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Saturday, April 24, 2010
Sound bites from Gillette

By Mike Reiss

FOXBORO – Sound bites from Gillette Stadium on Day 2 of the NFL Draft:

Spikes gets high recommendation from Doc Rivers. It’s not often that the head coach of an NFL team opens his press conference with remarks referencing the NBA coach in the city. Bill Belichick did it smiling as he recapped the Patriots’ selection of Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes in the second round (62nd overall). “He came with a good recommendation from Doc, which I appreciated,” Belichick said, referencing how Spikes is dating Rivers’ daughter, Callie. “Doc can keep an eye on him up here, and keep his daughter a little closer to home.”

Gronkowski lets it loose at draft. On the television broadcast of the draft, second-round draft choice Rob Gronkowski was seen celebrating with his family at draft headquarters in New York as he wore a Patriots helmet. Belichick called him a “fun-loving guy who enjoys having a good time”, while Gronkowski explained his approach this way: “I bring a lot of energy. I just enjoy being around my family and friends.” Asked about the back injury that sidelined him for all of 2009, Gronkowski said, “That’s all in the past. My back is 100 percent. I’m ready to play.”

Cunningham happy to come to New England with Brandon Spikes. Outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham said in a conference call that one of the nice aspects of coming to the Patriots will be that his Florida teammate, Brandon Spikes, will be there too. The two roomed together for a semester their second year on campus. “I’m very excited,” Cunningham said, noting that he and Spikes sat down with Bill Belichick on campus before the draft and were quizzed on Xs and Os.

Spikes not looking back at slow 40 time. One of the reasons Brandon Spikes dropped to the bottom of the second round is a slow time in the 40-yard dash (4.95). He was happy that the Patriots looked beyond that. “With Coach Belichick, he looks at the film a lot more,” Spikes said. “I know that wasn’t part of my game and they knew that before I lined up to run. Coach Belichick, he believed in me and I’m happy that he believed in me along with everybody there.”

Offensive system limited Price’s production. Receiver Taylor Price, the team’s third-round pick out of Ohio, touched on how the team’s offensive system wasn’t heavy pass-oriented. “We started from the option when I first got there as a freshman, and it evolved every single year into more spread option, and then a spread option with some passes in it. We just really didn’t get [enough] consistent play out of some of the positions on the team to really make the offense go.”

Looks a lot like Kyle Brady. When asked what tight end he’s previously coached that might remind him of second-round draft choice Rob Gronkowski, Belichick pointed to Kyle Brady. “Kyle was maybe a little bit bigger, but that kind of frame,” he said. “He ran well, big target, big physical guy – a guy that’s not a tackle but not too far from looking like a tackle.”