Rob Gronkowski is feeling good so far through two days of training camp. (USA TODAY Images)
Here are some news and notes on this Saturday morning:
TIME TO PUT THE PADS ON:
Saturday will mark the first session of contact for the Patriots, who will experience their first padded practice of the season.
Kyle Arrington told the Boston Herald on Friday that this changes the tempo of things and he’s looking forward to seeing what the coaches have planned.
“We’re going to put the pads on, so I’m guessing you’ll see a more physical day than the previous two,” cornerback Kyle Arrington told the newspaper. “We’ll see how it goes. It’s going to be a different type of practice, a different type of tempo. We’ll see what the coaches have in store.”
BELICHICK ON JEROD MAYO: ‘HE MEANS A LOT TO OUR TEAM’
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talked about linebacker Jerod Mayo on Friday and said that he’s fit in since he’s been here,
“He’s, I’d say, really the guy that the team probably revolves around more than any other player,” said Belichick. “Not that there aren’t other players that are instrumental in that but I think he touches pretty much everybody, not just the defensive players but all the guys; not just the older guys but the younger guys.”
The veteran has been a full participant so far and doesn’t seem as though he’s been hampered by the torn pectoral muscle that ended his season in week six. Having him back out there will obviously mean a lot to his defense and having his leadership will mean a lot as well. Belichick pointed out that Mayo’s earned the respect of his peers since he’s been here, noting the fact that he earned the role of captain in just his second season.
“Even when he was captain his second year, he had a relationship with the older guys,” Belichick said via MASSLIVE.com. “Now he’s a more veteran player but he’s still pretty attached to the younger guys like Jamie Collins, [Dont’a] Hightower, guys like that, in addition to guys not at his position. He’s got great work ethic, great presence on the football field and great personality that’s, I’d say, in a very good way professional but also has a good rapport with all the players and the coaches.”
THOMPKINS CONTINUES TO SHINE:
So far, while it’s only been two days, Patriots receiver Kenbrell Thompkins continues to impress through the early part of camp, including laying out for a reception against Darrelle Revis for a touchdown.
That caused quite a roar from the crowd who was on hand to witness it and it hopefully has Thompkins building some confidence as he tries to bounce back from a year that started out promising in 2013, but ended up seeing drop down the depth chart by the end of the season.
When asked about his expectations for the upcoming season, Thompkins said for now he’s just focused on trying to keep working.
“I haven’t even got that far yet,” he said via the Boston Globe. “I’m just trying to make sure that I’m preparing for camp and looking forward to tomorrow.”
REVIS: ‘IT’S BEEN KIND OF WEIRD’ BEING A PATRIOT:
Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis has received quite a warm welcome from the fans through the first two days of training camp, which is certainly a little different than what he’s experienced in past seasons when the Patriots and Jets used to battle each other back when he was in New York.
Instead of getting booed, Revis has been on the other side, this time with the crowd rooting for him as he goes against the Patriots’ offense.
He admitted on Friday that it’s been a little bit of an adjustment.
“It’s been awesome, but it’s been kind of weird in a way,’’ Revis told the Boston Globe. “They’ve accepted me and I’m just happy to be here and play here.’’
When asked about his relationship with Bill Belichick, the veteran also said the two are working well together and he’s enjoyed it so far.
“Our relationship is great,’’ Revis said. “We communicate well. Like I said, Bill is open to anything. Being on the other side, you look at him totally different, but being here, he’s open. He’s open to anything, and our friendship is great.’’
GRONKOWSKI FEELING GOOD SO FAR:
After having the rug get pulled out from underneath his season in 2013, Gronkowski had to spend his offseason rehabbing and working his way back from his torn ACL, which so far has appeared not to be affecting him from what he’s shown during the first two days of training camp.
Gronkowski said being back out there is “a dream come true again” and he’s glad to be back.
