Daily Recap: New England Patriots News and Notes 8/24

Derek Havens
August 24, 2011 at 05:09pm ET

Patriots practice report: Brian Hoyer struggles during OTA session
Patriots safety Duron Harmon says he's learned from Costa Rica incident
Patriots defensive end Derek Rivers happy to be healthy
Belichick mum on Brady and Gronk OTA absences
No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs

My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.

The Patriots continue another chaotic week in the NFL, prepping for the Detroit Lions. Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Wednesday:

  • Patriots rookie running back, Shane Vereen, returned to practice after he took a few weeks off to nurse a hamstring injury. The Cal tailback should offer a change-of-pace to the Patriots backfield and also adds a home run threat when he has the football.

  • Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald caught up with Patriots defensive lineman Shaun Elliswho may see his first game action this Saturday out in Detroit against the Lions.  Ellis, who is recovering from a hip injury, said that it’s more about the mental aspect of the game where he’s putting his focus. “For me, it’s the meeting room,” Ellis said. “I’ve played a lot of games. So, (it’s about) just getting my mental reps and things in practice. When I start going fully, it’ll come back to me.

  • Patriots rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling returned to practice on Monday after missing the past three weeks. The return proves to be a timely one as veteran corner Leigh Bodden was not seen at practice and was only n the game for seven plays in the pre-season opener versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • Patriots defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth pleaded no contest to a charge of simple assault on Monday. Haynesworth went to resolve a case in which he was accused of touching a waitress’ breast while having drinks with friends at a Washington hotel. If he stays out of trouble over the next 18 months and completes 160 hours of community service, prosecutors have agreed to drop the charge entirely. @ProFootballTalk reported yesterday that the league will not suspend Haynesworth and I believe the Patriots will not take further action at this point either.

  • Patriots quarterback Tom Brady spoke with John Dennis and Gerry Callahan on his weekly radio appearance for WEEI. Brady said he loved to see the defense attacking opposing QBs. “I love to see that. From another quarterback’s perspective, to stand there on the sidelines and watch them attack the quarterback — force them into quick decisions, force them into throws that you don’t want to make but have to make because you don’t have time to see the coverages — that’s good for any defensive football team.”

  • The Pats re-signed rookie free agent offensive lineman, Mike Berry, on Wednesday morning. Berry, a 6-foot-3, 316-pound guard out of Auburn, initially signed with the club on July 27 and was released on Aug. 3. The signing brings their roster back to the 90-man maximum as they add more depth to the offensive line.

  • Jerod Mayo spoke in the locker room with reporters on Tuesday and touched on the new defensive style the team seems to be implementing. "We're a very multiple defense... One week we may come out with pressure and the next week we may come back with sitting back in coverage. So you never know, and I think that's a good quality of this defense... It changes every week and I'm very excited how it started off. You never know what Coach Belichick is coming up with in his office."

  • The Tim Tebow situation in Denver has gone from laughable to absurd, quickly. Reportedly, Tebow was out at a rowdy bar until 2 am on Tuesday night and has slid to the bottom of the depth chart. For what it's worth, I like Tim Tebow. Now I don't believe he can be a start quarterback in this league but I feel he is getting treated unfairly. Ironically, the same things he was praised for in college is now what he is getting chastised for in the NFL.

  • I am really surprised Lofa Tatupu is still on the market. The linebacker has been solid in Seattle over the previous years and seems like a solid addition to LB-needy teams. I would like the Patriots to take a closer look at Tatupu, I believe he would be a fit here in New England. How cool would it be for the team to announce the signing at the annual Mosi Tatupu (Lofa's father) Comedy Benefit at Gillette Stadium?

  • Roster cuts will be taking place later this month. Aug. 30th when the roster will go to 80. Initially, Aug 30th was suppose to mark the day when teams reduce the rosters to a maximum of 75 players, but the league office made that change earlier this week. Sep. 3rd marks the day where final cuts are made.

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