end, special teams,whatever it is, thats what my dream has been my whole life.

His dream coming out of high school was to play football atthe University of Tennessee, where he initially had enrolled. But Smith quicklytransferred to Marshall -- where he played four seasons after being chargedwith a DUI at Tennessee.

There was a bump in the road, and it ended up being thebest thing that ever happened to me, said Smith, who was named team captainhis last two years at Marshall.

Now, hell join an impressive group of tight ends in NewEngland.

It fires me up, to see two, and three, and four tight endsets on the field, said Smith. I think thats something thats very specialwhen a team can do that. It definitely makes mismatches. You get a Hernandez,Gronkowski, and Crumpler, theyre all very different players. But at the sametime, when all three of them are on the field, its a nightmare for a defensivecoordinator, for any team in the NFL.

Im humbled to be put in a group with those three guys, andIm excited to kind of pick their brains, and hopefully get a little knowledgefrom each on of them.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”