By Tom E. Curran
Logan Mankins didn't mince words when asked how hard it will be for the 2011 rookie class to make up lost time if and when the lockout ends. "They're gonna be way behind," Mankins said Monday at the Third Annual Joe Andruzzi and Friends Golf Tournament at TPC Boston. "I remember when I was a rookie, I started DayOne and I still felt likeI didn't know everything. And I was there the whole offseason, the whole training camp, everything. They're gonna be way behind. I guess you'll see the guys who can pick it up really fast."With the lockout almost 70 days old, the toll is worth detailing. Rookie mini camps, passing camps,OTAs andwork with position coaches have already gone by the wayside.And thefact that the only rookies who theoretically could have playbooks are the ones who were drafted in the first round before the lockout was put back in place prior to the second and third round. And all the undrafted free agents - and unrestricted free agents - who would need to learn a new system and the simple logistics of getting around their new city can't do so yet. The Patriots gave their first-round pick, left tackle Nate Solder, Mankins' phone number when the lockout was briefly lifted. Mankins says he's spoken to Solder about dealing with the lockout and uncertainty.
"I'm more than willing to help any young guy," Mankins said. "He's in a tough situation. He doesn't know what's going on right now. He has no coaches to talk to. He's just trying to make it in this league and I'll help him any wayI can." We're probably already at the point where the 2011 season is being affected by the lack of an organized offseason. "The quality of play will be there but it may not start right away," said Andruzzi, the former Patriots' lineman who has dedicated himself to helping fight cancer with his foundation. "How many guys do you see miss training camp and then they get out there and aren't ready or pull something or something like that? You see it year in and year out with different players. "The (offseason work as a rookie with the Packers) was huge," said Andruzzi. "There were two rookie linemen - a first-round pick and I was the other one as a free agent. So I had to work hard. I was in that classroom, studying the playbook, studying film, in the weight room, trying to get that extra edge to get on the field. They're missing learning the playbook, learning the system, and ultimately learning the team."And, as Mankins points out,it's very hard to push yourself to the level necessary without someone prodding you. "There's nothing like having coaches there to push you," he explained. "That will be the hardest part for the guys this year:pushing themselves to the level a coach would push you. You either have it or you don't. You either want to push yourself to get better or you feel you're that good that you don't have to push yourself." Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.
When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.
"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"
Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year.
Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone.
"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."
Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1.
Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.
Tom Brady wasn't always the most famous person in his family. Growing up, his sisters were the accomplished athletes in the household.
For his latest Throwback Thursday style Facebook post, Brady published a pair of photos of an old high school essay that he wrote in the fall of his senior year in 1994. It was titled "The way my sisters influenced me."
I found an essay I wrote in 1994... I love my big sisters! #tbt. Thanks for the good grade Mr Stark!Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, June 23, 2016
In it, he discusses some of the difficulties of growing up with three older sisters and no brothers. Because Maureen, Julie and Nancy Brady had achieved so much in softball, basketball and soccer, Brady -- or "Tommy," as he signed his paper -- had trouble getting noticed.
Of course, it wouldn't be long before Brady was headed from San Mateo, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to play football for the Wolverines. He probably had no trouble garnering attention by then. Still, it's funny to read about how he felt overlooked in his youth.
He closed the essay explaining that he knew his sisters would always provide him support throughout his life, adding, "hopefully, just maybe, one day people will walk up to them and say, 'Aren't you Tommy's sister?' or 'Hey where is your brother?' Maybe . . . "
If the Brady sisters didn't get those kinds of comments by the time the baby of the family was given an 'A' for his English assignment, it probably didn't take long before they did. About seven years later, he took over as the starting quarterback of the Patriots.