It was certainly an interesting day yesterday as the Patriots opened up their first public training camp session, although the news was dominated by New England’s two trades which saw Washington’s Albert Haynesworth and Cincinnati’s Chad Ochocinco join the Patriots for what should be an interesting 2011 season.
There’s a lot to read about this morning, and after sifting through all of it, here are the top stories from around the internet.
Head coach Bill Belichick faces a challenge as he begins working on getting his players prepared for the 2011 season. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Ian Rapoport has his notebook from the Patriots first day of training camp, and writes that head coach Bill Belichick has to battle to adjust to the still changing rules that are trickling in from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“We’re trying to juggle a lot of balls in the air between player personnel rules, contract rules, practice rules, assembling a team, trying to get everybody in here, trying to get them out on the field, start getting our training camp going and trying to adjust some practices,” Belichick said on opening day. “Trying to get a smooth flow here.”
Rich Garven has a similar piece on the rule changes, and notes that the hard hitting two-a-days are done thanks to the new CBA, with Belichick and his staff having to adjust.
“There’s less time, but I think it’s somewhat incumbent on us as a coaching staff and an organization to give the team the best opportunity to perform well,” Belichick said. “That may be doing things a little bit differently than we’ve done them in the past to accommodate the schedule that we’re working in. We have the same training camp, but we don’t have the same lead in time.
“We’ll make the modifications that we think are best today, and that may change going forward here in the next few days or weeks, to try to maximize the opportunities — meeting and practice opportunities — that we have with our team. Whatever it is, we’ll try to do it the best we can for our team.”
Danny Picard of CSNNE.com writes that the shortened offseason has forced the team to change, but Belichick isn’t concerned about it slowing his players’ progress.
“Every team in the league’s in the same situation, so the opportunities that our players have, are the same opportunities that every other player in this situation has,” said Belichick. “It’s different from last year. It’s different from the year before. There’s nothing we can do about that.
“Right now, we’re focused on all of our players: young, old, first year second year, rookies, tenth year. Going forward, having a good camp, getting ready for the season.”
Mike Lowe of the Portland Press Herald writes that the team has a lot to learn and very little time to do it in.
Monique Walker of the Boston Globe has a notebook this morning from yesterday’s events, and writes that Ty Warren was feeling much better than he did during last year’s camp. Warren was battling a hip injury at this time last year, which ultimately forced him to have surgery before the season even started.
“That was really the first big injury I ever had, period,’’ he said. “It just presented a different challenge for me as far as getting back on to the field. I never doubted myself. I feel confident enough to know if I’m out there doing what I need to do, everything will fall in line.’’
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald also has an article on Branch, who should the Jets land Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, said he’d welcome the challenge.
The Boston Herald has an interesting “Good and Bad” piece on the acquisition of Albert Haynesworth, although after everything we heard yesterday they appear to have left quite a bit off of the list.
Mark Farinella looks at the Ochocinco trade, and writes that, “The entertainment value of the 2011 New England Patriots increased by leaps and bounds Thursday afternoon.”
Farinella also has a piece on Deion Branch, who is glad to be back in Foxboro for a full training camp after being acquired via a trade midseason last year.
Amalie Benjamin of the Globe also has an article on Branch, whom she writes should also be a big help to the younger receivers during this preseason.
Farinella also looks at the Albert Haynesworth trade, and calls him, “Belichick’s latest project”.
Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that the Ochocinco trade seems to be a good fit, with he and Belichick having “an odd bond and a mutual respect since hooking up at the Pro Bowl several years ago”.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald has his take on the trade, and notes that the veteran receiver and Belichick “go way back” and points out some of the good natured trash talking that’s gone on over the years between the two.
Rapoport also has another article on both deals from yesterday, writing that the Patriots gave fans a training camp day one that no one will forget.
Ron Borges of the Herald has an interesting column this morning on Haynesworth, and thinks that the disgruntled veteran brings “much to worry about” with him to Foxboro.
SI.com has a great write-up on how with Haynesworth’s departure, the move has made head coach Mike Shanahan the big name in Washington.
Hector Longo from the Lawrence Eagle Tribune writes that the Patriots “have lost their way” following yesterday’s moves.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com calls yesterday’s moves “unprecedented”, and talks about the acquisitions in a video report via this link.
If you have any concern over what the Patriots gave up to acquire Ochocinco, Doug Farrar of Yahoo! writes that the Bengals previously turned down a ridiculous offer to keep the veteran wideout, and when you see what it is you’ll wonder how in the world they were thinking.
Cincinnati.com has a local take on the Ochocinco trade, with the charismatic wide receiver ending his 10-year tenure with the Bengals on Thursday to join Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
They also have a timeline of his career, noting that the veteran receiver became the 33rd player in NFL season to surpass 10,000 yards last season.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports writes that fans should expect Ochocinco’s Twitter account and his 2,000,000+ followers to go dark now that he’s in Foxboro.
Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal writes that the Patriots deserve a big “bueno” for bringing Ochocinco to Foxboro.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe has a great “On Football” piece this morning, and writes that both of the Patriots moves yesterday were “worth the plunge”.
Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant writes that after these moves, the Patriots certainly won’t be a boring bunch this season.
Shalise Manza Young also looks at both trades, and looks at some of the events leading up to the deals that were made this week. Considering the silence that went on here in Foxboro during the start of free agency, she writes that the media refers to Gillette Stadium, “often only half-jokingly referred to as the Fort Knox of the North”.
Glen Farley of the Patriot Ledger has a notebook from yesterday, and writes that Belichick is glad to have offensive lineman Logan Mankins in the fold heading into this season.
Farley also gives an interesting take on both trades, and wonders how Ochocinco will fit in with the rest of the receivers.
Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com has a column wondering if Bill Belichick is “truly a football genius or too smart for his own good.”
Rapoport writes that the Patriots reached an agreement with quarterback Ryan Mallett last night, and fans should expect to see him out on the field this morning.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that barring a sudden change, it appears that there won’t be a “Hard Knocks” season on HBO this year. It’s bad news for the channel, especially since last year’s edition with the New York Jets won three Sports Emmy awards, averaged 4.6 million viewers per episode.
Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe caught up with several fans during yesterday’s first day of training camp, and fills us in with some great stories from them in this piece.
Paul Lukas of ESPN’s Page 2 takes a look at the history behind the Patriots logo in an interesting article.
That’s it for this morning. Be sure and check back for updates throughout the day both here, and on the front page of PatsFans.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @ianlogue.