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New England Patriots' training camp officially came to a close following Saturday's practice, but make no mistake, the action is just heating up. There were a plethora of storylines from this year's camp, and here are the stories from the Pats' practice facilities at GIllette Stadium that stole our attention over the past few weeks.
It's never good when the status of two of your team's top defenders is unknown with only weeks left prior to the start of the regular season. Unfortunately, that's the case for Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis, the two top names brought in this offseason to help sure up the Pats' defensive line.
Haynesworth returned to the practice field for the first time since early August on Saturday, but did not take part in drills, instead standing on the sidelines and observing. Ellis, on the other hand, returned to practice on Saturday and took part in walk-throughs.
The status for both is unknown heading into the all-important third preseason game against the Detroit Lions next Saturday in Michigan. It's entirely possible that both could be holding out of camp and the preseason to stay healthy, but at this point, it's impossible to know (unless Bill Belichick tells us, which he just won't do).
For now, we can only wait.
Chad Ochocinco Adjusting, Making Progress With Offense
Aside from Haynesworth, the Pats' other biggest offseason acquisition was veteran wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. It had been no secret that Ochocinco and Belichick had a mutual admiration for one another, and in many ways, it was only a matter of time until Ocho joined the Pats.
Ochocinco struggled early on in practices, dropping a few passes to the displeasure of himself and probably the coaches and fans. But Ocho continued to make progress, picking up the offense a little more with each passing day. In his preseason debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, he only had two catches, but one was a touchdown pass from Tom Brady.
As far as Ocho's famous personality, it hasn't been missing (even though he said he's just here to play football). He hasn't even been in New England for one month, but has already made his presence known. From trips to Boston publicized on Twitter to saying he was going to live with a Pats fan, Ocho has been entertaining to say the least.
It will be interesting to see how Ochocinco performs as he gets more playing time in the final two preseason games and the opening games of the season. But, just like with Haynesworth and Ellis, it's unknown what role or how successful he will be in New England.
Quarterback Depth Not An Issue For Patriots
Tom Brady is arguable the best quarterback in the game at the moment, and one of the greatest of all time. But, it doesn't hurt to have a little insurance behind him, does it? Brian Hoyer and rookie Ryan Mallett have provided more than a little insurance, as both have been very polished in their preseason appearances so far.
Hoyer will serve as Brady's top backup, with Mallett still learning. But make no mistake, both have proven that, if necessary, the can lead the team down the field and can score points.
Hopefully, neither will have to for an extended period of time this season. Brady looks like he's good to go coming off of foot surgery in the offseason, but he is getting older, and injuries are more probable. If Brady did go down for a long period of time, the Patriots wouldn't be in terrible shape, and could still be competitive with Hoyer and Mallett.
Patriots' Defense Will Play 4-3...Or 3-4
With the additions of Haynesworth and Ellis, as well as Andre Carter - Haynesowrth's former teammate with the Redskins, it's easy to see why most have thought that the Patriots will play in a 4-3 base defense this year. For the most part, those suspicions were confirmed in the Pats' first two preseason games. But if Haynesworth and Ellis aren't able to go, then who knows?
We do know one thing though - whether the Pats play in a 3-4 or a 4-3, or any variation, they will play with hunger and determination. In their beatdown of the Bucs on Thursday, the Pats' defenders looked ferocious, making the Tampa Bay offensive line look like a bunch of high schoolers.
It seems like Bilichick and company have instilled a sense of determination into the locker room this season, especially on defense. No matter what scheme, the defenders look like they'll be bringing it this season.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis Leads Shaky Running Back Core
There aren't any immediate problems up front on the Patriots' running back core, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis primed for another good season (he had over 1,000 yards on the ground last season) and Danny Woodhead backing him up, but outside of those two, the Pats' aren't very deep.
Stevan Ridley has looked really good in his first two preseason games, and is making a strong case to be third on the depth chart. However, with Kevin Faulk still out and Shane Vereen still working his way back from an early-camp injury, the Pats were forced to look for outside options, such as free agent back Clinton Portis (who was reportedly in bad shape during his workout).
