Friday's New England Patriots Links 9/30

Ian Logue
September 30, 2011 at 10:33am 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

Some PC issues this morning delayed this, but here are this morning's links:


Jerod Mayo knows it’s time for ‘D’ to step up - Ian Rapoport
Rapoport spoke with linebacker Jerod Mayo, who acknowledged that they're going to have to play much better than they have over their first two games and that there's a sense of urgency in the locker room.
“You feel it in the locker room, just that sense of urgency to get better now,” Mayo said. “I wouldn’t say pressure, it’s just now is the time. We have to take it one game at a time and it starts this week.”

Safety First - Patrick Chung OK - Ian Rapoport
Rapoport has his "notebook" for this morning, which leads off with the fact Chung was back at practice yesterday and is doing much better after having thumb surgery last week.

Rookie RB Stevan Ridley carries forward - Dan Duggan
Duggan has a good article on Stevan Ridley this morning, and talks about his battle from high school where he was one of just 15 players, to his time at LSU.
“I’ve just come from a very different background,” Ridley said. “My high school team had 15 players. When I was there, in the running game, everybody was keying on me. It was just a small school, so everybody knew I was getting the ball or I was involved with it. When we were passing the ball, I played quarterback.”

Patriots put hurry-up on pass rush - Dan Duggan
Duggan takes a look at the Patriots pass rush, and writes that this year was supposed to be different, yet so far we haven't seen much improvement.

Picking without a plan - Jim Lazar
Lazar has a satire piece about a fictational conversation between Bill Belichick and Terry Francona following Boston's collapse.


In bad times, McCourty won't take cover‎ - Shalise Manza Young
Young writes that despite his tough start, McCourty continues to work hard and is determined to improve.
“I just continue to keep playing,’’ he said. “So far, you know, would I have wanted it to go better? Yeah. But right now it’s just trying to keep playing, trying to improve each week, and just keep going at it. There’s no other way, I think, to approach the situation.’’

Aaron Hernandez "Trying to Make it Back" - Gary Dzen
Hernandez told reporters yesterday he's feeling better and hoping to return soon.
"I'm feeling good, man," Hernandez told reporters. "I just take it day by day and work with the trainers and try to get back as soon as possible."

Chung Hopes to Lend a Hand - Julian Benbow
Benbow has an article on Chung, who said yesterday he's ready to play should Bill Belichick determine he's willing to put him out there.
“I feel good,’’ said Chung, who has practiced the last two days. “It’s not my decision. I’m just working hard, trying to get out there and help the team.’’

Inside the Playbook: A closerlook at McFadden’s 70-yard TD - Video

Installment No. 2 of Inside the Playbook features NFL reporter Greg A. Bedard and former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins analyzing the 70-yard run by the Raiders' Darren McFadden in last week's game vs. the Jets.  Then they look at how the Patriots might deal with a runner like McFadden this week.

Week 4: Thursday injury/participation report - Shalise Manza Young
Young has yesterday's practice/participation report.



Morning Walk-Through: G-Men, Seymour, and penalties galore‎ - Tom Curran


Pats' Mankins at practice; Haynesworth sits out‎ - Mike Rodak
Patriots could finally return to base‎ - Mike Reiss


Devin McCourty on D&C: 'This week is going to be big'‎ - Jerry Spar
Ex-Patriot Seymour credited with helping reshape Raiders‎ - Christopher Price
IN FOCUS: Charting the Offensive Opportunies - Christopher Price


Defending Darren McFadden a challenge - Jennifer Toland
Patrick Chung wants back in action‎ - Jennifer Toland


NOTEBOOK: Chung hoping to lend a hand to Pats' cause on Sunday - Glen Farley


Three-and-out: Patriots-Raiders preview‎ - Nate Davis