Sunday New England Patriots Links 7/31

Ian Logue
July 31, 2011 at 08:13am ET

Patriots practice report: Brian Hoyer struggles during OTA session
Patriots safety Duron Harmon says he's learned from Costa Rica incident
Patriots defensive end Derek Rivers happy to be healthy
Belichick mum on Brady and Gronk OTA absences
No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs

It's a beautiful Sunday morning here in New England, and definitely a great day to catch some football at Gillette.  The Patriots will be holding two sessions on this Sunday, with the first running for an hour from 10:00am-11:00am, while the second will go a little longer and will run from 2:30pm - 5:00pm.  Fans can also check out Patriots Experience, which will be open from 10:00am - 4:00pm.

After taking a trip around the internet this morning, here are today's top stories:

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has a great story on defensive lineman Mike Wright, who suffered a concussion last season and continued to battle symptoms that forced him to miss the final six games of 2010.  Wright told Guregian that he's feeling much better, which is definitely good news.
“Everything’s great. I wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t,” Wright said following the practice. “(The symptoms) have all subsided. It’s been like that for a while, for about five months. I was able to have a good offseason. I was fortunate for that, because I wasn’t sure when it was going to clear up. So it gave me enough time to get ready.”

As usual Mike Reiss of was up early this morning, and has his "Quick Hit Thoughts" piece ready to go.  One thing Reiss points out is that when the Patriots make their next significant move, he thinks it has to come on the offensive line and feels the return of Matt Light would be just the boost they need.

An interesting story from last night.  Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe spoke with the agent for Tony Carter, who was released this week by the team during their opening round of roster cuts.  There were reports circulating that Carter had failed his conditioning test, which his agent refuted.

Tweeted Young, "Tony Carter's agent, Chris Napoli, upset over reports his client failed a pre-camp physical before being released. Carter had not boarded flight from Orlando to report to Foxborough when Bill Belichick called to inform him of his release.  "He couldn't have failed a physical from his couch in his apartment in Orlando," Napoli said.  Following his release Friday, Carter Tweeted yesterday, "Things happen for a reason even though we may not understand why”.

Christopher Price of has more from his agent, who Tweeted more on Carter and his health last night.

Chad Ochocinco met with the media for the first time yesterday, and Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram writes that he's already promising that he's all about football and that fans won't see the same Chad they saw out in Cincinnati.
“I will always be me,” Ochocinco said. “It has been a part of my game to always be me, but there is a certain way the Patriots do it and it’s easy for me. I’ve always been a chameleon, so I’m going to blend in and do it the Patriot way, which is win. I think (Patriots coach) Bill (Belichick), we had our talk and without him even having to say anything — there is no need for some of the stuff I did before. There’s no need for it.”

Monique Walker of the Boston Globe also has an article on Ochcocinco, who said he doesn't plan on talking to the media much and just wants to "ride the wave" with his new football team.
“It’s a new chapter in my life and I’m happy to be here,’’ Ochocinco said. “It is going to be a little quiet. You won’t get the same Chad you are used to and I probably won’t be talking to the media much, probably not at all really. I just want to play ball and ride the wave.’’

You can also read the entire transcript of the interview on the team's official site.

Mark Farinella also has an article on Ochocinco, and writes that fans can expect to see a new version of the receiver this season.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has an article on Ochocinco, and notes that Belichick isn't one of the receivers nearly 2.5 million followers.  Rapoport also turned down a lunch offer from the veteran receiver yesterday, as he seemed to be in the middle of following some of the afternoon signings.

Farinella also has some random thoughts in this column, along with some wonderful thoughts on Myra Kraft, who recently passed away.

Farinella has another article on Aaron Hernandez, who gave some details of his decision to give Ochocinco his #85 jersey.
"As soon as (Chad Ochocinco) came in, I saw him smiling," said Hernandez, the second-year tight end. "I knew he was going to talk to me about the number. I already knew as soon as they took him that there was a chance he would want the number. I obviously could have been like, 'No, I don't want to give it up,' but I'm not that type of person."

"There was 81, the jersey I wanted when I came here, but (Randy) Moss had it so it actually worked out perfectly," Hernandez said Saturday at the Gillette Stadium practice complex. "And I thought (Ochocinco) may look better and play better in 85 since that's his last name, so why not give it to him."

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has a notebook that leads off looking at Hernandez, and writes that the tight end had to take things slow at the start of training camp so that the coaches and trainers could follow up on his progress after the 2nd-year player had undergone surgery on his hip this offseason.  They hadn't been able to before due to the lockout, but they must have seen enough to feel he was all set as Hernandez was practiced on the field yesterday during the contact session.

Toland also has an article on Kevin Faulk, who it was announced was re-signed to a 1-year deal yesterday.  After suffering an ACL injury in week two that caused him to end up on injured reserve last season, Faulk was just glad to be back working again with his teammates.
“Being able to come in this building and see the guys and hearing them say how much they missed me — it made me feel good as a football player and a person,” Faulk said.

David Carter of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle also has an article on Faulk, who thanks to a call from Belichick, had all the motivation he needed to come back.

Newly acquired defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth wasn't on the field yesterday, with reports circulating that he had failed his conditioning test.  Walker has a notebook that leads off with a story on him, pointing out that Belichick wouldn't elaborate yesterday and just said he'll be out there, "when he's ready".  He also finally commented on the troubled veteran, comparing him to players the team had previously brought in to Foxboro.

“Well, I don’t think it was a big surprise that things weren’t great in Washington, I don’t think,’’ Belichick said. “But in any case, there’s no formula. All the trades we’ve been involved in through the years - the Ted Washingtons and the Corey Dillons and the Randy Mosses and all, each one is different. There’re always different dynamics that go into it.

“In the end, you just try to do what’s best for your football team. There are a lot of things you take into consideration. As we’ve seen in those two last transactions, there’re a number of steps that have to be taken, that’s all. So we just take each one and then if it all comes together, it does, and sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.’’

Karen Guregian also has an article on Haynesworth, and points out that Belichick took a different road with the veteran considering that his former coach, Mike Shanahan, made no bones about talking about his shortcomings with the media.

Bob Ryan has a good column this morning on the rivalry between the Jets and Patriots, and is looking forward to seeing the two square off this season.

Shalise Manza Young of the Globe has a great article this morning on Jerod Mayo, who was a major part of getting the team ready.  Mayo organized a lot of the workouts that the players took part in over the offseason, with those players carrying the name, "the Mayo group".

Greg Bedard of the Globe has his "On Football" column this morning, and writes that the NFL shouldn't have called it a "lockout" because it was more like a dam after the flood of player moves that ensued once it ended.

Ron Borges takes the Patriots to task on the decision to release Ty Warren, and obviously doesn't agree with it.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post has a good column on his thoughts on Bill Belichick, who finds the head coach and the Patriot way 'fascinating'.

And finally, Jerry Greene of ESPN's Page 2 writes that following their roster moves this week, they've taken on a revision of the "Cops" theme song.

That's it for this morning.  Hopefully everyone has a great day, and we'll have more later this afternoon.   If you're on Twitter, you can also follow me at @ianlogue.