By: Ian Logue
Glen Farley of the Patriot ledger looks at Brandon Spikes, who head coach Bill Belichick feels while his style at inside linebacker isn’t textbook, it’s effective enough to be left alone.
“I’m not really sure exactly what his style is,” Belichick said prior to Wednesday afternoon’s training camp practice on the fields located behind Gillette Stadium. “Our defense is a lot different than what they ran at Florida. Obviously, he’s a big, physical player, but I’d like to watch him in our defense a little bit. I think he’s got some unique skills.
“For a tall player (Spikes is listed at 6-foot-2, but he appears taller), he’s got probably more quickness than most guys, probably a little more leverage than a lot of other tall players. He does a lot of things well. It’s kind of not by the book, but (it’s) effective. So I don’t know.
Farley also has an article on runningback Laurence Maroney, who he says may be running out of time here in New England as he heads into the final year of his contract.
He also looks at the offensive line, and calls the team’s release of former college wrestler John Wise and the signing of former Cincinnati Bengals starter Eric Ghiaciuc wise moves on the part of the Patriots as they look to add a little depth to that group while Logan Mankins continues to sit out.
Monique Walker of the Globe offers up a Patriots notebook this morning and highlights on Ghiaciuc, who says he was surprised to get a call from the Patriots after New England plucked him off the unemployment line.
Karen Guregian of the Herald writes that Mankins has increased his leverage with the team just by sitting out and doing nothing, as Nick Kaczur remains out with an injury.
Rapoport writes that with Mankins out and Kaczur injured, it’s caused the Patriots to have to do a lot more rotating of personnel on the offensive line than they’ve had to do in past years.
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe has an article of her own on the linebackers this morning, who she writes is quite a promising group.
Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Times has an article this morning on Spikes, who he writes is getting up to speed after one week of training camp.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald looks at Spikes and says he’s a player that thrives on instinct, and has definitely intrigued his coach.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com looks at linebacker Gary Guyton, who Belichick says has made a lot of progress so far in the last two seasons, and if necessary could play outside linebacker if the team needs to move him over.
“Gary is a pretty versatile player,” Belichick said Wednesday. “I think he can do a lot of different things. He’s smart. He’s big. He’s athletic and runs very well, so he’s had a variety of roles for us on regular defense and our sub defenses. I wouldn’t rule it out, but he’s done well inside. He’s made a lot of progress over the last two years.
Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe has an article on kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who five seasons into his NFL career has become one of the best in the league.
Rapoport also writes that after 13 practices Belichick says that while training camp has been “a grind” so far, it’s necessary in evaluating players and watching how they deal with each of these practices.
Christopher Price of WEEI.com has an article on Patriots tight end Alge Crumpler, who hopes to bring a new dimension to New England’s passing game.
Jill Seward writes that Belichick is sporting a new look this year after hacking off the collar on his shirt, and also has some pictures in this entry to go along with it.
Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal has an article this morning on left tackle Matt Light, who like teammate Stephen Neal has remained a fixture on the Patriots offensive line and Belichick talked about him during his press conference yesterday.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com has an article on runningback Sammy Morris, who says it’s his family that helps him get through the daily grind of these practices.
“By the time the practice is over, especially the kids, they’re already on the field in a dead sprint,” Morris said. “It’s always a welcomed sight.”
Howe also looks at yesterday’s afternoon session, which experienced some hiccups from quarterback Tom Brady during their two minute offense.
Jill Seward of NESN has an article with the top 10 reasons why Brady is still the best quarterback in the league.
Kathryn Tappen of NESN.com takes a look at the ongoing situation with Derrick Burgess, who remains out while he contemplates retirement, which leaves Belichick mulling possible replacements.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that yesterday’s release of Aaron Schobel by the Buffalo Bills could be a great opportunity for the Patriots to bolster their pass rush. However Adam Caplan of FoxSports.com reports that Schobel coming to New England is ‘highly unlikely’.
After another offseason of drama with quarterback Brett Favre, Christopher Price of WEEI.com reports that former Patriot Rodney Harrison ripped the veteran QB due to the fact he believes that Favre loves the media attention and is being unfair to his teammates by not simply making a decision on his future.
Price also has the full transcript from yesterday’s press conference with Belichick.
Good news for you guys out there, as the Philadelphia Sports Business Journal reports that Victoria’s Secret is launching a new line of NFL-themed merchandise with a select number of teams, which will include the Patriots. The products are set to become available on August 10th.
WEDNESDAY PRACTICE NOTES:
Training Camp Blog: Afternoon Practice – WBZ.com
Training Camp Central: P.M. practice wrap – NECN
Grinding it out; Wednesday PM practice notes – Patriots.com
Camp Report From Wednesday Afternoon’s Session – WEEI.com
Patriots practice 13 observations – ESPNBoston.com
Yesterday’s Morning Session was postponed.