Belichick has traditionally been able to get by by scrapping together a group of backs, and he might have to do so this year to be successful once more.
Plain And Simple, Patriots Are Dedicated To Winning
I'm sure that every team thinks that they're going to have a great season at this point, but with the Patriots, there's an extra spring in their step. That could very well be coming from the inspiration generated from the team dedicating the season to the late wife of owner Robert Kraft, Myra Kraft, who is being a commemorated by a special patch on the Patriots' jerseys that they will wear all season long.
Myra Kraft played a big role in the lives of many Patriots coaches and players, and it appears that they are ready to dominate the league in her honor. If I were an opposing team, I would be very, very afraid.
Closing Thoughts: This Patriots team looks like it's in for something special this season, as everything appear to be lining up for another Super Bowl run. A healthy Tom Brady is always the top factor in the team's success, as will be the health of the defensive lineman and the entire team in general. There's no reason to believe that Belichick and company won't win the AFC East, and after that, there's good reason to believe a Super Bowl run is in store.
"He's been day-to-day," Belichick said following Saturday's walk-through. "He's still day-to-day. When he's ready, he'll be out there." (via WEEI)
Haynesworth was only watching practice form the sideline and did not have a helmet, according to WEEI. Haynesworth has not practiced for the Patriots since August 3, an in-stadium workout in front of season ticket holders.
In addition, WEEI reports that Shaun Ellis was back on the practice field as well and took part in walk-throughs. Ellis, who had a knee injury entering training camp, and had not officially practiced with the team until today.
Haynesworth is coming off of a lackluster 13-tackle, 2.5-sack season in which he played in eight games. Ellis played in 15 games last season with the New York Jets and recorded 26 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Clinton Portis has reportedly worked out with the New England Patriots, according to a report from The Boston Herald. Portis, a running back formerly of the Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos, was released by the Redskins this spring due to a salary cap move.
Portis was once considered one of the league's premier backs and has rushed for 9,923 yards and 75 touchdowns on 2,230 carries in his nine-year career. Portis has played in 113 games, starting all but five of them.
In 2003, his second season in the league, Portis rushed for a career high 1,591 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on the ground in 13 games. In his rookie campaign in '02, Portis darted for 1,508 yards and a career-high 15 scores.
Last season, Portis played in only five games, rushing for 227 yards and two touchdowns on 54 carries. In 2009, Portis didn't fare much better, playing in eight games and rushing for 494 yards and one touchdown on 124 carries.
So much for that Chad Ochocinco-T.J. Houshmandzadeh reunion. Reports flurried on Sunday that the ex-teammate of Ochocinco in Cincinnati was going to work out for the New England Patriots on Monday. Nope, guess again.
Not only was Houshmandzadeh a no-show at Pats' training camp on Monday, but it's unlikely that he would be brought in, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, who made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show on Tuesday.
"Houshmandzadeh makes no sense," he said, adding, "There doesn't seem to be a seat for him. He wouldn't seem to fit whatsoever." (via WEEI)
Florio added that Bill Belichick and company were only doing their due diligence.
"I think that Bill Belichick is willing to turn over every rock out there, and he turned over three rocks yesterday and I think he didn't like what he found. ... You never know what the motivation is. Maybe it's just to apply a foot to the rear end of the guys who are already there." (via WEEI)
The New England Patriots are taking advantage of a rainy Monday by trying out a few big name veterans currently without NFL homes.
According to several media sources, former Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver TJ Houshmandzadeh is working out in Foxboro on Monday. Houshmandzadeh finished his 2010 campaign with only three touchdowns and 30 receptions. The 32 year old will be looking to get back to his career high numbers of the 2007-08 season, where he had 12 touchdowns and 112 receptions.
