1. My latest on the Patriots. With 18 free agents, including three starters, I break down why the Patriots should attempt to re-sign right tackle Sebastian Vollmer first before dealing with Wes Welker and Aqib Talib. Thoughts, comments, critiques welcome. (via For Patriots offseason, Vollmer should come first - Extra Points - Boston.com)

    My latest on the Patriots. With 18 free agents, including three starters, I break down why the Patriots should attempt to re-sign right tackle Sebastian Vollmer first before dealing with Wes Welker and Aqib Talib. Thoughts, comments, critiques welcome. (via For Patriots offseason, Vollmer should come first - Extra Points - Boston.com)

  2. My picks for this week and thoughts on the Patriots-49ers game. (via Week 16 NFL picks: 49ers find themselves as the team to beat | Zuri Berry)

    My picks for this week and thoughts on the Patriots-49ers game. (via Week 16 NFL picks: 49ers find themselves as the team to beat | Zuri Berry)

  3. Projecting the Patriots’ 53: Second edition - Patriots - Boston.com

    In my second projection of the Patriots’ 53-man roster, there are a few slight changes for the team in key position groups. But what’s more, there is a conscious consideration of injuries and how they are already affecting the team through the first preseason game. See who’s up and who’s down since last week.

  4. Projecting the Patriots’ 53: First edition - Patriots - Boston.com
  5. 5 takeaways from the first week of Patriots training camp - Extra Points - Boston.com
  6. Thoughts and storylines on the Patriots before training camp. (via 53 burning questions for the Patriots headed into training camp - Extra Points - Boston.com)

    Thoughts and storylines on the Patriots before training camp. (via 53 burning questions for the Patriots headed into training camp - Extra Points - Boston.com)

  7. What remains following the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis (181 carries, 667 yards, 11 touchdowns in 2011-12) are question marks surrounding who will be the team’s lead running back. Also gone, yet lurking for a potential comeback, is Kevin Faulk. Who is left? Younglings Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and scat back Danny Woodhead, who are all looking to prove their mettle with more snaps and more exposure. Add into the equation veteran running back Joseph Addai and rookie free agent Brandon Bolden, and the Patriots have a cocktail mix of young, new, and unproven. As Patriots OTAs continue, here’s a look at this key group.  (via Patriots roster evaluation: Running backs - Boston.com)

    What remains following the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis (181 carries, 667 yards, 11 touchdowns in 2011-12) are question marks surrounding who will be the team’s lead running back. Also gone, yet lurking for a potential comeback, is Kevin Faulk. Who is left? Younglings Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and scat back Danny Woodhead, who are all looking to prove their mettle with more snaps and more exposure. Add into the equation veteran running back Joseph Addai and rookie free agent Brandon Bolden, and the Patriots have a cocktail mix of young, new, and unproven. As Patriots OTAs continue, here’s a look at this key group.  (via Patriots roster evaluation: Running backs - Boston.com)

  8. There’s a logjam at wide receiver on the Patriots’ roster. Do you know how many are on the team right now? The correct answer is 11. Paring that down to six, or even seven, at this moment seems like a monumental task given the talent in the group. Most of the wideouts are quite decorated. Some are on their second tenure with the team. Some are looking to make a comeback. And some are just trying to get their careers going. Here’s a look at those 11, where they could possibly play in the Patriots’ plans, and our best guess at what the depth chart may eventually look like.
(via Projecting the Patriots receivers depth chart - Extra Points - Boston.com)

    There’s a logjam at wide receiver on the Patriots’ roster. Do you know how many are on the team right now? The correct answer is 11. Paring that down to six, or even seven, at this moment seems like a monumental task given the talent in the group. Most of the wideouts are quite decorated. Some are on their second tenure with the team. Some are looking to make a comeback. And some are just trying to get their careers going. Here’s a look at those 11, where they could possibly play in the Patriots’ plans, and our best guess at what the depth chart may eventually look like.

    (via Projecting the Patriots receivers depth chart - Extra Points - Boston.com)

  9. Alex Smith says no rust on Randy Moss in first San Francisco 49ers workouts - ESPN

    Crazy how people thought Randy Moss was washed up. But then again, that was never really the issue. The issue was that he wasn’t motivated, that his head wasn’t into the task at hand. He got comfortable in New England and then got shipped out. This will be Moss’ last chance to change the lasting memory of his career and his work ethic. And if he doesn’t pull it off, the rumors will become reality. That’s Moss’ new motivation. That’s today’s reality.

  10. "Now, following Belichick and company selecting Syracuse’s Chandler Jones and Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower with the 21st and 25th overall picks, the team has to fill other glaring holes for both the short and long term."

