TRAINING CAMP COUNTDOWN: 16 days until Patriots training camp

Another very quiet news day here in New England this morning, but here are today’s Patriots headlines.

We’ll kick off this morning with an article in USA Today which takes a good long look at the Patriots – who they claim are in “transition” and they wonder if that means they “can’t win”.  While other publications seem to be pointing out (incorrectly) that the team is too old, the article looks at the changes that have taken place since guys like Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison have retired.  One of those changes includes some of the players on the roster trying to step up and help out the younger guys.

But Banta-Cain, who earned a new contract, says he’s trying to pass on to his young teammates the lessons he learned from the team’s departed stars. “The biggest thing they taught me was how to practice, how to be professional,” Banta-Cain says. “It’s really the example I set — to be the best player I can.”

While we’re on this subject, Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe continues with their “10 Questions” series and asks the question, “Who Leads the Patriots Youth Movement” this season?

Chris Price of WEEI.com notes that defensive back Darius Butler appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” yesterday and has the video from his appearance available for anyone who missed it.

Tom Curran of Comcast Sports New England notes that the gambling experts seem to be predicting less than 10-wins for the Patriots this season/

Monique Walker of the Boston Globe has the Patriots officially announcing the signing of 7th round draft pick Brandon Deaderick.

Paul Perillo of Patriots.com has a good look at rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez in the next edition of “Meet the Rookies”.

Oh boy, Brady and Gisele took their baby to the doctor yesterday.  OK Magazine has the story with photos (you know you’ll click on it…it can’t be helped). 

OTHER NFL HEADLINES:

I don’t know how closely anyone in here follows college football, but you may have noticed a couple of USC players transferred to UCONN recently, most likely due to the scandal that has left their athletic department in disarray.  Former head coach and now Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told the Sporting news that it’s been tough watching it happen.

“I do feel responsible being connected with it,” Carroll said of USC’s troubles. “I’ve also felt a responsibility, with the way it’s come down, to work to try to get the message out there and defend somewhat.”

John Clayton of ESPN.com has a piece this morning on the New York Jets that’s worth a read, and says that in order for Rex Ryan to keep his talented nucleus in place, it’s going to cost them.

There appears to be a snag in the labor negotiations, with the Players Union and the league at odds over HGH testing.  The biggest bone of contention to this point seems to be how the test is administered, with the players being against blood testing.

“In a perfect world, a urine test would be far easier for us to deal with and administer than a blood test,”  Adolpho Birch, who oversees the NFL’s drug policy, told the AP. “The problem is, we thought there was some chance a urine test could be developed. That’s increasingly looking less likely. The practical reality is, we need to focus on a test that works, and the test that works is blood.”

And finally former Giants linebacker Laurence Taylor is scheduled to be in court today facing rape charges for the recent incident that found him in a hotel room with what turned out to be a 16-year old runaway.  He faces four years in prison if convicted.

That’s it for this morning.  I hope everyone has a good day and we’ll have updates as they become available.