Wednesday's New England Patriots Links 7/27

Ian Logue
July 27, 2011 at 08:29am ET

Patriots’ Malcolm Mitchell happy with rehab progress
Free agent WR Eric Decker says he would be 'good fit' with Patriots
Man charged with robbing Gronkowski's home arraigned
Buckley: What will Tom Brady do when he retires from football?
Tom Brady teases with Instagram comment

It's day two of the return of football in Foxboro, and here's a look at this morning's top stories.

It was quite a day in Foxboro yesterday, and Nick Underhill of MassLive takes a quick look back at everything that went on yesterday.

Underhill also reports that the Patriots may be interested in Jets special teams ace Brad Smith.

Patrick Anderson of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle writes that both the fans and media were happy yesterday that football had finally returned to Foxboro.

Monique Walker of the Boston Globe writes that the players were also quite happy to be returning to work after arriving to the stadium yesterday, including safety Patrick Chung.  Chung told reporters he was glad to be back with his "brothers" and feels like they haven't missed a beat.
“Everybody was happy,’’ safety Patrick Chung said. “I feel like I haven’t seen my brothers in a while. It’s hard not to be able communicate with the guys you’re playing with and the guys who are taking care of your body and the guys that are teaching you the playbook. It’s hard not to have that communication. Now it’s back, it’s like we never missed a beat.’’

Mark Farinella of the Chronicle has a notebook from yesterday's events, which included Logan Mankins signing his franchise tender and agreeing to be at the start of training camp after holding out to begin last season.

Farinella also has a good column on Robert Kraft, and the sacrifices he made to help bring peace in the NFL labor dispute.

Dan Shaughnessy writes that with everything that's hapened, Kraft is living through both the best and worst of times right now.

Shalise Manza Young of the Globe also has a notebook, including news on the release of Tony Carter, as well as the undrafted free agents that were added to the roster.

Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram takes a look at some of the Patriots questions heading into training camp, and ponders who will be protecting Tom Brady's blindside in the coming months.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe has an "On Football" column this morning, and writes about the return to football in Foxboro, as well as touching on the release of Tully Banta-Cain, who saw his second stint with the Patriots end yesterday.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also looks back at yesterday's events, including an upbeat Wes Welker, who was glad to be back to work.
“At this time of year, money starts running low, so it’s nice to start getting paychecks again,” Welker cracked. “We’re excited. It’s good to have football back. The fans are excited, and the players are just as excited. I guess being away from the stadium and away from the guys who work here — the equipment guys and trainers and everything else — it feels like a little while. I kind of sit there and think, ‘What’s his name again? Oh, yeah. Right. I got that.’ ’’

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald looks at five things to watch heading into training camp, including whether or not the Patriots will finally put together a pass rush.

Mike Reiss of ponders the same topic, and wonders where the pressure is going to come from as the team looks to improve on its pass rush.

Guregian also has a piece in the Nashua Telegraph and writes that the Patriots are prepared to join in the NFL Free agency fray as they try to round out their roster.

If you missed any of the local sports shows last night, has a video segment available from last night's "NESN Daily" on what went on down in Foxboro.

Ricky Doyle of NESN takes a look at how Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez stacks up against Brady and feels he deserves praise for "Brady-like selflessness".

And finally, Darren Garnick of the Herald writes that the NFL rookies can now "retire" from the jobs they had to take on during the lockout, since there was no income for them as they waited for business to open back up so they could receive a contract from their teams.

That's it for this morning.  Be sure to check back for updates throughout the day, and we'll have an update with today's events later this afternoon.