Wednesday Patriots Headlines: September 1st

Ian Logue
September 01, 2010 at 07:55am 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

Yesterday was the day that teams had to trim their rosters down to 75, and when the news came yesterday of how the Patriots went about getting there, it definitely disappointed many fans who were waiting to hear what moves would be made by New England.

The team announced their transactions on Twitter, but unfortunately one of them was the fact that they placed starting cornerback Leigh Bodden on injured reserve, which was another huge blow to the defense. Bodden reportedly needs to undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, which effectively ends his season.

The news lead to plenty of spirited discussion on Twitter among fans and media members, but also from Bodden who promised that this was just another bump in the road and he's made it through before, and says that like the others, this setback won't stop him either.

Many had watched the rivalry between Bodden and Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco on Twitter during the offseason, with the two exchanging words over their week one match-up in Foxboro. Sadly that won't be happening, and the Bengals receiver offered up some words of support yesterday to Bodden.
"bruh you in my prayers on a speedy recovery," Tweeted Ochocinco yesterday to Bodden. "you give me hell when we play and i was looking forward to next weeks game #1luv"

After yesterday's news I wrote about the fact that Bodden's loss now leaves New England's secondary even younger, as now the pressure falls on rookie Devin McCourty and second year defensive back Darius Butler to handle the cornerback duties this season.

Christopher Price of also looks at what Bodden's loss means to the defense, and points out the problems the team has down the depth chart once you get past Butler.

Mike Reiss of also has an article about the other news from yesterday, which was the news of linebacker Brandon Spikes explicit video from college.  According to Reiss the NFL will now go and investigate the video (sorry - that's just a funny sentence to write) and decide if it violates their personal conduct policy.

Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram has an article this morning on linebacker Jerod Mayo, who in his third year is feeling good about this season and has even taken on a mentoring role in the defense.

Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle writes that Brian Hoyer has had a good preseason, and appears to be a solid backup behind Tom Brady this season.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has an article on Hoyer, who he writes has made giant strides since last season.

Kirk Minihane asks the question, "Does Belichick Still Set the Standard" when it comes to NFL head coaches?  He then goes on to rank each coach from 32 down to number 1, but the most interesting part of this article is the fact that Minihane believes that someday when Bill Belichick decides to move on, Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels will be the one the Patriots will look to come back and replace him here in New England.

Jeff Howe of takes a look at the Patriots offensive line and writes who's locked in to a roster spot, and who's on the bubble heading into Saturday's mandatory cut down to the 53-man limit.

Michael Hurley of wonders if Tom Brady is the second best quarterback in the NFL as ESPN recently ranked him, or if he's better than Peyton Manning or Drew Brees.

Karen Guregian has a good article on linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, who is ignoring what's being written about the defense and feels confident heading into the season.
“Obviously, that was an issue for us last year, so people are going to ask about it,” said Banta-Cain, who led the team with 10 sacks. “Right now, it’s just a matter of us playing better as a team. I think the pass rush, the sacks, all that stuff comes as a result of us playing as a team. You can’t really point to one guy, or two guys. It’s really a matter of everybody being on the same page. And then you’ll see good results.”

Man fans have likely watched the baseball movie Major League, which starred Charlie Sheen and Corbin Bernsen, and many of you likely recall the scene where Sheen's character is tricked into thinking he's been cut.  Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald writes that the Patriots don't take cutdowns as a laughing matter, especially considering that people's lives are at stake.

NESN is airing a feature Friday night called "After The Game", which will feature an inside look at Matt Light along with a tour of his home for anyone interested.

Finally Shalise Manza Young was at the Ron Burton Community Service Award Ceremony last night, and Vince Wilfork received the honor in an emotional ceremony.  Wilfork reportedly had to hold back his emotions during his acceptance speech, thanking his wife, his kids, and his teammates for the honor.

Wilfork actively participates in the team's fundraising events throughout the year, and his own foundation also holds an annual draft-day fundraiser for diabetes research in honor of his father, who died from complications of the disease in 2002.   He also lost his mother just months later, and choked back tears last night as he talked about them.  It just goes to show you the type of guy he is, and why he's such a special player here in New England.

That's it for this morning.  Hope all of you have a good day, and we'll have more later on.