Houshmandzadeh is also seeking a reunion with his old pal Chad OchoCinco. Last fall, when Houshmandzadeh nearing the end of his time with the Seahawks, OchoCinco tweeted that he badly wished to be reunited with his Bengals teammate. Is OchoCinco lobbying Bill Belichick hard for a Bengals reunion?
The Patriots are also working out safeties Darren Sharper and Renaldo Hill. These veteran safeties have traveled the league in their over decade-long careers. Sharper has played exclusively for NFC teams during his 14 NFL seasons, and played eight games last season for the New Orleans Saints. Hill is going into his 10th season, and has played for four teams over that time. He spent 2010 with the Denver Broncos, and saw time in all 16 regular season games.
Logan Mankins has already signed his one-year franchise tender worth $10 million for the 2011 season, and according to Pats owner Robert Kraft, the team is close to signing Mankins to a long-term deal.
"I hope that after locking up our core veterans and bringing in these seasons veterans as I call them, and probably you'll see our good friend Logan Mankins will be signed up soon hopefully to be a Patriot for life," Kraft said. (via WEEI)
Kraft, who also spoke about his late wife Myra Kraft, expressed his strong desire to bring Mankins back.
"If I have a vote it will get done," Kraft said. "The other side's got to want it too, but it's our desire -- it's always been our desire -- but... you can't sign everyone you want, so you need to plan, and I think we did our planning knowing the kind of environment we were coming into, and we tried to position ourselves so we had our core veterans and we could continue to sign the people we want to sign. We very much -- we think that Logan is among the best there is at his position. We drafted him and we want him. "
Albert Haynesworth and Shaun Ellis are two of the Patriots' newest marquee names, yet neither is expected to make their debut in the New England Patriots' preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night.
"I'd put him in the day-to-day category," Belichick said [talking about Haynesworth]. "He's getting some treatment and I think he'll be back out there as soon as he can. He's working really hard and hopefully, he'll back out there in a matter of hopefully a day or a matter of days." (via WEEI)
Ellis was placed on the PUP list on Tuesday, as he was unable to practice in the Patriots' Monday session. He can return to practice at any time, but if he isn't ready to play by the time the Pats cut their roster to 53, Belichick and company could place him on the injured reserve/PUP list that would keep him out for the first six weeks of the season.
It's no secret that Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have contemplated a shift in their defensive strategy, and based on the team's newest acquisitions - Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter and Albert Haynesworth- the team is likely to use a 4-3 base defense.
The Pats recent DL acquisitions _ S. Ellis, Andre Carter, Albert Haynesworth _ tips off they should end up being a 4-3 base defense this yrless than a minute ago via yoono Favorite Retweet ReplyJohn Clayton
As of Tuesday, the Patriots have 21 defensive lineman on the roster (between active roster and the practice squad), courtesy of the Boston Herald's Ian R. Rapoport.
Only two days after signing with the New England Patriots, Shaun Ellis has suffered a setback. Ellis is reportedly not ready to play and has been placed on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list on Tuesday.
Now, this news isn't as bad as one might think. According to ESPN Boston, all this means is that Ellis was unable to participate in practice on Monday. He can practice again at any time, but if he doesn't practice again before the Pats' final cut to a 53-man roster, there will be repercussions.
If Ellis does not resume practicing by the final cut-down to 53 players, the team would have the option of placing Ellis on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, which would sideline him for at least the first six weeks of the regular season. (via ESPN Boston)
Carter and Haynesworth were teammates on the Washington Redskins last season, and when Haynesworth mentioned his displeasure with playing in a 3-4 defense, Carter stepped up to him.
Carter called him out on it. And did he ever. He said Haynesworth would have to "leave the BS at the door."
"Negativity around positive and optimistic people won't work," Carter said, referring to Haynesworth via TheHogs.net. "He will need to work hard and prove himself by showing that he's trustworthy and reliable in the scheme and as a teammate." (via Ian R. Rapoport/Boston Herald)
That wasn't all Carter had to say about Haynesworth, as he went on to express his disappointment.
