Patriots Huddle: Thursday's News, Notes and Links 7/24

Ian Logue
July 24, 2014 at 09:36am ET

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No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs

Bill Belichick and the Patriots will hold their first public session Thursday at 9:45am. (USA TODAY Images)

Here are some quick news and notes for this morning as the team will finally hit the field for their first public session at Gillette Stadium.


Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media on Wednesday for his first media session as the team begins preparation for the 2014 season.

As we know there's been quite a transition roster-wise this offseason, with the team making quite a few new additions throughout the roster, although most of the attention is obviously on the defense given the addition of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.

There will be changes and adjustments ahead, however, Belichick said they've already put in a fair amount of work during the spring and adjusting to roster turnover is simply part of what goes on in the NFL.

"We’re certainly not anywhere near where we need to be or will be, but I’d say we’ve already crossed part of that bridge in the spring," said Belichick. "We had 13 practices together and at this time of year, as we do in the spring, we work a lot of different people in different combinations and let the competition sort itself out.

"I think that we’ve had good, productive communication at all the positions. There’s always going to be turnover. There’s turnover every year on every team. This is nothing unique. We’ll just see how it plays out. I don’t think that necessarily has to be a problem but it could be. I don’t know."


For the first time in a while Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will hit the field and be able to take part in training camp, giving him the opportunity to hopefully start working on getting himself ready for a better 2014 season.

He's had a rough couple of years in terms of injuries, but so far everything appears to be going well as he continues coming back from tearing his ACL against the Browns in Week 14.  Offensive captain Logan Mankins met with the media on Wednesday and said that it's been great having him out there.

"Well, it’s a positive," said Mankins on Gronkowski being out there working with them.  "We were all hoping Gronk would have a good recovery and so far he has. We’ll just see where he is, how good he is right now. It’s great to have him out there. He’s a dynamic blocker. He does a great job in the blocking and he’s a big target for Tom [Brady] to get the ball to and he gets open. Anytime you can have Gronk on the field, it’s great."


The Patriots made a couple of roster moves on Wednesday, releasing recently signed receiver Tyler McDonald in favor of first year wideout Greg Orton.

This is the second stint for Orton in New England, having spent time with the team's practice squad  when he was previously signed back on December 31st, 2013.  The Patriots had previously released him back on May 22, 2014.

As for McDonald, he lasted just five days with the club after signing as a rookie free agent last Friday.  The former South Carolina State standout caught 51 passes for 956 yards along with seven touchdowns as a senior, but unfortunately now he'll be looking for a new team.



5 things to watch at Patriots camp - Jeff Howe: Howe has five things to watch heading into training camp, including keeping an eye on the front seven.


Notes: Third-down stops a focus of Patriots defense - Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young files her notebook this morning, which leads off with the fact the team spent time this offseason focusing on getting better about getting off the field on third down.


Patriots Training Camp: Day 1 of Practice, Schedule - Zuri Berry: Berry outlines the schedule for today, with the team set to hit the field at 9:45am.


Patriots' evolving D keys Super hopes - Mike Reiss: Reiss has an article looking at the defense, and feels this is one of the years where the team's defense has created as much buzz as their offense.

Did Patriots do enough to improve offense? - Mike Reiss: Reiss takes an overall look at some of the team and gives his thoughts on the upcoming season.


New England Patriots training camp position previews: Wide receiver is not a sure thing, but could grow into something great - Nick O'Malley: O'Malley spotlights the receiver position, which he feels could potentially end up being a strength for the team.


Patriots' Logan Mankins a training camp veteran - Rich Garven: Garven has an article on Logan Mankins, who spoke with the media yesterday and despite being the third longest tenured player on the team, he said not much has changed.


Bill Belichick Press Conference Transcript - In case you missed it, here's the transcript from Belichick's press conference on Wednesday.

Rob Ninkovich Press Conference Transcript - Ninkovich spoke to the media yesterday and here's a transcript of what he had to say.

Logan Mankins Press Conference Transcript - Here's another for offensive captain Logan Mankins

Devin McCourty Press Conference Transcript - McCourty also met with the media on Wednesday and here's a recap of what he had to say.