By: Ian Logue
Today is the first day of joint practices down at Gillette Stadium with the New Orleans Saints, which is expected to draw some pretty good crowds over the next day or so, and Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram has an article about Drew Brees and company visiting Foxboro – as does Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger.
Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle also has an article on the Saints visit, along with what the plan will be for the two teams after Belichick talked about that yesterday morning during his press conference.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes that these practices against the Saints should provide the rookie defensive backs with some great experience heading into the season, as it will give their first opportunities to start implementing what they’ve learned against live competition.
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe looks at the fact that having a chance to work against the Super Bowl champions provides plenty of incentive for the Patriots, as the last time these two teams met the Saints took it to them on national television during a regular season loss in ’09.
Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com writes that cornerback Leigh Bodden wasn’t happy with the team’s performance in that game, and feels that they’re a better a team than that.
“I think we were [good] last year but we just didn’t show it that game,” Bodden said. “We didn’t come out the way we wanted to. This year we’re focused, and we’re ready for the challenge and we’re ready to practice hard against them and just compete, something we didn’t do a very good job of last year and we’re definitely focused on that this year.”
Jeff Howe of NESN.com reports that Bodden returned to practice yesterday after dealing with an injury, while Gary Guyton, Warren and others are still not able to participate just yet.
Tight End Alge Crumpler says he’s looking forward to going up against the Saints over the next couple of days, and NECN has the story.
Young also discusses some of the rule changes for this upcoming season after NFL officials were on hand, including the fact that this year they’ll be lining up behind the offense and not the defense, which had been the case prior to now.
Farinella also has an article on Darius Butler, who he writes has a lot on his plate as he looks to establish a starting role for himself this season.
Farley has an article on rookie undrafted free agent Dane Fletcher, who Belichick said is, “suprisingly quick” and having a good training camp so far.
Farley also writes that as the Patriots continue looking to replace Logan Mankins after Nick Kaczur went down with an injury, Dan Connolly appears to be “Plan C” at this point at left guard.
Rapoport also has an article on Connolly this morning, with the offensive lineman saying that he’s not tentative at all about being out there.
“I embrace that,” said Connolly, the 6-foot-4, 313-pound sixth-year player out of Southeast Missouri State. “It’s a great challenge, and it’s a good opportunity for me. I can just try my best to do as good as I can when I’m out there.”
Howe writes that Connolly is taking advantage of Mankins holding out, and is trying to make the most of this opportunity to earn a role.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that injuries to Ty Warren and Kaczur have the team in a tough spot, with Mike Wright filling in for him yesterday.
Jeff Howe of NESN.com also discusses Wright’s time filling in yesterday, and also points out that there was a ‘minor scrap’ between linebacker Thomas Williams and tight end Aaron Hernandez yesterday.
Howe also has an entertaining interview with long snapper Jake Ingram that you should definitely check out.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston talks about Ty Warren’s injury, and feels that the Patriots have had some tough luck so far through camp with injuries.
Christopher Price of WEEI.com has a piece on Sebastian Vollmer, with the second year offensive lineman looking to build off of a solid rookie campaign last season.
Sunday’s golf outing between owner Robert Kraft and Tom Brady caught the eye of every fan following the contract negotiations for the franchise quarterback, and Guregian writes that the two appear to be on solid footing, and that Brady likely wouldn’t have given up a Sunday away from his wife and child if things weren’t positive between the two.
A segment on NESN discussed the outing. Former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson said Kraft invited him to a similar golf meeting during his contract year, and soon after, he came to an agreement with the team.
MONDAY PRACTICE NOTES:
Monday Afternoon Practice Notes – WEEI.com
Quick Hits From Practice #19 – Boston.com
Monday PM Notes – Patriots.com
Practice #19 Notes – PFWOnline.com
Day 10, Session Two Notes – Boston Herald
Practice 19 Observations – ESPNBoston.com
(Limited Reports available – as this was a walkthrough session)