Thursday Patriots Headlines - July 15th

Ian Logue
July 15, 2010 at 10:23am ET

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower returning to practice field an encouraging sign
Why was Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy doing pushups at a bowling alley?
Patriots owner Robert Kraft owns no concerns that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are missing OTAs
New NFL policy lets players who don’t want to stand for anthem stay in locker room
Former Patriots rip NFL’s new anthem policy

TRAINING CAMP COUNTDOWN: 14 days until Patriots training camp

We'll kick off this morning with an answer to what many of us have been wondering for a while.  Vince Wilfork recently had been sending out "Help Vince" T-Shirts, and the answer came this morning when according to the Boston Globe it was learned that he and the team are working with Scvngr, a Boston company that has developed a software platform that allows organizations, schools - and football teams - to create scavenger hunt games that are optimized for smartphones.  The premise of the "Help Vince" scavenger hunt is that Wilfork's Super Bowl ring has been stolen (not really, but play along), and they've set up a smartphone scavenger hunt to find the missing ring.

Albert Breer of the Globe has more along with a video of Wilfork and PR director Stacey James explaining more on this. 

To actually play the game - CLICK HERE.

Today the NFL will hold their supplemental draft, and the name that continues to be thrown around is BYU runningback Harvey Unga, who the team has reportedly shown interest in.  It's a bidding war that teams will submit the highest draft selection they're willing to give up for him, and the team that submits the highest pick wins.  According to The Universe, Unga is excited about what comes next.
“I’m just looking for a shot, an opportunity, an open door,” Unga said after his NFL Pro Day workout last week. “I’m just going to make the best of what I got. It’s an exciting time right now.” has the next piece in their "Meet the Rookies" series, with linebacker Brandon Spikes in the spotlight.  It's a terrific in-depth article on the Florida standout, and definitely worth a read.

Former Patriots defensive lineman Richard Seymour has had the franchise tag placed on him out in Oakland by the Raiders, and according to he's willing to play under that designation.  According to the article as of Wednesday night it appears that there's no deal imminent in regards to an extension, with a deadline of today looming for any franchise player to sign a multi-year contract.

The Bristol Press has an article this morning on quarterback Tom Brady's contract extension, with columnist Johnny Burnham saying that they need to do the right thing and get Brady signed 'on the dotted line".

Tom Curran of Comcast Sports New England has an article on "Five Things You Don't Have to Worry About", one of which includes Brady holding out of camp - as was suggested yesterday by ESPN's John Clayton.

NESN's Mike Cole has a report regarding the unemployed Terrell Owens, who reportedly told the media yesterday that he's willing to take a pay cut for an opportunity to play here in New England.

Jeff Howe of looks at the Patriots wide receivers, and discusses the vast difference between each player - which could potentially make New England's offense pretty prolific this season.

Howe also has an article on wide receiver Wes Welker, who has probably has had one of the most impressive rehabilitations we've ever seen.  Whether or not that has him ready for week one remains to be seen, but it's still amazing to see how far he's come this offseason. 

The Globe also has an article this morning on the Boston Militia, a women's football team which is coached by former New England Patriots defensive back, Derrick Beasley, whose staff includes ex-Patriots Robert Perryman and Vernon Crawford.

Our friends at has a contract update on first round pick Devin McCourty, with updated projections of what he may get once a deal does come to fruition.


The San Diego Tribune has an article on former USC head coach Pete Carroll, who continues to deny any knowledge of any scandal surrounding what went on during his time at the University which lead to serious sanctions being put in place by the NCAA.
“I tell them the truth,” says Carroll. “It (sanctions) wouldn’t have mattered. It’s a fun subject to put out there, but people don’t know me. In hindsight, I should have known. I didn’t. Guys in San Diego did a great job of hiding it. I didn’t know.

“Once again, in hindsight, it’s easy to say I should have known. We were in the middle of a great run; I wasn’t able to see any signs.”

For anyone following what's going on with Tennessee Titans runningback Chris Johnson, ESPN has a story where he said Wednesday night that his goal is to rush for 2,500 yards this season - but there's plenty of uncertainty since he may not even report to training camp.  Johnson is reportedly looking for a new contract, but sounds like with the season nearing he'd be willing to be a little more flexible.
"I want a long-term deal," Johnson said. "But if I don't get a long-term deal then a short-term deal just to get me to camp -- I have no problem with that." 

That's it for this morning.  Be sure to join in over at our messageboard for the latest Patriots fan discussions, and we'll have more later on.