By: Ian Logue
The Boston sports world is reeling after the Celtics lost game 7 to the Lakers last night, however here are today’s New England Patriots headlines.
There will be some football played at Gillette Stadium tonight for anyone interested, as the Boston Globe reports this morning that the 32d Shriners Football Classic, an all-star game featuring 99 of the best high school seniors in Eastern Massachusetts, taking place tonight (7 p.m.) for the first time in Foxborough. The game raises money for the Shriners Hospital for Children, with tonight’s proceeds reportedly aiding the Shriners transportation fund, which allows patients to receive treatment in Boston and throughout North America.
“This means a lot to us,’’ said game director Paul Costello, who has been involved with the Shriners since coaching in the first game in 1979. “The Kraft family and the Patriots have been super to us.’’
All remains quiet on the Logan Mankins front, with the Globe speaking to director of player personnel Nick Caserio, who gave the company line on Mankins’ contract situation as both sides remain in a standoff.
The Globe also takes a look at quarterback’s coach Bill O’Brien, who despite not being the official offensive coordinator, it certainly appears that he’s in charge of the offense after watching the recent minicamp.
Jennifer Toland of The Worcester Telegram also has a great piece on O’Brien in a similar article this morning.
“I’m comfortable with whatever my role is,” O’Brien said. “Again, it’s a collaborative effort (with all the offensive coaches). All of us work at it — game-planning, practice planning. We all have a certain niche as far as what our roles are. Whatever Bill asks me to do, I’m going to do. So I’m going to be comfortable with whatever he asks me to do.”
Ian Rapoport of the Herald also looks at O’Brien, saying his voice has loomed large during this past week. Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger notes that O’Brien’s journey has taken him all the way from Brown to Brady.
As the team breaks from Foxboro for the final time for the next six weeks, Christopher Price of WEEI.com has a great article this morning and looks at some of the positives from their final session before they come back and start for real next month.
Albert Breer of the Boston Globe reports that according to Bill Belichick, this was more of a “teaching camp” and that the competition part of things will happen next month when training camp starts.
With minicamp coming to an end, Ian Rapoport reports that Bill Belichick will now take a break from evaluating players and relax for a while before training camp begins.
“Take a little time to get away,” Belichick said, following the last minicamp workout yesterday. “See if I can keep the ball in the fairway, maybe see if the fish are biting.”
Christopher Price has yesterday’s full Belichick Q&A Session.
While Belichick may be relaxing over the next few weeks, most of the rookies likely won’t be. Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger reports that Brandon Spikes along with others have every intention of studying before training camp begins.
“(I’ll) definitely carry my playbook with me everywhere I go, stay on top of that,” said Spikes, one of the Patriots’ three second-round picks in April’s NFL draft. “I can’t relax being a rookie and I’m on edge and I just want to come in and contribute, be accountable to the defense so that when my number’s called I can come in and get things done.”
After a solid minicamp, Jeff Howe of NESN.com looks at how Taylor Price fits into the Patriots receiving core.
Karen Guregian reports that one year removed from all eyes being on his knee and how he moved around in practice, Tom Brady’s contract still remains somewhat of a storyline. However, it doesn’t appear to be on Brady’s mind when he’s on the field and he’s impressed many of the new guys on the team.
“In college, we didn’t see too many quarterbacks like that,” rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes said. “It’s crazy how good he is.”
Want to meet Patriots announcers Gino Cappelletti and Gil Santos? The Boston Herald reports that today could be your chance. The two will be signing copies of their book, “A View From The Booth,” at Barnes & Noble at the Pru today from noon to 1 p.m.
That’s it for this morning. Hope everyone has a good Friday and we’ll have updates as they become available.