    Still value on board for Patriots - Extra Points - Boston.com

  11. There’s no such thing as a dramatic improvement on 13-3. Yet it was right here in New England where that kind of conventional wisdom was turned on its head. After a 12-4 campaign in 2006, the Patriots scorched the Earth going 16-0, creating an illusion of perfection and mind-boggling year-over-year improvement in the regular season. Is it conceivable for the Patriots to improve enough, with the help of the 2012 NFL draft, to venture into that realm of dominance again? Is it possible for the Patriots’ defense to become stingy and opportunistic, rather than beckon for timely stops? Here are a few ideas on how they can get it done and attain the ever elusive Lombardi Trophy. Whether it’s in 2012 or beyond. (via 5 keys for the Patriots draft - Boston.com)

    There’s no such thing as a dramatic improvement on 13-3. Yet it was right here in New England where that kind of conventional wisdom was turned on its head. After a 12-4 campaign in 2006, the Patriots scorched the Earth going 16-0, creating an illusion of perfection and mind-boggling year-over-year improvement in the regular season. Is it conceivable for the Patriots to improve enough, with the help of the 2012 NFL draft, to venture into that realm of dominance again? Is it possible for the Patriots’ defense to become stingy and opportunistic, rather than beckon for timely stops? Here are a few ideas on how they can get it done and attain the ever elusive Lombardi Trophy. Whether it’s in 2012 or beyond. (via 5 keys for the Patriots draft - Boston.com)

  12. Before considering whether or not the Patriots will trade away either of their two picks (Nos. 27 and 31) in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, which is in the “likely” column, one first has to consider whether or not there is any value in staying put. The key word, as it always is for coach Bill Belichick and company, is value. Do the Patriots envision any more value in multiplying the picks they have in the second round (two, 48 and 62), or the third (93) and fourth rounds (126)? Doing so changes the board for the Pats dramatically. So when considering the Patriots draft prospects, one has to consider the positioning, the projected talent, and then begin throwing darts at a board. Here’s where our darts landed. (via Patriots draft prospectus - Boston.com)

    Before considering whether or not the Patriots will trade away either of their two picks (Nos. 27 and 31) in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, which is in the “likely” column, one first has to consider whether or not there is any value in staying put. The key word, as it always is for coach Bill Belichick and company, is value. Do the Patriots envision any more value in multiplying the picks they have in the second round (two, 48 and 62), or the third (93) and fourth rounds (126)? Doing so changes the board for the Pats dramatically. So when considering the Patriots draft prospects, one has to consider the positioning, the projected talent, and then begin throwing darts at a board. Here’s where our darts landed. (via Patriots draft prospectus - Boston.com)

  13. Serious question: How much New England flavor do you see in the New York  Giants? Answer: Quite a bit. A number of the Giants’ coaching staff and  players have ties to the New England area, particularly to Boston  College. Take a gander and see who hails from our neck of the woods  and  who played their college ball here.  (via The Giant New England connections - Boston.com)

    Serious question: How much New England flavor do you see in the New York Giants? Answer: Quite a bit. A number of the Giants’ coaching staff and players have ties to the New England area, particularly to Boston College. Take a gander and see who hails from our neck of the woods and who played their college ball here.  (via The Giant New England connections - Boston.com)

  14. As you’re planning your Super Bowl party  this year, give a thought to future Hall of Famer Terrell Owens. He’s  out of work, out of money, and currently in court with all four of his  baby mamas. And now for the part that really depresses him: For the  first time in his long, checkered, and spectacular career, nobody wants  to throw him the ball
(via Terrell Owens, NFL Wide Receiver - GQ February 2012: Profiles: GQ)

    As you’re planning your Super Bowl party this year, give a thought to future Hall of Famer Terrell Owens. He’s out of work, out of money, and currently in court with all four of his baby mamas. And now for the part that really depresses him: For the first time in his long, checkered, and spectacular career, nobody wants to throw him the ball

    (via Terrell Owens, NFL Wide Receiver - GQ February 2012: Profiles: GQ)

  15. The Patriots’ last playoff matchup with the Baltimore Ravens was a  stinging dose of reality in New England. Despite the team’s success that  season (10-6), home field advantage, and the not-so meager hopes behind  one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., some cold humble pie was dished  out by the more physical and more defensively gifted Ravens. Not this  year. The talent inequality that once existed between the Ravens and  Patriots no longer exists. And with it, the Patriots’ physicality has  progressed. The Patriots are peaking right now. It’s with these thoughts  in mind that we lay down our predictions for Sunday’s AFC Championship.   (via Predicting the Patriots-Ravens game - Boston.com)

    The Patriots’ last playoff matchup with the Baltimore Ravens was a stinging dose of reality in New England. Despite the team’s success that season (10-6), home field advantage, and the not-so meager hopes behind one Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr., some cold humble pie was dished out by the more physical and more defensively gifted Ravens. Not this year. The talent inequality that once existed between the Ravens and Patriots no longer exists. And with it, the Patriots’ physicality has progressed. The Patriots are peaking right now. It’s with these thoughts in mind that we lay down our predictions for Sunday’s AFC Championship. (via Predicting the Patriots-Ravens game - Boston.com)