Wednesday's New England Patriots Links 8/3

Ian Logue
August 03, 2011 at 08:26am ET

No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski not at the start of the team's OTA's today
NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates

Today is Tom Brady's birthday, and the 34-year old is scheduled to take the field tonight during a closed season ticket holder event at Gillette Stadium, so unfortunately unless you're able to attend that, you won't be able to wish him a happy birthday.

Meanwhile the stories this morning feature yesterday's first media session with Albert Haynesworth, so let's get to them.

Rich Garven has more on the signings of second-round selections Ras-I Dowling and Shane Vereen, who were both added to the fold yesterday.  Hopefully they go through, as the Patriots have already had three deals rejected by the league with language that needed to be "tweaked".

Garven also writes that after Jets coach Rex Ryan's plea to the rest of the league to have someone other than his team beat the Patriots, Bill Belichick wouldn't offer up a comment about them.
“No, not really,” Belichick said. “You’re right, I haven’t seen that one and I don’t think I’ve seen any other ones in a long time. I’m just focused on going out there and trying to improve today and I’ll leave the analysis to the experts here.”

Asked if he would ever issue such a challenge, Belichick didn’t even blink before answering.

“Right now, I’m really just worried about the challenge that we have as a football team and I think we have a big one as far as where we need to go and how much work we have to do to get there,” he said. “I’m kind of focused on that.”

Garvin also has an article on Albert Haynesworth, who met with the media for the first time yesterday and is ready to play in whatever role he's asked to with his new football team.
“I’m willing to attack the quarterback and kill the running back and knock everything back,” Haynesworth said. “I don’t care what it is. Whatever gap the ball is in, that’s the gap I want to be in.”

Shalise Manza Young writes that Haynesworth feels "revived" and is excited about his "fresh start" here in New England.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that Haynesworth was all smiles during his interview yesterday, and told reporters he's been a fan of this football team for quite a while.
“I’ve come to games when I was in the pros. I came, I think it was here (at Gillette), when they played the AFC Championship, I want to say they were playing San Diego, and I was sitting up in the stands freezing my butt off,” Haynesworth said, speaking with the media for the first time yesterday. “I sat there and watched them play. I’ve always been a fan of this team.”

Bob Ryan also has a column on Haynesworth.  Who he feels for now had all the right answers during his interview with the media yesterday.

Mark Farinella writes that so far Haynesworth seems to be buying into 'the Patriot Way'.

The Herald has comments from NBC Analyst Cris Collinsworth on Haynesworth, as well as some other topics.

Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has a column on former Patriots receiver Randy Moss, and he's not buying into Moss' decision to retire.

Farinella also has a notebook from yesterday, and writes that the signing of Matt Light should make Tom Brady happy.  Brady's been praising the veteran throughout camp and has said repeatedly that he hopes he remains with the team.

Greg Bedard and Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe combine for a "Notebook" this morning, looking at the current contract staredown with first round pick Nate Solder, among other topics.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has an article on Solder, and writes that they're getting closer with getting a deal done - but cited a source that said a deal wasn't imminent.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has an article on Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather, who she writes isn't looking back at last year or the events this offseason, which found him falsely accused of shooting someone.
“That has nothing to do with me. That’s behind. That’s so far behind,” Meriweather said. “I’m really not trying to talk about it anymore.”


Paul Devlin of has an interesting column this morning where he feels that apparently in the NFL, character is no longer a prerequisite with players.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that former Patriot Ty Warren has agreed to a contract with the Denver Broncos.  According to the report Warren's deal is for two-years for $10 million and includes $2.5 million guaranteed.  Warren was released by New England on Friday.

And finally, wondering how former Patriots linebacker Tyrone McKenzie is doing?  I came across this article in the Herald-Tribune that has him potentially battling for a starters role down in Tampa Bay.

That's it for this morning.  Hopefully everyone has a good day, and we'll have updates later on so be sure to check back for more later on.