"I haven't experienced a player prioritizing his position on the field over working with the game," Carter said last July. "It's disappointing because Albert could fit in this scheme. All we can say is we wish him the best and we will see what happens in a month. He made his statement that he didn't want to play in this scheme and we are not going to force him to play. He's a grown man. We have moved forward." (via Boston Herald)
It's not clear if Carter and Haynesworth have patched up their relationship, but Carter did say that Haynesworth has to put the team forth and prove that he's committed to the team and player.
Let's hope Belichick knows what he's doing. In Bill we trust, right?
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots did not hold a practice on Sunday, but the team has released the schedule for public practices at Patriots Training Camp on Monday, August 8 and Tuesday, August 9.
The Patriots' website says that the team will hold practice from 1:30 p.m. EDT to 4:00 p.m. EDT on both days. In addition, the 'Patriots Experience' will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.
As usual, the schedule is subject to change. For up-to-date information on practice schedules, call the Patriots' training camp hotline at 1 (508) 549-0001 or visit the training camp page on their website.
After what seemed a tough couple days for quarterback and offense alike, with Tom Brady and the Patriots' arsenal perhaps showing the effects of a structure-less offense, new Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien still had good things to say, particularly about Chad Ochocinco.
"He's been very professional, works really hard, in the meeting room and on the field," O'Brien said. "He's a competitive guy, takes a lot of pride in it. I'd say that about the whole group of receivers. I think there are 11 of them working right now -- smart guys, competitive guys. Ocho is fitting in. I think he's progressed on a daily basis. Just like everybody else, there are ups and downs in this time of training camp. He's just trying to be as consistent as he can be, like everyone else out there."
Brady said that he's still working out kinks and that there's a lot of work to be done, especially for the younger players, but Solder, who stepped right in on the first team, hasn't shown much in the way of weakness yet.
In case you didn't know, the collective bargaining agreement that was agreed upon between the NFL owners and the players association was already up and running, you were wrong. On Thursday, both sides agreed to ratify the agreement and the NFL lockout has now been officially been put to rest.
With the CBA now up and rolling, veteran free agents who have already signed contracts could now hit the practice field. For the Patriots, this meant that several players who had been sitting on the sidelines could now join their teammates for a full practice.
The "new" group of Patriots on the field today for practice included runningback BenJarvus Green-Ellis, left tackle Matt Light, left guard Logan Mankins, defensive end Tracy White, safety Brandon McGowan, runningback Sammy Morris, cornerback Kyle Arrington and defensive lineman Steve Williams. Certainly a big group of very valuable pieces to last year's team.
Also joining the Patriots today was first-round pick Nate Solder, who agreed to terms with the Patriots earlier in the day on a four-year contract. Solder will likely back up veteran Matt Light this season at left tackle.
Here are some news and notes from the day it was at Patriots Training Camp:
Rookie Runningback Shane Vereen, Others Sidelined With Injuries
After joining the Patriots yesterday for practice, rookie runningback Shane Vereen came up lame and left practice on Wednesday with an apparent hamstring injury. Vereen's injury doesn't seem serious, it just seems the Patriots are being cautious in the situation.
Others that were not on the practice field included cornerback Ras-I Dowling, linebacker Josh Barrett, ofensive lineman Kyle Hix, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon and defensive linemen Myron Pryor, Ron Brace, and Brandon Deadrick. Dowling, Barrett and Hix spent the majority of their time on the sidelines received medical attention on the sideline. Meanwhile, Cannon is on the active/NFI list while Pryor, Brace and Deadrick are all on the active/PUP list.
Even though both of these players just got here, wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth are constantly under the Boston media microscope.
Ochocinco seemed to struggle during practice today as he dropped about a half a dozen passes from quarterback Tom Brady today. Meanwhile, Haynesworth joined a small group of rehabbing players after practice and walked off with team trainers after practice was over. Nothing serious, but keep in mind it was Haynesworth's first day facing off against pro-bowl left guard Logan Mankins.
