Thursday Patriots Headlines - July 29th

Ian Logue
July 29, 2010 at 08:34am 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


Here is a new daily video from the guys behind the PatsCast Podcast, who are now giving you a daily video report which will appear each day on the brand new front page at, and also at their YouTube video channel:

Training camp kicks off today in Foxboro, with the first session beginning at 9:30am and running until 11:15am, while the afternoon session will run from 3:45pm until 5:30pm. Be sure to keep your eye on the team's official website for any changes in times.

Jeff Howe of points out that one of the best battles on the roster as Training camp kicks off involves the starting safety spot alongside Brandon Meriweather. Brandon McGowan and James Sanders are both in a battle for this starting spot, and it's one fans may want to keep their eye on.

Howe also takes a look at some of the upcoming preseason opponents, one of which is the St. Louis Rams' Stephen Jackson, along with Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Howe feels that the Saints game figures to be Wes Welker's first chance to get some live reps, and says that when it occurs, it will serve as a major benchmark in his recovery from his knee injury.

Speaking of Welker our own Bob George takes a look at the fact that Welker's return highlights the opening of today's training camp, and looks at some of the issues the team faces heading into this season.

New contributor Derek Havens looks at all of the changes the team has undergone this offseason, and points out a few things to expect in the coming weeks from some of the new rookies.

Mike Reiss of tells fans what to expect in the coming weeks as he begins his coverage of training camp, with lots of great information on the way as usual.

Reiss also looks at how the team will likely manage Welker during training camp, as Belichick doesn't want to risk any injuries that would cause his receiver an unnecessary setback.

Christopher Price of has his final edition of Rating the roster where he rates the roster from 1-82, and if you missed any of them you can find Edition 1 Here, Edition 2 Here, Edition 3 Here, Edition 4 Here, Edition 5 Here, Edition 6 Here, and today's final installment here. It's an interesting read, and he's fully aware that there will be plenty of debate over it.

Jeff Howe of looks at kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who he feels is one of the few special teams players with plenty of job security heading into training camp.

The Boston Globe has a good article on rookie Devin McCourty, who finally reached an agreement with the team just in time for the start of training camp. McCourty's agent, Andy Simms, told the newspaper that McCourty's number one goal was not to miss a single practice.
“From the moment he was drafted, he told the Patriots organization that it was his intention not to miss a single practice,’’ agent Andy Simms said. “That was the goal all along; that was paramount to him.’’

With the turnover on the coaching staff in recent years, the Boston Herald's Ron Borges feels that Belichick and his crew no longer hold the picture of supremacy. This is an article that you definitely need to read, and then form your own opinion.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald looks at the Patriots' redemption quest after the way last season ended finally beginning today in Foxboro. It's a great overview and definitely a very good read.

Mark Farinella also has an overview of camp today over at the Attleboro Sun Chronicle. Farinella feels that fans can look for the likes of Vince Wilfork up front, Jerod Mayo in the middle and Brandon Meriweather in the secondary to step up on defense.

Jonathan Comey of also has an overview of today's start of training camp, pointing out a lot of the intriguing stories that surrounds this year's group.

Shawn Crable was released yesterday after two seasons on injured reserve, and Karen Guregian takes a look at the injury prone player. Crable was initially put on the active PUP list two days ago, but Belichick apparently finally decided it was time to move on.

Programming Note: With training camp opening up, there will now finally be more Patriots headlines available to fill this space, which means that going forward there won't be any more OTHER NFL HEADLINES until the regular season begins.  This may change, but in an effort to speed up the release of this post to before 7am (which after today is my goal going forward) that is the plan for now.