Wednesday Patriots Headlines - August 4th

Ian Logue
August 04, 2010 at 07:14am ET

Athleticism sets University of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Brian O’Neill apart
Lamar Jackson divulges Pats visit
Robert Kraft blindsides Donald Trump
Guregian: Patriots should keep and make all their draft picks
Mock draft: Patriots get defensive

NOTE: The Patriots announced this morning via Twitter that the team will have just one practice instead of two today, which will begin at 3 pm.

Jeff Howe of reports that wide receiver Wes Welker practiced with the first team yesterday, and points out that Torry Holt has yet to stick out during camp, with Taylor Price and Brandon Tate both impressing thus far heading into week two.

Howe also has an article on Tate, who he says is determined to add explosiveness to the Patriots' Special teams.

Yesterday was quarterback Tom Brady's 33rd birthday, with the veteran QB reportedly getting a visit from his dad yesterday at training camp.

Christopher Gasper writes that the Patriots Brady could have given him a new contract for his birthday, which he writes would have probably really made it a happier day for the veteran QB.

Andy Hart of Patriots Football Weekly answers questions in this week's edition of "Ask PFW", and touches on a variety of subjects - including whether or not he thinks recently released linebacker Aaron Schobel could end up in Foxboro.

Mike Reiss also ran his mailbag yesterday, and points out who looks good so far for the Patriots as they head into their second week of training camp.

Ian Rapoport says that during Monday morning's walkthrough, head coach Bill Belichick 'put his teaching hat on' while working with the players.

Christopher Price reports that the team worked out three offensive lineman on Tuesday, including center Eric Ghiaciuc and guard Darnell Stapleton (both free agents) along with offensive tackle Mark Ortmann

Speaking of offensive linemen, Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has a notebook this morning which includes notes on offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer, who thanks to his commitment to the offseason workout program earned one of the coveted parking spots right near the entrance to the locker room at Gillette Stadium.

KBZK TV out of Montana has a quick mention with a local flavor looking at defensive end Dane Fletcher, who is an undrafted free agent for the Patriots but so far has played well through camp. Fletcher played for Montana State and they're clearly keeping an eye on him.

Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger has an article on Fred Taylor, who Farley says isn't the "retiring type" and at 34 is still enjoying himself.
“You’ve got to have a crazy button,” said Taylor on Tuesday about playing football. “You’ve got to be able to press that button. Just get up and do it.

“It’s my 13th year. I’m blessed. I thank God for it, and the fact that I love playing football, that’s why I’m here.”

In the above piece there's also a mention about the fact Jermaine Cunningham is seeing lots of playing time with the first defense.

Speaking of Cunningham Rapoport takes a look at him in this article, with the rookie linebacker joking that the playbook in New England is "10 times thicker" than the one they had back at the University of Florida. He was asked if he feels he has a serious chance to contribute, and sounds pretty confident.
“I’ve always felt like that, but it’s a long time until Game 1,” said Cunningham, who is wearing No. 96, previously donned by Adalius Thomas. “I’m just out here trying to get better. That’s what practice is for, to come out and get better every day.”

Farley also has a great article on punter Zoltan Mesko, who he says is being learning a lot from Special Teams coach Scott O'Brien so far during training camp.

Shalise Manza Young has a notebook this morning looking at veteran runningback Fred Taylor, and also points out that Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkwoski has a new holder for the first time since he's been with the Patriots, with Mesko taking over for the departed Chris Hanson.

Karen Guregien has an article on Mesko, who she describes as a "cult hero" and so far has been receiving such treatment from the fans.

O'Brien filled in for head coach Bill Belichick yesterday morning at yesterday's press conference, and Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Times has notes from O'Brien, including a mention on Devin McCourty who was an excellent special teams player in college and so far is doing the right things here.
"When we drafted him, I was as happy as everybody else," said O'Brien. "I evaluated him covering kicks as a punter and blocking his kicks and doing those things. Everybody gets involved obviously he wouldn't be on the field goal, but he's on field goal block, so he's dealing with all five, like all of our players. And you try to get him into positions where physically guys can match up and do the things you're asking them to do and have a chance physically to do it. He's one of them."

Monique Walker of the Boston Globe has an article this morning looking at some of the younger players, with wide receiver Sam Aiken saying that for any of the players who are at the bottom of the depth chart and battling for playing time, being a contributor on special teams is generally a key to making the roster.

Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram has a notebook this morning on the fact Patriots Gostkowski is "kicking things up a notch", along with notes on rookie linebacker Jermaine Cunningham and defensive back Kyle Arrington.

Toland also takes a direct look at Arrington, who she writes is happy to be a role player.

Christopher Price of has an article looking at how the Patriots are doing as they ponder their future without linebacker Derrick Burgess, and offensive lineman Logan Mankins. Burgess is absent from camp as he ponders retirement, and Mankins continues to sit out due to a contract dispute.

Despite all the hype surrounding the New York Jets, Dan Podheiser of NESN feels that the Patriots' experience on offense should help them derail them in the battle for the AFC East this season.

Jerry Thornton of has a blog entry as he tries to understand 'what the media's beef is' with the Patriots.


Tuesday Evening Session:

Quick hits from camp session #12 - Boston Globe
Patriots Training Camp Blog: Day Six -
Report from Tuesday Afternoon Session -
Training Camp Central: P.M. practice wrap - NECN
Patriots practice 12 observations

Tuesday Morning Session:

Warren, Kaczur among those missing -
Training Camp Central: A.M. practice wrap