Wisconsin's Carimi proclaims himself best OT in draft


Wisconsin's Carimi proclaims himself best OT in draft

By Tom E. Curran

INDIANAPOLIS - If someone advised Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi to appear confident, he heeded that advice. Carimi matter-of-factly proclaimed himself the best tackle in the year's draft class on Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine. Asked if he had any butterflies about the Combine workouts, Carimi said, "I'm completely confident in my game. I really don't have any problems. I know I'm going out there and perform. I know I'm the best tackle out there and I just have to play like it and act like it."The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Carimi is regarded as one of the top five at his position.Wes Bunting of the National Football post has Carimi as the second-best tackle behind USC's Tyron Smith. Pro Football Weekly has Carimi third behind Smith and BC's Anthony Castonzo. Castonzo, who stepped to the podium right after Carimi, was told of Carimi's proclamation. "That's his opinion," Castonzo said quickly. What will determine who's the best, Castonzo was asked."It's what we've already put on film," he said. "I'm not gonna stand up here and say I'm better than him or he's better than me. It's for the scouts to decide based on what we put on film. This is just the capper right here."Castonzo did mention that he's enjoying Carimi. It's hard not to. A few other nuggets . . . Asked about Ohio State's defense: "We drove on them like I don't think anyone did this year. On a Michigan State defender (sorry, question inaudible). "I did really good against him, he had like one tackle." On readiness: "I know I can play right away. I think that's the best aspect of me. I'm a draft-ready tackle that will be able to play in the National Football League next year." Carimiplayed guard at the Senior Bowl but says no teams are considering him for that. "Realistically, I'm a tackle." He says he can play either side. There's a lot of interest in Carimi. He said he's met with most teams. He confirmed he'd spoken to the Ravens, but when asked about the Patriots he answered,"I don't know. I can't comment on the Patriots. Ask the Patriots."Kid's a natural.

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

New year, different circumstances, same approach for McDaniels


New year, different circumstances, same approach for McDaniels

FOXBORO -- A year ago, the Patriots had a unique challenge: Fulfill Tom Brady’s desire to take every snap but also get Jimmy Garoppolo ready to run the team in Brady’s four-game absence.

This year, there’s no suspension looming. But Josh McDaniels still is tasked with getting Brady, Garoppolo and, yes, Jacoby Brissett ready for prime time.

“It’s the same every year for us,” said McDaniels a day before the first training camp practice. “We really didn’t change what we were doing in training camp last year.”

To quibble with the Pats successful offensive coordinator, there did appear to be a change, particularly with Brady’s usage during the preseason games. Perhaps the confluence of events in Brady’s personal life (mother’s illness) and that scissor mishap were driving forces, but bottom line is the program had to be altered. Still, the overall theme didn’t, and won’t again according to McDaniels.

“Everybody is going to get plenty of reps,” he said. “Fundamentals, techniques, all of the things that are basic to our success as we go through the course of the season, this is our opportunity to anchor those in our players so they’ll all three get plenty of reps . . . we’ll just let it play out.”

During OTAs and mini camp, Garoppolo spoke of competing to be the starter. Wishful thinking perhaps from the fourth-year pro, what with the GOAT firmly entrenched ahead of him on the depth chart, but it’s precisely that kind of attitude that is beneficial not only to the player but the entire roster.

“If you’re here, you’re responsible to try to push the people ahead of you so you can get out on the field and help us win,” said McDaneils. “I don’t think there’s a lot of deferring in any room, and that’s the great thing. That means we have a lot of competition and that’s the thing that makes everybody better. “

That competition started in the spring and will continue going forward to McDaniel’s satisfaction, or else. 

“They’ll be things I get mad at and will yell about,” he smiled.

Looking forward to it.

Quick Slants the Podcast: Behind the scenes stories on Belichick and the Patriots with Jerod Mayo


Quick Slants the Podcast: Behind the scenes stories on Belichick and the Patriots with Jerod Mayo

Former Patriots defensive captain Jerod Mayo joins Tom E. Curran and Phill Perry to give a peak behind the curtain of the Patriots operation run by Bill Belichick.

Mayo talks about becoming a captain, how New England differs from other NFL franchises, what impact Belichick had on not only his career , but life, and how good the defense can be this season.