Patriots catch a falling Mallett

Patriots catch a falling Mallett

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

In 2000, the Patriots plucked a plummeting quarterback who came to the NFL with something to prove. It worked out pretty well for the Patriots and Tom Brady. Friday night, the Patriots made a similar bid - albeit with a player who has different concerns. New England took Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett with the 74th pick in the draft. One pick before, New England took LSU running back Stevan Ridley, a 5-10, 225 pounder. But Mallett has become the most interesting story of this Patriots draft. Why Mallett, Bill Belichick was asked. "Felt like he was a good player," said Belichick. "Good production. He's won everywhere he's been. He's been a successful quarterback everywhere he's been."Mallett's had a litany of off-field concerns including drug use. During the runup to the draft Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki wrote that a source explained that Mallett "came clean" about drug usage. One G.M. said Mallett was the first quarterback ever to admit his drug usage to him in interviews, and his willingness to be honest about his past and acknowledge issues is viewed as a positive, Nawrocki wrote. Concerns about his history of use could impact his draft position, though.Nawrocki added, "Although Mallett did not produce an official positive test at Arkansas, he has been arrested for public intoxication and carries a reputation as a big party guy, per sources who have interviewed him. How much teams believe he has matured will weigh into his draft status.Asked about the off-field concerns, Belichick said, "Obviously we're comfortable with that."He added that, during the process, "We evaluate the total player. Height, work ethic, speed, whatever it is. Put it all together, try to put a grade or value on that player. Includes everything."Belichick praised Mallett as a student of the game, noting that - like Belichick, Mallett's father coaches the game."You either get sick of it or you marry into it and love it," Belichick explained. "Hehas a great thirst for knowledge for the position and for football."Mallett's arm strength, delivery and pocket presence are unquestioned. He's 6-foot-7 andthrows the ball with a remarkable amount of velocity.It will be fascinating to watch the progress of Mallett. The degree to which he's coddled or protected. The way teammates respond to him. The impact Brady has. And how his remarkable on-field abilities translate. A semi-boring draft just got a lot more interesting with Mallett.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Gronkowski presented with 2016 Ron Burton Community Service Award

Gronkowski presented with 2016 Ron Burton Community Service Award

At Tuesday night’s Patriots Premiere event, tight end Rob Gronkowski was presented with the 2016 Ron Burton Community Service Award.

Gronkowski is the 14th player to have received the award that is named for the late Ron Burton. The first player the Patriots organization ever drafted, Burton was well-known for his charitable work.

“Ever since I’ve been here, following the Krafts, the whole Kraft family, from Myra Kraft, Mr. Kraft, all his sons, seeing everyone lead by example, how they give back to the community every single week was just an honor to see,” said Gronkowski, “I just wanted to be a part of it and give back to the community in a positive way.”

Those who have received the award in the past include Nate Solder (2015), Devin McCourty (2014), Matthew Slater (2013), Zoltan Mesko (2012), Jerod Mayo (2011), Vince Wilfork (2010), Kevin Faulk (2009), Larry Izzo (2008), Ty Warren (2007), Jarvis Green (2006), Matt Light (2005), Troy Brown (2004) and Joe Andruzzi (2003).

"Rob is just as fun to watch at a community event as he is on the game field," said Kraft. "Giving back to the community is a big part of being ‘Gronk.' He is engaging with fans of all ages. His gregarious personality makes him one of our greatest ambassadors, especially when spreading cheer to children at local hospitals or schools. We love the devotion and enthusiasm that he shows in the community and are proud to present him with this year's Ron Burton Community Service Award."

Gronk, never shy about cracking a joke, entertained the crowd like only he can.

“Who would have ever thought five years ago when I was on ESPN every weekend drunk that I’d be accepting this award?”

Ordway: Garoppolo has to play in game 4 of the preseason vs. Giants

Ordway: Garoppolo has to play in game 4 of the preseason vs. Giants

Glenn Ordway sits in with Bob Neumeier and Gary Tanguay on the Arbella Insurance Early Edition to chat about Brady's suspension terms, and Brady, Garoppolo and Brissett playing in the final pre-season game.