Tuesday's New England Patriots Links 10/4

Ian Logue
October 04, 2011 at 10:53am 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

Here are today's top stories:


REPORT CARD: Patriots Bounce Back In Oakland - Derek Havens
Havens gives his grades after New England's performance Sunday afternoon out in Oakland.

What We Learned From The Patriots Victory Against The Raiders - Russ Goldman
Goldman looks at what we learned from Sunday's win out in Oakland, and feels the negative continues to be in the passing game for the defense.

PODCAST: Patriots Fourth And Two :Patriots vs. Raiders Recap - PatsFans.com Staff
Russ Goldman sits down with members of the PatsFans.com staff and talk about this weekend's win out in Oakland.


Patriots LB Mayo likely out 6 weeks‎ - Julian Benbow
Benbow writes that according to a league source Pro Bowl linebacker Jerod Mayo likely will miss six weeks with a medial collateral ligament sprain.

Brady: 'We've got a huge one this weekend'‎ - Matt Pepin
Brady said yesterday during his appearance on WEEI that the Patriots need to win Sunday's game against the Jets.
"We're excited to build on it," he said during his weekly appearance on WEEI radio's Dennis and Callahan program. "We're so early in the season still. We've got a huge one this weekend. This is one we've got to go get."

Ask Shalise: Should the Patriots replace Ochocinco with Moss?‎ - Shalise Manza Young
Young has her weekly mailbag, and addresses the question of whether or not the team should entertain the thought of releasing Chad Ochocinco in favor of Randy Moss.  Young points out that Moss said "he's done", and feels that Ochocinco’s putting in the work, and that goes a long way.


Patriots report card - Ron Borges
Borges has his grades for Sunday's win over Oakland, and writes that this is beginning to look more and more like a potentially costly remake of the past few seasons where the Pats live and die on the arm of Brady, and feels this could cost them again in January.

Air attack not only weapon for Patriots - Ian Rapoport
Rapoport writes that the Patriots running game was extremely efficient, and he feels the team made a statement that the Pats aren’t just a passing team.

Stevan Ridley runs into offensive show - Dan Duggan
Duggan has an article this morning on Stevan Ridley, who told him on Monday that he tries to keep things basic and puts his trust in his vision when he runs the ball.
“I try to keep all football like backyard football,” Ridley said. “I go out there and when I see a hole or see a crease I’m just hitting it wide open. In the pros, it’s small sometimes, but sometimes it’s big, so you just have to go out there and trust your eyes and trust your vision and let the rest take care of itself.”

Gary Guyton stands in for Jerod Mayo - Dan Duggan
Duggan has an article on Gary Guyton, and writes that if there’s any silver lining to the knee injury Jerod Mayo suffered Sunday, it’s that the Patriots have been here before.  Duggan points out they dealt with the same thing back in 2009 where Mayo missed three weeks with a similar injury, and Guyton stepped in then as well.  As a result, the team already has a blueprint for this situation.

Patriots Power - Ian Rapoport
Rapoport breaks down the number of times New England spent in different offensive formations during Sunday's win over Oakland.


Belichick offers no timetable on Mayo‎ - Chris Forsberg
Forsberg writes that Bill Belichick - as expected - didn't offer a timetable for Mayo's return during his press conference on Monday.
"I'm not sure exactly where things are at, we’ll see where we are on Wednesday," said Belichick. Pressed on a potential timetable, he added, "I’m not going to make a guess."


Seven-step drop: Patriots and Wes Welker‎ - James Walker
Walker has seven thoughts on the AFC from Sunday, and writes that, "If I'm the Patriots, I try to work out a contract extension with receiver Wes Welker sooner than later."


Patriots: Jerod Mayo injury blow to defense‎ - Rich Garven
Garven talks about how Mayo's injury is going to impact New England's defense in this article.

Patriots: Vince Wilfork interceptions adding up‎ - Rich Garven
Garven writes that Vince Wilfork had zero interceptions in the first 107 games of his NFL career and now he has two in the last three games.  Belichick talked more about the play yesterday.
“(He) just kind of instinctively pulled out and that’s right when McFadden was coming over there,” Belichick said. “He read Campbell’s eyes, kind of saw the ball come out and just stepped right into it. It’s tough for a quarterback to see that — you’re looking at the coverage downfield, you’re not really looking at the defensive line. When they’re able to pop out into the passing lane, then you kind of lose them.”

Tom Brady best quarterback in NFL history?‎ - Rich Garven
Garven ponders the ongoing question of whether or not Brady's the best quarterback in the history of the league in his Q&A for this week.


PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK: Belichick says that was Brady's best‎ - Glen Farley
Farley writes that during Belichick's press conference on Monday he said that Tom Brady had one of his best performances of the season, despite only 16 completions on 30 attempts.  Belichick pointed out that it was his adjustments and checkdowns that were a real strength for the team on Sunday.
“(It was Tom) Brady’s best game in terms of some of the checks he made, some of the adjustments, where he went with the ball, his decision making, his overall management of the game,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said on Monday, a day after the quarterback directed the team to a 31-19 victory at Oakland. “Obviously, he’s played well, but I thought he really did a good job (on Sunday).”


Patriots Report Card: Welker, Ridley head the Week 4 class‎ - Kirk Minihane
Belichick may have thought it was Brady's best performance of the year, but Minihane only gave him a B+ in this morning's report card.

AUDIO: Tedys Take on the Patriots-Raiders Game‎ - WEEI
Tedy Bruschi gave his take on what he saw in the Pats-Raiders game on Sunday during his appearance on "The Big Show" on Monday.  He also talks about the defense continuing to allow teams to gain a lot of yards on them as well as what some of the injuries on defense could mean for the Jets game on Sunday.

PRESSURE POINTS: Which New England Defenders Have Done the Best Job of Getting After the QB Through 4 Games? - Christopher Price
Price has a good article this morning breaking down which Patriots defensive players have done the best job getting after the quarterback so far this season.

Ridley: Nate Solder Playing 'Well Over his Head' in leading Patriots Run to Daylight - Mike Petraglia
Ridley talked about the running lanes he had on Sunday, and said that rookie Nate Solder had a lot to do with it.

Dane Fletcher, Thomas Welch latest to flash versatility with Patriots‎ - Christopher Price
Price has an article on Dane Fletcher and Thomas Welch, who have been a big key to New England's success so far this season.


2-Minute Drill: Patriots big shows and no shows‎ - Hector Longo
Longo has his "Big Shows" and "No Shows" (it's like a Best & Worst Article) and writes that  it was another "Pay me now" kind of week for Patriots superstar receiver Wes Welker, but feels Josh Barrett didn't do much to impress.


Ridley sparks Patriots' rushing attack at perfect time‎ - Kevin Fishbain
Fishbain writes that the best offense continues to have the worst defense, but if teams can't stop the Patriots, as in the 2010 regular season, it won't matter.  He credits Stevan Ridley and BenJarvus Green Ellis' performances for the Patriots win over Oakland.


That's it for this morning.  We'll have more in a bit, including this week's edition of "Grogan's Grade" with former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan.