By Tom E. Curran
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.