By Tom E. Curran
When Devin McCourty finished his post-draft meet-and-greet with the New England media last April, I told him that, traditionally, first-round picks host a weekend party for the media.Wide-eyed, he sought out Patriots media relations overlord Stacey James who pursed his lips and shook his head, "No."Sadly, that's not the moment McCourty remembers from last April. SpeakingTuesday with internet strongman Mike Florio on PFT Live, McCourty said that the first questioning posed to him that day helped spur himto abrilliant rookie season. "As soon as I got to Boston, I had to do an interview for the media about being drafted, and the first thing someone said to me was, Did you realize to the fans and the media youre not a popular pick not many people wanted you?" McCourty told Florio."And I just think as a player and as a competitor, when you hear those things, its a challenge. Throughout the whole season I had that in the back of my mind."McCourty's been a bit of a debutante during the past month or so, appearing with Florio and on ESPN's First Take with his brother Jason, a corner for the Titans. After a Pro Bowl season - one in which he would have been Defensive Rookie of the Year if not for a man named Suh - McCourty is allowed to enjoy the fruits of his work. A couple of other snippets from McCourty's time with Florio . . .On Randy Moss: "To line up against Randy and Tom Brady every day in practice, and get beat numerous times. It definitely got me ready for the season.On preparation: When I sat with Coach Belichick before the draft, when he was asking me questions about the defense, I was able to answer a lot of questions probably, as a coach, he didnt expect a corner to know.Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.
Tom Brady is supposed to have no contact with the Patriots regarding football during his four-game suspension. Will the NFL make sure that doesn’t happen? How can they?
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald discussed it with Toucher and Rich.
Michael Hurley discusses the NFL's investigation into Peyton Manning's alleged PED use with Toucher and Rich. Hurley wonders why their was such a rush to clear a retired player and continue the probe into still-active players.
The Patriots had a handful of veterans who missed spring practices back on the field Monday.
The team's website posted video of a training camp "sneak preview," featuring clips from a practice held three days before the official start of camp. In the video were shown offensive tackle Nate Solder, running back LeGarrette Blount and safety Duron Harmon getting in some work after all three were absent from OTA practices open to the media.
Solder suffered a biceps injury last season that landed him on season-ending injured reserve, which helped throw the Patriots protection in front of Tom Brady into a state of flux for much of the remainder of the season. Should Solder be able to participate in camp practices, as it appears will be the case, the team will have a stabilizing presence on the left side of the line as it prepares for the regular season.
Blount also landed on IR last season after having suffered a hip injury late in the year. He hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent this offseason and eventually signed a one-year deal to remain in New England. If healthy, Blount figures to have the edge in claiming the "big back" role that he's filled for the Patriots at different points over the course of the last three seasons.
Harmon sported a red non-contact jersey during Monday's workout, indicating that he may still need some time before he's ready for any kind of tackling drills this summer. The fourth-year safety explained earlier this month that he was "ready to go" for camp after "just trying to clean up some things physically" during the spring.