Saturday New England Patriots Links 2/12

Ian Logue
February 12, 2011 at 11:48am 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

There's not much going on so this will be a brief entry this morning, but here are today's headines.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reports that Bill O'Brien was finally officially named the team's offensive coordinator.  O'Brien more or less handled the playcalling duties for the team this season, and this new designation is considered a promotion and a reward for the job he did this season. has more on some of the coaching responsibilities that have changed, breaking down who will take over each role after some of the recent changes.

Despite a report yesterday where it's expected that the Patriots will franchise guard Logan Mankins, Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports it hasn't happened yet.

The Herald reports that free agent left tackle Matt Light wants to return to the Patriots, but reportedly has no plans on seeking a new contract until after the labor situation shakes out.

Our friends over at has a mock draft this morning, and has the Patriots taking Aldon Smith (DE/OLB, Missouri) at #17, while they expect Muhammad Wilkerson (DE, Temple) to be taken at #28.  This entry has the entire draft included, so be sure and check it out.

Mike Rodak takes a look at potential free agents, placing the spotlight this morning on the inside linebacker position.

Christopher Price has a look at potential free agent Brian Williams, with a full breakdown of the cornerback out of Atlanta and what kind of fit he could be here in New England.

Ian Rapoport writes that former Strength and Conditioning coach Mike Woicik is officially headed to the Dallas Cowboys after his long stint here in Foxboro.

Jeff Howe of writes that while Chad Ochocinco would bring some excitement, Dante Stallworth is the best free agent receiver fit for the Patriots.

That's it for this morning.  Hope everyone enjoys the day and we'll see you tomorrow.