FOXBORO — Patriots center Dan Koppen speculated Thursday morning that this might be his time to step forward and become more of a vocal presence in the locker room.

“I think everybody needs to do their part,” he said when asked about the state of leadership in the Patriots’ locker room. “Really, that just starts with doing your job and coming in here and working out hard every day and … people like myself who maybe haven’t been as vocal in the past, maybe I need to step up and get a little bit more vocal.

Patriots president Jonathan Kraft made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning and discussed the team's recent maneuverings. "I don't think the offseason is over," Kraft said. "I think we're definitely more secure in the core unit of our team. ... We had a number of people on our team who were priorities, and we've taken care of them, which I think leads us to believe we're in a better place. ... I think we are on our way to having a materially better team than we did at the end of last season."

 

The Patriots have officially signed tight end Alge Crumpler, according to multiple outlets. The 32-year-old veteran, who had agreed on a deal earlier this month, has played for both Atlanta and Tennessee. Crumpler was known as a pass-catcher earlier in his career, but has become more of a blocker the last two seasons with the Titans. With Tennessee, he had 51 catches for 479 yards, including 27 receptions for a career-low 222 yards and one touchdown in 2009.

D.J. Bean has another edition of his NFL mock draft, and this week he writes that the Patriots are in position to land Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick at No. 22. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford remains the favorite to go No. 1 overall. Read the full story here.

According to a report on NESN.com, Tom Brady has reported to Foxboro to join his teammates for voluntary workouts. On Monday at the NFL owners meetings, Robert Kraft told members of the media he would prefer that his quarterback was at Gillette Stadium to work out with the team. Brady had been photographed in Southern California going through his own training regimen, which included boxing workouts.

 

For more Patriots news, check the It Is What It Is blog.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn't like the new idea for overtime, but he's also no fan of the current sudden-death model. Speaking with ESPN.com, Belichick said he likes "the rules of the game as they are in regulation," which would extend to a timed overtime period, something he advocated in a 2007 interview in The Boston Globe. "I think that's the way it should be in overtime, but that's not the way it is," Belichick said of the timed format.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick met the media Tuesday morning at the AFC coaches breakfast during the NFL's annual meeting in Orlando, and had plenty of good things to say about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. “Great career, great player,” Belichick told reporters. “I think it’s obvious that within the last six weeks, that he’s worked on his mechanics and they’ve improved, which is a credit to him. He’s very coachable and he works very hard.

Bill Belichick, in Orlando for the NFL owners meeting, told ESPN.com that he does not anticapte an increase in his coaching workload in 2010 despite the departure of defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

 

The Patriots were granted four compensatory draft picks Monday afternoon at the NFL Meetings. Based on its free agent movement from last offseason, New England received three extra seventh-round picks and one extra sixth-round selection. The Patriots now have 12 picks in next month's draft. For more Patriots news, check out our football blog, It Is What It Is.
 

According to a Boston.com report, Patriots' Pro Bowl offense lineman Logan Mankins is steering clear of the start of the offseason program. Mankins, who was tendered at the first- and third-round level in February, is apparently avoiding workouts in Foxboro until there until there is some significant movement on his contract situation.