Thursday's Daily New England Patriots Links 8/22

Ian Logue
August 22, 2013 at 08:44am 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

The Patriots will play their third preseason game tonight against the Lions, and here's a rundown from each of the various news outlets with all the links from this morning:


Patriots-Lions: Five things to watch tonight - Jeff Howe - Howe has his "five things to watch for tonight", and wonders if Aaron Dobson will get more than the 2 snaps he saw with Tom Brady in last week's game.

Jake Ballard adds to tight end strength - Adam Kurkjian - Kurkjian has an article focusing on Jake Ballard, who he writes that while Zach Sudfeld has done well catching the football, Ballard is the better blocker of the two.

DBs to see Lions share of work - Tom Layman - Layman has an article on the Patriots secondary and writes that, "the chance to find out if the secondary is improved or not from a year ago will be at the forefront," in tonight's game.

Rob Ninkovich the mentor - Jeff Howe - Howe has an article on Ninkovich and writes that the veteran linebacker has surpassed expectations in each season with the Patriots and is now the third-longest tenured player on the defense.


Five things to watch for in Patriots-Lions game - Ben Volin - Volin has his "five things to watch for" and wonders who will step up in Danny Amendola's absence, as the wide receiver will reportedly sit out tonight's game.

Lions' Stafford not worried about offense so far - AP - The Boston Globe has an article from the Associated Press focusing on Lions quarterback Matthew Strafford, who says that the recent lack of execution doesn't have him concerned heading into tonight's game.

Great recovery for Patriots’ Fletcher - Shalise Manza Young - Manza Young has a good article on linebacker Dane Fletcher, who returned to the field one year to the day of his injury against the Eagles last week and survived covering the opening kickoff and admitted that was when he knew he was back.


What to Watch For: Five Things We'll Be Focused On - Mike Reiss - Reiss has his five things, one of which focuses on the match-up of Aqib Talib vs Calvin Johnson and whether or not Talib will be able to prevent a big play by the Lions receiver.

Patriots not expected to play - Field Yates - Yates has an entry this morning listing off the players not expected to suit up tonight, with Jermaine Cunningham and Ras-I Dowling being two that stand out considering both are battling for a roster spot and really needed a strong preseason.

What it means to 'Bill Belichick it' - Mike Reiss - Reiss spotted a comment on SportsCenter this morning from Redskins QB RGIII, who said he'd rather be himself than "Belichick it".


Three is the Magic Number: Looking at Tom Brady's Past Performances in Third Preseason Game - Christopher Price - Price has a good read on how Brady has fared in past "dress rehearsal" games, with a good look at each year going back to 2007.


New England Patriots at Detroit Lions: Ten Keys to Preseason Week 3 - Matthew Jones - Our friends at have their 10 keys to tonight, including whether or not Ryan Mallett can continue to build on last week's encouraging performance.


What To Watch For: Tom Brady Facing Biggest Test Of Preseason For Patriots - Michael Hurley - Hurley files his "What to Watch for" entry, and wonders what we'll see from Jake Ballard tonight.


Gronk comes to the aid of Junior Boxers - Morgan True - True has a great article on Rob Gronkowski, who made a big donation to help save Brockton Pop Warner Football.

Things that bear watching during the Patriots’ preseason game with the Detroit Lions  - Glen Farley - Farley looks at some of the things to keep an eye on and writes that the Patriots appear to have a lot of congestion in their backfield.

PATRIOTS NOTEBOOK: Lack of opportunities doesn’t concern Leon Washington  - Glen Farley - Farley writes that although he was brought here to be a game breaker, instead, halfway through the Patriots’ preseason schedule, veteran return man-running back Leon Washington has spent the bulk of his time playing the role of spectator.


After years of addiction, ex-Pat Collins found a better path in life - Bill Reynolds - Reynolds has a piece on former Patriot Pat Collins, who he writes overcame a host of addictions in what is a pretty good read.

Patriots' linemen facing big challenge  - Paul Kenyon - Kenyon writes that the Patriots offensive line will face a tough test against a very good Lions defensive front.