Patriots Sign Antonio Appleby

The Roanoke Times reports:

Agent Sunny Shah said Sunday night that Virginia inside linebacker Antonio Appleby from Virginia Beach has accepted a free-agent deal with the New England Patriots.

“We were in dialogue the whole time,” said Shah, who also represents UVa offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, a first-round pick.

“He was one of the first [free agents] they signed. He was a priority.”

I absolutely love this signing.  He doesn’t have Gary Guyton speed, but is a real thumper inside and could be the developmental two-down (possibly three down as well) inside linebacker the Patriots are looking for.  He may also be able to develop into an outside linebacker, because he has excellent size and strength.

After the draft, I wanted the Pats to pick up either Antonio Appleby or Frantz Joseph, and I’m glad they got one of them.  The Appleby signing could solidify the future at inside linebacker, as the team now has four young players at the position.


6 Responses to Patriots Sign Antonio Appleby

  1. RD says:

    He’s got some character issues? You are absolutely WAY off-base with the statement. I have been around him and App is one of the most wholesome, hardest working (not to mention ACADEMICALLY intelligent) players in this draft class.

    I think you have a responsibility with what you put up on your blog; he has character issues? Please, share a link to give examples, that is if you can find one..

    • Greg says:

      RD, I read that he has “questionable competitiveness and mental toughness” and he “lacks passion” in the Pro Football Weekly 2009 draft guide. And I used that as my primary source for my write-up on him. Also,

      “The big knock on him is a lack of character and passion for the game, but everything else is in place.”

      I shouldn’t have said character issues, I guess that was the wrong way to phrase it. And I analyze news, I don’t report or try to report it. I’m glad to hear what you said about him, but I’m just putting together what I’ve read.

      Still, if you’ve read this blog in the past, Appleby was one of the guys I really was lobbying the Pats to get as I think he has the physical tools to really develop in the Pats’ 3-4. Note my first line in this article: “I absolutely love this signing.”

  2. VP says:

    I am glad that you cleaned up the character issue thing. You could’nt have been further from the truth. Tony is one of the few players in the draft that exhibits great moral character. If you guys give him time to develop, you will see that getting him was a steal. I was his high school coach and I will tell you this, he is problably the smartest linebacker in the draft and he improved his 40 time during his pro day. If you call yourself a football fan, you will fall in love with his style of play. He is a workhorse in practice, off-season training and in the film room. He can make complex calls seem simple and he elevates the players around him with his knowledge of the game and his preparation for the opposing teams. I am confident that he will develop the intensity needed to excel in the pro game as familiarity brings confidence. I hope he has a home in NE and that he is allowed to develop into the player that I know he can be. He is used to the no nonsense approach-type coaches such as Groh, Bellicheck and myself. He has a think skin and criticism motivates him. He will not pout like the prima dona players in other cities. He will fit in perfectly with the blue collar style of the pats and then you will be looking for me for an interview in a few years. Thanks for your time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks VP (Coach) for clearing up a few misunderstandings, Hello I’m Tony Appleby, Antonio’s father. I can tell you this for those writers or reporters who states Antonio doesn’t have the passion or love for the game you’re completely wrong. I’ve raised my son for 22 years and being a father and a Navy Chief I won’t let my son do anything to question his or our families character or integrity. As a previous poster stated Antonio do things the right way! Yes he doesn’t wear his emotions on his sleeve or jump around like Ray Lewis on the field but he’s a football player that knows game and you’re going to get 100% out of him 100% of the time. As a father I wish he were drafted high in the draft, but I’m just happy for him that he has the opportunity to reach a goal that he set as a youngest. Antonio lives football and he’s going to be a starter in the NFL this year. Mark my word Antonio will start at least 6 games this year for the Pats or some other team this upcoming year. Thanks for reading to my post.

  4. Mike says:

    Nice to hear from you Tony. The good news in the Patriots system is that once the draft is over, everyone starts from ground zero. As you probably know, Gary Guyton and Vince Redd made the team as UFAs last season. The Patriots cut veterans (including Victor Hobson) to make that happen as they saw something in these young players. Playing the 3-4 for Al Groh, he should pick up the defense relatively quickly. I hope your prediction comes true. Best of luck.

  5. Greg says:

    Guys — Looks like they’ve already seen enough in Antonio Appleby to get rid of Bo Ruud, a 6th round inside linebacker from last year. That leaves just 5 inside linebackers on the roster — w/ Bruschi and Eric Alexander on the last years of their contracts.

    I don’t really know how Antonio is on special teams, but if he can cover kicks, he could make Eric Alexander expendable. If this happens, Appleby may be part of a future rotation with Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, and Tyrone McKenzie.

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