TRAINING CAMP COUNTDOWN: 20 days until Patriots training camp

We’ll kick off this morning with an article from Jeff Howe of NESN.com who expects a big year from wide receiver Randy Moss, pointing out that the last time Moss was in a contract year (2007) he had a record breaking season.

The Baltimore Sun has an early scouting report on the Patriots this morning, giving a breakdown to Ravens fans of how they feel New England will fare this season. 

For any Charlie Weis fans out there, UHND.com has a look back at Weis’ first season with Notre Dame.¬† Weis had a tough go of it in the college ranks, finishing with a Career Record: of¬†35-27 before being fired by the University.

The Jets announced the signing of draft choice Vladimir Ducasse on Wednesday, who was taken at 61st overall.¬† Christopher¬†Price ¬†of WEEI.com reports that with Brandon Spikes being taken just one spot later, Ducasse’s contract should more or less set the benchmark for whatever deal the Patriots end up making with the rookie linebacker.

As mentioned here yesterday Randy Moss and O.J. Mayo spent time giving back to the community in West Virginia yesterday, and the Charleston Gazzette-Sentinal has a video from the event.

Caylan Davis of NESN.com takes a look at wide receiver Wes Welker, and wonders if he will indeed be ready to go by the time the Patriots are ready for their season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The West Virginia Metro News has an article on former Patriot Troy Brown, who is set to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame next week.

Fans tend to get excited whenever there are any uniform changes, and apparently the Patriots are making changes to their’s this year.¬† No changes are coming on the¬†gridiron, but¬†according to the Boston Herald it appears that the¬†cheerleaders are getting an upgrade to theirs this year.

OTHER NFL HEADLINES:

After his recent arrest, JaMarcus Russell is actually getting some support from media outlets who are blaming the Oakland Raiders who they feel treated Russell badly during his tenure with the team.  The Raiders are firing back, and claiming they did all they could for the troubled quarterback.

“We did all that we could to intervene and assist with a myriad of issues with JaMarcus Russell. NFL policy restricts our ability to comment publicly at this time. Therefore, those in the media who declare what the Raiders knew or should have known or what the Raiders did or should have done, are reckless, irresponsible and offensive and do a disservice to all concerned, including the public.”

More evidence is coming out regarding the Michael Vick shooting incident.¬† WAVY.com reports that surveillance footage showed that Vick had left the scene of his 30th birthday party just minutes before the shooting at Virginia Beach Town Center took place.¬† The video does show that he was involved in an altercation, but left the scene before the incident took place.¬† Vick went on to say recently that “there never should have been a party”.

For anyone who is keeping an eye on former Patriots offensive coordinator and now Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, the New York Times has a preview of the 2010 Broncos online.  According to the preview the Broncos have had a system overhaul, taking their West Coast offense and 4-3 defense out, and bringing a spread offense and 3-4 defense in to replace them.

Forbes magazine reported that the Saints have disputed the IRS’ contention that the franchise has failed to pay income taxes on an $8.5 million payment from the state of Louisiana in 2003.¬† According to the report the partnership owning the Saints acknowledges that it didn’t treat an $8.5 million annual payment from the state of Louisiana as income and therefore didn’t pay taxes on the sum. Rather, the team said the money was an addition to “working capital” and a nontaxable transaction.

We’ll end with a story from USA Today on free agent receiver Terrell Owens, who spoke to 104.5-FM in Nashville recently.¬† Owens is claiming that the reluctance of some in the media (he’s blaming ESPN) to move past his¬†previous¬†bad behavior¬†is¬†the reason he’s still unsigned.

“People have listened to a lot of the commentaries throughout a lot of the media outlets, mainly ESPN, that has my character in question as far as things that have happened in the past.

“I may do 99 good things right and if I do one thing wrong, ESPN and the people on there … make it out to be the worst thing ever.”

That’s it for this morning.¬† Hope everyone has a good day, and be sure to take some time to check out a lot of the recent discussions on our message board, and feel free to register if you’re not already a member.