TRAINING CAMP COUNTDOWN: 26 days until Patriots training camp

Sorry for the delay this morning – not much going on news-wise on this Saturday morning, but here are today’s New England Patriots headlines.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com has a piece this morning looking at how the Patriots Special Teams compare to the rest of the NFL.

The team announced the schedule for week one of training camp yesterday, with the dates and times now available for anyone who’s planning on attending.

Tim Graham of ESPN.com had a great piece yesterday on Tom Brady’s throwing coach Tom Martinez.  Martinez helped Brady overcome some of his mechanical issues last season, helping the Patriots quarterback get back to form despite battling a broken finger and broken ribs.

“He had a broken finger and three broken ribs,” Martinez said, ostensibly confirming reports Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Brady himself denied during the season. “He wasn’t throwing well.

“It’s one of those things where I can see right away what he’s doing. He trusts me, so when I tweak him, it’s right back to where he wants to be. Then, at that point, it probably is psychological.”

Albert Breer of Boston.com reports that Cleveland Browns head coach Eric Mangini is looking to bury the hatchet with Bill Belichick, and is apparently trying to mend their relationship.  According to an article coming out in Pro Football Talk’s preview magazine, Mangini seems intent on trying to finally make things right between the two.

“He and I haven’t really talked,” Mangini told Florio. “When I talk about him, he was my mentor. He taught me everything, and I respect him tremendously. That’s not (BS). That’s how I feel. I hope at some point, we’ll be able to sit down and talk about things and get back to a better relationship. It’s not there right now, but at some point, things have a tendency to roll back.”

Patriots.com has another interesting “Debate Friday”, asking fans which logo they prefer in a piece titled “Old vs. New”.

Former New England Patriot long-snapper Mike Bartrum is about to see his nephew, Dewayne Clark,  move on to play college football at Marshall.  The Federal Hocking High School standout is a receiver and strong safety.  Fans may remember Bartrum, who was  a solid player in New England who also saw a few snaps at tight end, and was a very close friend with former Patriot Adam Vinatieri.

The NewsandSentinal.com has a story this morning looking at the 2010 class that is heading into the College Hall of Fame, with a class that includes former Patriot wide receiver and special teamer Troy Brown.

OTHER NFL HEADLINES:

Scott Kindberg of the Post-Journal has a story this morning on Nick Sirianni, who is enjoying Life As Assistant Coach In Kansas City.  Kindberg is currently working closely with former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

Facing an eight-game suspension from the NFL, Hollis Thomas is jumping to the UFL.  The former Ram and Panther violated the league’s policy on performing enhancing substances.   The free agent has now decided to instead play for the UFL’s Omaha Nighthawks.

Kudos to Eagles coach Andy Reid who visited Afghanastan recently. 

The Eagles’ coach has been traveling with three other NFL coaches, including former assistant Brad Childress, on a USO tour in support of our armed forces.

“Three soldiers were chanting ‘E-A-G-L-E-S,’ ” Reid said by cell phone. “They brought out their jerseys, hats and flags. You can tell they live for football and when the season comes.”

Definitely a great story for this holiday weekend.

That’s it for this morning.  Hope everyone enjoys the nice weather and we’ll see you tomorrow.