In the long history of the National Football League, few men were tougher than Steve McNair.



You don’t flip the car keys to a kid as soon as he turns 16. He’s got to go through driver’s ed.



As of Sunday, the Patriots have signed one of their 12 draft picks -- fourth-rounder Rich Ohrnberger officially agreed to a four-year, $2.2 million contract with New England on June 16. But each of the other 11 has hit the traditional “dead period” of the NFL calendar without a deal.



LEDYARD, Conn. -- When Joe Theismann got a chance to see Bernard Pollard’s takedown of Tom Brady in the 2008 season-opener, he instantly knew what had happened to the Patriots’ quarterback.



Sparked by the reaction to this story from Sunday -- as well as the urging of some e-mailers and other posters over at the patsfans.com messageboard -- we’ve decided to ex



It’s the deadest period on the NFL calendar.



Making snap judgments based on a few spring workouts isn’t good football business. But after watching 10 spring practices involving the Patriots over the last six weeks -- four at rookie minicamp, four at the organized team activities (OTAs) and two at full-squad minicamp -- we know a lot more about the team than we did in the days following the draft.



FOXBOROUGH -- In a high-tech world, Shawn Springs is a low-tech cornerback.



Contract disputes usually come with angry rhetoric, harsh words and prolonged absences.



While there were major moves on offense and defense this offseason for the Patriots, no unit saw more important changes than special teams.