Patriots Bring In A Former Jet DE For A Workout
In a market full of bargains, the Patriots continued their search for a potential 3-4 or 4-3 defensive end as they brought in former New York Jet Shaun Ellis for a workout on Thursday.
Ellis had always been a solid pass rusher during his 12 seasons in the NFL, as he recorded 4.5 sacks last year with the Jets. Ellis had tremendous success against the Patriots offensive line in the playoffs, as he added had two sacks in the Jets stunning playoff win over New England last season. Ellis would certainly be a nice addition to the Pats 3-4 attack.
Bill Belichick Soundbite Of The Day
When asked about the potential use of a 4-3 defensive rather than a 3-4, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick responded with a typical Belichick-like response; he pinned it on the media.
"Honestly, I think that’s something that is a media fabrication. There are a lot of different alignments out there. You see 4-3 teams use odd spacing. You see 3-4 teams use even spacing. You have 11 players, you can put them in various positions. Whether you want to put it on the pre-game depth chart as one thing or another, I think is a little bit overrated." (via WEEI)
Patriots left guard Logan Mankins re-joined the Patriots today and told the media that he and owner Robert Kraft are "cool" and on the same page.
Though they have already made quite the splash in this condensed NFL free agency and trade period, the New England Patriots don't appear quite done in the player acquisition department.
"As I first reported on Monday, if Giants lower demands for Osi Umenyiora from a 1st rnd pick, BAL, SEA, NE and possibly ATL interested."
Derek Havens of PatsFans.com thinks that in a preseason where the Patriots are seemingly all about taking changes, Umenyiora may be a good one to take:
"With the Patriots considering a transition to a 4-3 base defense, Osi could be an incredible talent to add for the young defense."
Besides Umenyiora, ESPN John Clayton reported that the Patriots are courting outside linebacker/defensive end Matt Roth, most recently with the Cleveland Browns. Roth tried out on Tuesday. The Boston Globe's Shalise M. Young is reporting that former Seattle Seahawks defensive end Raheem Brock is being looked at by the Patriots today.
Pats Pulpit says that Brock may be the most realistic defensive end option for the Pats at this point:
"Brock is 33 years old, but could be the pass rush specialist the Patriots need. He should also come at a cheaper price than Matt Roth and he would be a bargain deal compared to someone like Osi Umenyiora."
From the looks of things, the New England Patriots have developed their approach to defense:
With Albert Haynesworth acquired last week, the Pats worked out former Cleveland linebacker Matt Roth, a 6-foot-4, 276-pound pass-rusher who, at only 28 years old, could be a very big addition to the New England defensive front seven.
The biggest highlight of the day for New England, both figuratively and literally, was Haynesworth, who held court with the media for the first time since passing his conditioning test late last week.
Haynesworth fielded questions for some time, noting that he "always liked" the way head coach Bill Belichick goes about his business and the way his teams have performed.
When asked what he feels his role on the team will be, his answer was simple: "I don't know, just to kill the quarterback."
He also said that he plans on leaving his past behind him, and that he doesn't care what type of defense he plays in.
"Whatever gap the ball is in, that's the gap I want to be in," said Haynesworth.
The Patriots also cut quarterback Jonathan Crompton on Tuesday.
Those looking to get their fill of the New England Patriots this week will have to brave the rains, it appears.
After a day off on Monday, the Pats will practice Tuesday and Wednesday from 1:30 - 4:30 on the fields behind Gillette Stadium in Foxboro as well as a 6:30-9 p.m. practice on the turf at The Razor.
The Wednesday evening practice will be for season ticket holders only.
Fans should be able to see more of Albert Haynesworth at these practices, presuming that the gargantuan defensive lineman continues to improve his conditioning, something that's been a point of contention in his recent past.
Beginning on Thursday, newly signed free agents can join the team in practice, meaning that Logan Mankins, Matt Light, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, Kyle Arrington and others will finally be able to practice alongside their teammates.
