Looks bad for rooks
Mankins knows they’ll be behind
NORTON — The next court date for the NFL and players is June 3, and a decision on the league’s request for an appeal of the lockout injunction likely won’t come until the end of next month at the earliest.
So organized team activities and minicamps may not happen as scheduled, and for this year’s rookies, that’s not a good thing.
“Oh, they’re going to be way behind,’’ Patriots guard Logan Mankins said yesterday at the Joe Andruzzi & Friends charity golf tournament at TPC Boston. “I remember when I was a rookie, I started Day One and I still felt like I didn’t know everything, and I was there the whole offseason, the whole training camp, everything. So they’re going to be way behind and I guess you’ll see the guys who can pick it up pretty fast.’’
With no offseason programs, rookies won’t have had the usual amount of time to begin acclimating themselves to their new teams.
“You miss out on a whole lot, a lot of opportunity as far as getting an advantage on the film more than anything, learning schemes and the playbook,’’ said Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher, an undrafted rookie last year. “During OTAs is when I definitely learned the most in my playbook and what-not because during training camp you have to worry about earning yourself a position on the team.’’
New England drafted nine players last month and will add several more rookies when the league opens for business.
Friendly advice Mankins and the Patriots may be at odds about his contract, but that didn’t stop the veteran from offering some words of wisdom to the young man who could be lined up on his left shoulder when the season gets underway — first-round pick Nate Solder.
“He seems like a great guy. I gave him a little advice. Tried to help him out the best you can in the situation that we’re in right now,’’ Mankins said. “I’m more than willing to help any young guy who needs anything.
“Look, he’s in a tough situation right now; he doesn’t know what’s going on. He has no coaches to talk to. He’s just trying to make it in this league.’’
The Patriots gave Mankins’s phone number to Solder. The Pro Bowl guard certainly knows a thing or two about what to expect and the pressure that comes with blocking Tom Brady’s blind side.
The 29-year-old Mankins was asked about his future in New England, but his answer was more about the state of the league.
“Shoot, the NFL and the players can’t even agree on anything right now. We’ll worry about that once they can strike a deal,’’ he said.
Group effort More than a dozen current and former Patriots were on hand for Joe Andruzzi’s tournament, a fund-raiser for his foundation that helps cancer patients and their families pay non-medical bills and also raises funds for pediatric brain cancer research.
In addition to Mankins and Fletcher, Jermaine Cunningham, Ryan Wendell, Mark LeVoir, running backs coach Ivan Fears, defensive backs coach Matt Patricia, and strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash were on hand, as were former Patriot tight ends Jermaine Wiggins and Christian Fauria and current Bronco Russ Hochstein.
Fletcher said that he is among 12 to 15 players who work out at a facility near Gillette Stadium, a group led by Jerod Mayo.
Meetings begin NFL owners have gathered in Indianapolis for their annual spring meetings, and with the usual business of discussing Super Bowl sites and rule changes primarily on hold, league spokesman Greg Aiello said owners would be filled in on “all aspects of the labor situation and various business reports.’’
“The sooner we get back to the negotiating table the more we can address those issues in a timely fashion and get to what everybody wants, which is football,’’ said commissioner Roger Goodell. “In the meantime, we’ve done everything to prepare for 2011.’’
The next owners meeting is June 21 in Chicago. The planned start of the regular season is Sept. 8 in Green Bay.
Jets targeting Moss According to a report in the New York Daily News, the Jets have veteran receiver Randy Moss on their radar. Moss, 34, a Jets nemesis while with the Patriots, is coming off a season in which he had a career-low 28 catches, and just six after October . . . During a weekend interview on ESPN, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said he feared the public impact a shortened or lost NFL season would create, including a potential rise in crime. “Do this research if we don’t have a season — watch how much evil, which we call crime, watch how much crime picks up, if you take away our game,’’ Lewis said. As for resolving the lockout, Lewis said, “It’s simple, we really got to remove pride. Seriously.’’ . . . Bears running back Garrett Wolfe was arrested at a Miami Beach nightclub early Sunday and charged with retail theft, disorderly conduct, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest with violence. Police told the Chicago Sun-Times Wolfe refused to settle his bill, became aggressive while being ejected by bouncers, and attacked an off-duty officer.