Day one of Patriots training camp is in the books, and here are this morning’s headlines.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com has an article on yesterday’s practices, pointing out the fact that head coach Bill Belichick took the time to seek out individually just one player yesterday, with that player being Brandon Spikes. The article also has other observations from yesterday’s sessions.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald talks to several New England Patriots players, who seemed to get the message regarding Belichick’s decision to take down all the photos from inside Gillette Stadium from each of their past Super Bowl victories. The message he’s trying to get accross to the players is “build your own identity”, and Vince Wilfork told the newspaper he thought it was a good idea.
“Bill is great when it comes down to things like that. Heâ€™s great about figuring out his team,â€ť Wilfork said. “Thatâ€™s something he feels needed to happen. So, he did it. Weâ€™ll see where it takes us.â€ť
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe also has an article on that topic with comments from other players, including linebacker Tully Banta-Cain. Banta-Cain more or less echoed Wilfork’s sentiments, and thought it was a good idea.
â€śI think for a lot of guys coming in, when you see pictures on the wall, it can be overwhelming,â€™â€™ said linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, one of the players who bridges the Super Bowl-winning years and the present. â€śYou donâ€™t know where youâ€™re going to fit in the whole scheme of the history of the team, and I think when you come in knowing that you have a chance to be a building block for the future of the team, that gives guys motivation to want to get on the wall, and I think thatâ€™s good for everybody.â€™â€™
Ian Rapoport reports that wide receiver Wes Welker didn’t practice with the team, but didn’t exactly spend time resting and worked out on his own yesterday. The article also has a photo of Wes from yesterday’s practice.
Monique Walker of the Boston Globe says that despite being on PUP, Welker looked, “doggone good” yesterday in what she observed while watching the veteran receiver.
Michael Hurley of NESN.com chimes in and says that Welker looked “Non-Human” while working out yesterday.
ESPN’s John Clayton looks at how Welker has changed the game for other slot receivers throughout the league.
Rapoport also has an article on Nick Kaczur, who filled in yesterday while Logan Mankins continues to holdout over his contract.
The Herald also has an article on runningback Laurence Maroney, who scoffed at the notion that he has a fumbling problem. Maroney says that four fumbles in four years doesn’t prove he’s prone to giving up the football, and that he is frustrated that they all happened to come in the same season.
â€śI got four in four years. I donâ€™t see no issues. Four years, thatâ€™s one a year, if you ask me. It just happened all to come in one year, but hey, Iâ€™ll take that . . . thatâ€™s something that got away from me,â€ť he said. â€śI donâ€™t really fumble. Thatâ€™s one thing that I been really thinking about and made me upset about last year, but itâ€™s one of those things that could easily be fixed. Thatâ€™s me focusing more on ball control.â€ť
More news on the Tom Brady front, after Robert Kraft told The New York Times yesterday that “one way or another” they’ll find a way to keep the veteran quarterback.
â€śHeâ€™s going to be here,â€ť Kraft said on the first day of training camp. â€śI love the guy. Weâ€™re so lucky to have him. I have an emotional attachment because I remember him coming in as the fourth quarterback, being a skinny beanpole of a kid.â€ť
Jeff Howe of NESN.com looks at rookies Brandon Tate and Darius Butler, who he feels are among other second year guys who could end up having a big impact this season.
Howe also reports on who was and wasn’t in practice yesterday, along with notes on the guys who were banged up and worked out separately.
Howe also said that Tom Brady and Randy Moss have already made the first big connection of the season, with Brady hitting the veteran receiver with a pass of over 50 yards yesterday.
Howe also has an article on Jerod Mayo, who is “ready to roll” after battling a knee injury last season.
Dan Podheiser, also of NESN.com, takes a look at the tough schedule the Patriots have in front of them, pointing out that since the NFL started its current scheduling alignment in 2002, New England has won six out of eight possible AFC titles.
Albert Breer of the Boston Globe takes a look at the fact that the Patriots are looking for new players to become leaders, and that means that the guys who were followers need to try and now take the next step toward taking over that role.
Bob Ryan of the Globe has a great column this morning on Belichick, who he feels that now “more than ever” the Patriots are his team.
Ron Borges of the Herald has a good article on offensive guard Stephen Neal, who despite contemplating retirement had a good offseason and feels he can still help the team this season.
Robert Lee of the Providence Journal spoke to several players yesterday, who have already put last year’s frustrating playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens out of their minds, and that it’s now just a distant memory.
Jim Donaldson has an article on Belichick, talking about the early days in the league when training camp was a real grind, and lasted much longer than it does now. It’s a good read, and very insightful in terms of showing just how much things have changed.
YESTERDAY’S MEDIA PRACTICE NOTES 7/29:
Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com – CLICK HERE
Paul Perillo of Patriots.com – CLICK HERE
Christopher Price of WEEI.com – CLICK HERE
Shalise Manza Young of Boston.com – CLICK HERE
Erik Scalavino of Patriots.com – CLICK HERE
Christopher Price of WEEI.com - CLICK HERE
Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com – CLICK HERE
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com - CLICK HERE