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News Blitz 5/23: Tom Brady calls Welker-Amendola comparisons unfair
"Those aren't my demands. I want us to field as competitive a team as we possibly can and I have all the trust in the world that Mr. Kraft and Jonathan [Kraft] and coach Belichick do that. I'm not general manager, I can't say 'I do this, you do this,'" Brady said. "I think we are going to field a competitive team."
Brady also stated that any comparisons between new Patriots wideout Danny Amendola and Welker are unfair.
"They are similar positions, they're about the same height, they've both got very good ability. Wes was so productive for so long, I think it's unfair to compare anyone to Wes and what he was able to accomplish in his time here," Brady said. "Danny has been fun to work with. He's come in with an open mind and an understanding of the way we need to play."
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that Brandon Bolden's absence from OTAs is due to an undisclosed health issue, and may shed some light on the reasoning for acquiring LeGarrette Blount this offseason.
"Between projected top back Stevan Ridley (5-11, 220), Bolden (5-11, 220) and Blount (6-0, 247), the Patriots currently feature one of their biggest offensive backfields in Bill Belichick's coaching tenure," writes Reiss. "Shane Vereen (5-9, 205) and Leon Washington (5-8, 203) offer a change-of-pace element at running back, with rookie free-agent Akeem Shavers (5-11, 203) also in that category."
Reiss adds that Bolden's injury is worth monitoring as training camp approaches in July.
"If an undrafted free agent, such as cornerback Brandon Jones or safety Kanorris Davis steps up, the competition gets more complicated," adds Howe. "About 10 defensive backs should make the roster, barring an injury or the need to protect a young player from waivers."
Luke Hughes of NESN.com writes that Patriots Owner Robert Kraft is pushing for the Boston/Providence area to host a Super Bowl in the near future. This year's Super Bowl will be held outdoors at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and could possibly open the door for more cold-weather Super Bowls in the future.
"Part of what it will require is political people in Boston and Providence coming together so we could really have the right number of hotel rooms and have the support," said Kraft at Tuesday's owners meetings in Boston. "It would require cooperation from all of the political folks who would have to gather together and want this and come together, like they do in other parts of the country."
Kraft added, "I hope we can be in the game. We like playing in cold weather."
Oliver Thomas of Yahoo! Sports calls Patriots' rookie wide receiver Mark Harrison one of the 2013 draft's biggest enigmas. Harrison, a Rutgers product standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 235 pounds, was signed as a rookie free agent on Monday.
Harrison's stock was rising following the NFL Scouting Combine in February, with most scouts considering him a early Day 3 draft choice. His vertical leap of 38.5 inches was fourth-best among wide receivers at the combine.
"He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds, which is unheard of for a player of his size. The fact that Harrison was just .02 seconds behind lanky 6'4", 200-pound Tennessee receiver Justin Hunter -- a second-round pick -- is nothing short of remarkable," adds Thomas.
Then, two months after the combine, his stock fell after reports surfaced that Harrison and fellow wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins trashed their hotel room in Indianapolis. Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood supported his former player, saying "I just cannot imagine under any circumstance that it would happen and involve him."
A foot injury just before his Pro Day also led to Harrison going undrafted, but Thomas notes that it's still a mystery why the athletic wideout was on the market this late in the offseson before being picked up by New England. Read