“It’s feeling good out there, running routes, getting balls thrown, and it just feels great to be out there with my teammates, being in the huddle, catching balls from Tom Brady — it’s a dream come true again,” Gronkowski told the Boston Globe. “It feels like it got taken away and now I feel like I got it back, so it’s awesome.”
After the injuries he’s been dealt the past couple of seasons, he was also asked if he plans on changing his approach. According to Gronkowski, that’s definitely not happening.
“Nah, I ain’t changing that one bit,” he said. “I’m going to go full speed out there and I’m going to keep smashin’ and dashin’ everything I do, so . . . maybe if it’s not necessary one single bit I’ll go down, but if I can make some plays, make some extra yards, get in the end zone, I’m definitely going to go full speed and I’m going to take the hits.”
Here’s a collection of observation links from Friday:
Friday Camp Observations 7/25 – Derek Havens
Observations from Patriots camp: Day 2 – Mike Reiss & Lee Schechter
New England Patriots Training Camp: Observations from Day 2 – Jenn McCaffrey
Patriots Training Camp Observations: Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo Struggles – Doug Kyed
Observations from training camp: The Patriots have their first injury – Mark Daniels
Another Good Session for Kenbrell Thompkins, but Jimmy Garoppolo struggles – Christopher Price
Kenbrell Thompkins catching on – Rob Harms: Harms has a good article on Thompkins, who so far has come up with some nice diving catches and has looked good through two days of training camp.
Darrelle Revis now on other side of Pats-Jets rivalry – Michael Vega: Vega has more from Revis, who also said, “he’s in the best shape of his career.”
Rob Gronkowski ‘feeling good’ about recovery – Shalise Manza Young: Manza Young has more from Gronkowski, who so far looks like he’s settling back in thus far.
Patriots Training Camp Notes: Competition Brewing on Offensive Line – Erik Frenz: Frenz looks at the competition that’s starting to come together on the offensive line and he feels it looks like center and the right guard spots are up for grabs.
Four Sneaky, Important Patriots at Training Camp – Jeremy Gottlieb: Gottleib has some thoughts on several different players, including linebacker James Anderson.
Patriots Beat: Contact brings list of questions – Jeff Howe: Howe has more on the fact the team will be battling it out in pads on Saturday and looks at some of the things to keep an eye on.
Patriots Notebook: Rob Gronkowski won’t go changing – Jeff Howe: Howe writes that Gronkowski’s only going on way: full speed.
Patriots feast on Kenbrell Thompkins’ 2nd helping – Chris Mason: Mason has more on Thompkins, who said he’s just trying to improve his fundamentals.
Darrelle Revis goes on full display – Jeff Howe: Howe has a good read on Revis, along with some quotes from safety Devin McCourty, who said Revis has been a ‘hard worker’ since he’s been here and it’s showed out on the field.
Patriots release TE Nate Byham – Mike Reiss: Reiss notes the release of Byham in this piece.
Gronk: ‘I’m here and I’m ready’ – Lee Schecter: Schechter has an article on Gronkowski, who admitted he’s not yet up to 100% just yet.
Darrelle Revis: Best shape of my career – Mike Reiss: Reiss has comments from Revis, who said he’s feeling great and that he’s much better than he was last year when he was coming off his injury.
Belichick: Revis has instincts of Harrison – In this piece there’s some additional comments from Bill Belichick’s press conference.
Curran: Gronk ‘flying to checkpoints’ at camp – In his recent television appearance Tom Curran feels that so far things look good with Gronkowksi after seeing him do things like “elevate and land on his tiptoes.”
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Jerod Mayo: “He’s the guy that the team probably revolves around more than any other player” – Jen McCaffrey: McCaffrey has comments from Belichick on Mayo and noted how much the veteran means to his football team.
Patriots not Revis’ first choice — Jets were –Sam Galanis: Revis admitted that the Jets were on his radar when he was getting ready to leave Tampa Bay, but he’s happy to have ended up in New England.