Wilfork: Time to get back to work

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Wilfork: Time to get back to work

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
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"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; When Vince Wilfork speaks, people listen.

In case you werent aware after watching Thursday morningswalkthrough at Gillette Stadium to open up 2011 training camp, the Patriotsdefensive lineman clarified afterwards that it was indeed time to get back towork.

Im just happy to be back, said Wilfork. Its been a longtime for all of us, and I know for myself. Its time to get to work. We have alot in front of us right now. Its going to take us a great deal of commitment,to get to where we want to be.

Thats where were at now. It started with the meetings,and the walkthrough. And you know what? Lets start putting it together.

Wilfork acknowledged that there were no advantages aroundthe league, with regards to being ready for the regular season. But he didstress the importance of putting it all together as quick as possible.

Only thingthat matters now is, how quickly we can get into good shape and play somefootball, said Wilfork. Play some good football, and come out here and workevery day. Thats what were striving to do.

I think everybodys starting in the same situation,Wilfork later added. You just have to take it one day at a time. I mean, wedont know. We dont know until we actually get out on the field, put it alltogether and see where were at. And Ill tell you what, were not the onlyteam thats like that. Its going to be like that around the NFL. So thequicker you can get in the groove, the quicker you can make a commitment to yourteammates and to this team and this organization, the better well be.

As a veteran leader on the team, Wilfork didnt give anyspecial treatment or make excuses for the rookies or incoming free agents. Atthis stage, everybody needs to be on the same page.

Everythings different, said Wilfork. The train is goingto move, regardless of what. And you better jump on board, because its notslowing down anytime right now.

Or main focus right now is to get in these books, get inour playbook, get acclimated with everything new thats going on. And you knowwhat? Its there. Theres nothing we can do about it.

What matters right now, is how quick we can get in thisfilm room, get in this playbook, and come out here and put it together. Thatswhat our focus is.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Sanu on Patriots' Super Bowl comeback: Lady Gaga's long halftime hurt Falcons

Three weeks removed from his team blowing a 25-point, second-half lead in the Super Bowl, Mohamed Sanu offered a possible explanation for the Atlanta Falcons losing their edge against the Patriots.

Lady Gaga.

More specifically, it was the half-hour-plus halftime show that interrupted the Falcons' rhythm, the receiver said Friday on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

“Usually, halftime is only like 15 minutes, and when you’re not on the field for like an hour, it’s just like going to work out, like a great workout, and you go sit on the couch for an hour and then try to start working out again,” Sanu said.

Sanu was asked if the delay was something you can simulate in practice. 

"It's really the energy [you can't duplicate]," he said. "I don't know if you can simulate something like that. That was my first time experiencing something like that."

Patriots coach Bill Belichick did simulate it. In his Super Bowl practices, he had his team take long breaks in the middle.

Sanu also addressed the Falcons' pass-first play-calling that didn't eat up clock while the Patriots came back.

"The thought [that they weren't running the ball more] crossed your mind, but as a player, you're going to do what the coach [Dan Quinn] wants you to do." Sanu said. "He's called plays like that all the time."


 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

The third-round compensatory pick acquired by the Patriots carries additional value this year in that it is the first year in which compensatory picks can be traded. A near top-100 overall selection may allow the Patriots to move up the draft board or build assets in the middle rounds should they be inclined to deal. And we know they oftentimes are. 

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.