By: Ian Logue
The Patriots will return to work today to start preparing for the Cleveland Browns, with today being the first day that Logan Mankins will have a chance to practice with the team since ending his holdout and returning to the club yesterday.
Shalise Manza Young has more on Mankins’ return to the team, with head coach Bill Belichick expressing the fact he’s glad to have him back in the fold.
“It’s good to have him back on the team,’’ Belichick said. “He’s been a great player and person for our football team. He is tough. He’s smart. He’s a dependable player and he’s done all those things since he has been here. You just can’t have too many guys like that on your football team, so we’re glad he’s back.’’
Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle also looks at Mankins return, pointing out that coach Ivan Fears was also excited to have the veteran offensive lineman back with the team.
“Are you kidding? The guys are jumping for joy,” running backs coach Ivan Fears said Tuesday via conference call. “Having another playmaker like him coming back to play for us? Sure. Plus he’s fresh. We’re kind of excited about it, no doubt about it. We can’t wait to see where he’s at out on the practice field.”
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that Mankins has plenty of teammates who are glad to have him back.
“It’s great to have him back. . . . I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to jump back into the flow of things,” linebacker Tully Banta-Cain said during a charity appearance at the Chelsea Boys & Girls club. “Logan is a guy we all have respect for. We all understand the situation. It’s almost like his spirit has always been there. It’s like (receiver) Deion Branch coming back. It’s like he never left. I’m sure it’s going to be the same with Logan.”
Young also has an article on Danny Woodhead this morning, with coach Ivan Fears saying some good things about the Patriots runningback’s knack for picking up the blitz.
“He’s done a great job with it,’’ Fears said. “The guy is a very smart guy. He sees the defense very well. He understands the rules and assignments. He’s done an excellent job of picking up our schemes.
“And most importantly, he’s been doggone effective as a blocker. He’s stood up against guys when he’s had to and he’s cut them down when he had the opportunity to.’’
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston takes a look at Danny Woodhead’s involvement in the offense and points out that when Tom Brady targets him, it’s generally a completion judging by the numbers so far.
Meanwhile the Randy Moss saga took an interesting twist. Eric Wilbur of the Boston Globe points out that according to WFAN’s Craig Carton, Moss was in New Jersey yesterday meeting with members of the Jets.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, just to prevent the Patriots from going down that road again, the Jets will put a claim in for Randy Moss,” Carton said.
Wilbur cites a story posted on CBS New York, “Carton cited unidentified sources, saying Moss was meeting ‘at the same spot Mark Sanchez likes to frequent near his home.”
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that director of player personnel Nick Caserio wouldn’t address Moss during his press conference yesterday, saying he wasn’t willing to discuss “hypotheticals”.
“I really don’t think we talk about hypotheticals. Until anything is official from the league, we really don’t proceed. And that’s the league’s perspective more than anything else,” Caserio said yesterday during a conference call with the media. “Once the transaction does come across the wire, then we’ll proceed accordingly whatever direction we’re going to go.”
The Patriots are clearly still on their mind in New York, with the Post running an article this morning about the fact New England is still a big threat despite the fact the Jets are the reason New England has a “1” in the loss column.
Greg Bedard of the Globe has his “On Football” column this morning, and writes that everything seems to be falling into line for Belichick and the Patriots.
And finally Glen Farley of the Patriot ledger takes a look back at the career of Ben Watson in New England, and writes that the tight end “never answered the call” – which is the reason why the team didn’t make a big push to resign him.
That’s it for this morning. Hope everyone has a good day and we’ll have more later on.