Sunday's New England Patriots Links 8/21

Ian Logue
August 21, 2011 at 09:30am 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

Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has an entertaining article this morning on Albert Haynesworth, who he writes is going to help them get revenge for what happened in Arizona a few years ago.

Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe has her take on Haynesworth, and wonders if he'll be able to avoid any problems for the entire season.

Haynesworth returned to practice on Saturday - although he didn't participate.  Shaun Ellis also returned to action, and Mike Reiss of writes that with the return of both players, the defensive line just keeps getting deeper.

Mary Paoletti of CSNNE has some good quotes from Ellis during his interview yesterday.

Monique Walker of the Boston Globe also has an article on Ellis, and writes that the veteran defensive lineman is excited about the potential of this group heading into this season.

“Just on names alone, [the defensive line] is good,’’ he said. “We have to go out and put the work in at practice and all of us get out there and play together. I think it’ll jell as good it can.

“Everybody knows when you start a defense, it starts up front, then it goes to the linebackers and secondary. We all have to work hand in hand. I think we have the potential to do great things with this defense.’’

Ian Rapoport writes that after watching his teammates go to town against Bucs QB Josh Freeman Thursday night, it made him that much more excited to get back on the field.
“It made me want to be a part of it that much more,” Ellis said. “We have a lot of guys that can stop the run and also get after the quarterback. A lot of talent. Just want to contribute the best way I can.”

Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal writes that as impressive as the Patriots have been so far this preseason, the real test will come in January and points ou they haven't won a playoff game in four years.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald has a great article on the situation surrounding Vince Wilfork.  She writes in the piece that Ed Horne, who is the chief operating officer of Madison Avenue Sports and Entertainment, a top marketing firm in New York, leans on the side of Wilfork weathering this storm without a hitch.

Mike Reiss of has his 'Quick Hit Thoughts' for this morning, and points out that Dane Fletcher was seen in practice yesterday wearing a cast that extended up to protect his injured thumb, which he suffered Friday night.  He also references this article by Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, who gives an excellent take on Peyton Manning's injury situation.

Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has a good article on Andre Carter, whose while his performance Thursday night may not have made the stat sheet, his impact was definitely felt.

Ron Borges of the Boston Herald also has a great article on Carter, and writes that It’s a good thing Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman was mobile, because Lord knows what Carter might have done to him if he wasn’t.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe has an interesting edition of his Sunday Football Notes, and looks at the front office of Tampa Bay, along with some other NFL issues - including the fact that Matt Light pointed out that guys aren't looking forward to getting stuck with needles each week just for HGH and steroid testing.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has an article on newly acquired safety James Ihedigbo, who he writes is happy to be home again.

Ron Borges also has a great piece on Ihedigbo, and writes that the former UMASS star defines the word 'special'.

Glen Farley of has his notebook which leads off with Ihedigbo, but also includes some good additional quotes from the new Patriots safety.

Ron Chimelis of has an article this morning stirring the pot on the recent Eli Manning comments where he felt he was in the same category as Tom Brady.  According to Chimelis, while Manning may not be Brady, he also said nothing wrong.

Some bad news on the injury front, after Jeff Howe of NESN reported Saturday night that Patriots safety Bret Lockett suffered a torn groin and abdomen, and is likely done for the season.

Howe also has some good practice notes from yesterday's session, and reports that Danny Woodhead and Leigh Bodden were among a host of players who sat yesterday out.

As if the rivalry wasn't already tough enough, The Washington Post reports former Patriots offensive lineman Mark LeVoir,  has signed on with the Baltimore Ravens.  LeVoir was recently released by New England.

Thanks to LeVoir's release, it's opened up the door for Steve Maneri to earn a roster spot, and Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram has an article on him this morning.  Garven compares Maner's story to former Patriot Stephen Neal, who also beat the odds to make the team.

Chad Ochocinco praised Tampa Bay linebacker Mason Foster for the shot he put on #85 Thursday night, offering to reimburse him for his fine (if there is one) via Twitter.  According to, that's against the rules, and it will cost him even more if he keeps that promise.

If you haven't seen the hit, you can view it here.

And finally has Bill Belichick's complete press conference transcript from yesterday here.

That's it for this morning.  We'll have a couple of updates later on this afternoon, so be sure to keep an eye on the front page of througout the day.  You can also find all the latest up-to-the-minue headlines from the local media outlets there as well.