Friday's New England Patriots Links 8/5

Ian Logue
August 05, 2011 at 09:42am 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

The Patriots finally got first round pick Nate Solder under contract on Thursday and also brought in New York Jets defensive tackle Shaun Ellis in for a visit, but it was an interesting practice session that has plenty of interesting stuff to read about this morning.

We'll lead off with a good blog entry I came across from Patriots fan Steve Balestrieri, who has  a really detailed take on yesterday's practice and has some details on Solder, who looked good in his first practice.  Balestrieri also described solder as  'very tall and has a long wingspan'.

Kal Thompson of also has a good entry from yesterday's session, which includes plenty of great photos as well.

Nick Underhill of has a recap from yesterday's session, noting that BenJarvus Green-Ellis looked sharp during practice.

Tom Curran has some good observations during yesterday's session, and notes that back up quarterback Brian Hoyer appears to be getting edged out by rookie Ryan Mallett.

Greg Bedard has his notes from yesterday's session, and notes that Brandon Meriweather dinged his left calf but taped it up and kept practicing.

Chris Price of has his practice notes, and writes that Gronkowski caught everything thrown his way yesterday.

Erik Scalavino of has a really long detailed entry from yesterday, with plenty of different snapshots from practice.

Mike Rodak of has his 10 Observations from yesterday's practice as well.

Jeff Howe looks at Stevan Ridley, who he writes draws inspiration from former Dallas Cowboys star Emmitt Smith.

Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram writes that it was not a good practice for Chad Ochocinco last night, with the veteran having several drops.

Ian Rapoport of the Herald also has more on Ochocinco's off night.

Toland also has more on the Solder signing, with the first round pick telling the media he's glad to finally be out on the field.
“It was great,” Solder said. “It’s been a while, so I was happy to be out here.”

“There are great players out here, so it’s a challenge, definitely,” he said. “It’s a big process, but there’s great support and great coaches.”

Monique Walker has a "notebook" with notes on Solder, who said that offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has been a big help so far.
“Dante’s going to be a huge part of me getting ready and getting better, and all of those coaches are going to help me,’’ said Solder.

Paul Flannery of tells us what to expect from the rookie this season. has video from yesterday's interview with Solder, and more from both Solder, as well as Mankins in this video.

Ian Rapoport has a great take on the rooke's first day, and writes that yesterday's practice was the start of what will hopefully be a long journey for Solder here in New England.

Jeff Howe of NESN writes that Solder looked good during his first practice, and is ready to start pushing for a starting role with New England's offensive line.

Glen Farley of the Patriot Leger has an article in the Taunton Gazette this morning, and writes that after a week of practice, this offense needs work.

Rich Cimini of has his take on the Shaun Ellis visit, and writes that it would be "surreal" to see him in a Patriots uniform.

Tom Curran of has an article on the Patriots defense, and writes that 'it's how - not what - they play this season' that is going to be the difference this season, and head coach Bill Belichick addressed their past schemes during his press conference yesterday.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes that head coach Bill Belichick has already heard the buzz in the media about the defensive philosophy change, and he downplayed it yesterday.
“I think honestly that’s something of a media fabrication,” Belichick said. “It’s more the teaching and techniques and the fundamentals more than it is the 3-4, 4-3 lineup that is so important to put on the flip card.”

For any fans hoping to see some good battles at training camp, it appears there's a good one brewing.  Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that Logan Mankins spent yesterday trying to show Albert Haynesworth who's the boss on the offensive line, and the two had some pretty fierce battles yesterday.

Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe also has an article on Mankins, who talked about his battle with Haynesworth and remembers what it was like the first time he matched up against former Patriot Richard Seymour.
“He’s a big, strong guy. The first one I was glad I got him, but the second one he got me. It’s going to go back and forth like that,’’ Mankins said. “I remember my first few years here I got to practice against Richard Seymour all the time and it only made me better. So, with Albert, if practice is harder that will make me better.’’

Christopher Price of writes that during yesterday's media session Mankins was talking about the future, and sounded optimistic that he could be here for the long-term.
“There’s always a chance,” he said of the possibility of putting together a multi-year contract. “I’ve talked to the coaches, to ownership, everyone. We’re all on the same page. We’ll just see what happens."

Karen Guregian also has her take on Mankins, who she feels appears he'd like to stay.  She notes that Mankins and Kraft were spotted on the field, shaking hands and chatting.

Jennifer Toland also has an article on Mankins, who cleared the air yesterday about his relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“Let’s get things straight,” Mankins said. “Mr. Kraft and I never had a problem. I never said he lied. When I said the organization, I never said he did. Me and Mr. Kraft never had a problem. We talked last offseason. We talked last season. We talked this offseason. We’ve talked in training camp. Everything’s good between me and him.”

The Boston Globe has a video from yesterday's media interview with Mankins, which can be found via this link.

Mike Reiss of has an article on Mankins, and feels that the veteran offensive lineman has put the past behind him and is focused on moving forward toward the future with his team.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has an article on wide receiver Taylor Price, who hopes he can fit in this season and establish a role for himself.

The Herald has an article on another civil suit facing Haynesworth in March for a freeway accident he was involved in back in 2008.

And finally, the crew at the Herald's "Inside Track" reports that as their spokesperson, Brady will make an appearance for UGG at the UGG Australia Boston store on Newbury Street for their Grand Opening on August 16th.  So if you're in need of shopping for some, that could be a good night to catch a glimpse of the Patriots QB.

That's it for this morning.  We'll have more later on, so be sure to check back for updtes.