The Patriots are hopeful that by that point, BenJarvus Green-Ellis will have reported to camp as well and the team will have a full staff.
The defensive tackle did not participate in a lot of activity during his first practices at Gillette Stadium, but when he did, he showed the "disruptive" quality that director of player personnel Nick Caserio was looking for from him. Said Caserio to the Boston Globe:
"He's big, he's strong, he's athletic and he's a disruptive player. I think we've always taken the approach that if the guy's a good football player, we'll find a way to use him. In the end, it's up to the player to determine what his role is going to be."
Haynesworth started on his way to determining his role on the Patriots by dominating the offensive lineman who lined up against him in a few drills, then worked closely with defensive line coach Pepper Johnson for the remainder of the practice. The few drills Haynesworth did excited both the crowd and fellow Patriots, said ESPN Boston writer Mike Reiss:
"On his first contact play, in a half-line running drill, Haynesworth exploded off the line and broke into the backfield. He did it again later in 11-on-11 work, which had linebacker Brandon Spikes tapping his helmet in excitement, almost as if to say "Welcome to New England!"
The New England Patriots have been hard at work ever since training camp began last Wednesday and their first practice on Wednesday. However, everyone needs a break from time to time, and the Pats will get one Monday. Bill Belichick and the Patriots announced on Sunday evening that they will not practice on Monday. For more information on practice dates and time, call the Patriots hotline at 1 (508) 549-0001.
After breakout seasons last year, it should come as little surprise to Patriots fans that the first hit of training camp came when Danny Woodhead collided with Brandon Spikes early in Saturday morning's practice, the first in which the team wore full pads.
Of note, running backs BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris and rookies Ras-I Dowling, Nate Solder and Shane Vereen were not on the field for day four of Patriots camp. Green-Ellis is yet to sign his restricted free agent tender and will not be able to practice until he does. Albert Haynesworth was also absent.
Logan Mankins signed his franchise tender and was watching from the sideline, since he can't practice until August 4th, per the new CBA.
A small fight broke out towards the end of practice between reserve linemen on both sides of the ball, but the practice's highlights undoubtedly involved Wes Welker - whose left-footed boot split the uprights during special teams practice - and Chad Ochocinco, who gave the media six minutes of his time before initiating a group hug.
Ochocinco said to members of the media that he wouldn't be likely to say much - whether he meant on this particular day or over the next seven months remains to be seen - and that he was happy to "ride the wave."
The first three days of the New England Patriots' 2011 training camp are in the books, but we've already seen an entire offseason's worth of signings and cuts. In case you haven't seen, here are some highlights from the first three days.
Patriots Acquire Trade For Chad Ochocinco, Albert Haynesworth: Instead of sitting back and settling in with the players he had, Bill Belichick went out and got the players he wanted - namely Ochocinco and Haynesworth. Both players were acquired on Thursday, with Ochocinco costing the Patriots two future draft picks, which the team lists as undisclosed draft consideration. As for Haynesworth, he was traded for a fifth-round pick in 2013. Haynesworth passed his physical on Friday, making the deal official. Ochocinco was at practice at Gillette Stadium on Friday.
Ty Warren, Tully Banta-Cain Highlight Group Of Waived Veterans: As made evident with his two big-time acquisitions on Thursday, Bill Belichick wasn't happy with the status quo. Belichick and company released defensive end Ty Warren and defensive tackle Tully Banta-Cain after both had suffered with injuries the season before. In addition, the Patriots released Nick Kaczur, Marcus Stroud, Alge Crumpler, Tony Carter and Ryan Coulson on Friday.
Logan Mankins Signs One-Year Franchise Tender Worth $10 Million: Logan Mankins won't hold out this year, as the veteran offensive lineman happily accepted the check for $10 million that resulted from the Pats placing the franchise tag on him. As a result of the new CBA, Mankins can not be slapped with the franchise tag again, as all players can only be franchised once.
Patriots Sign Ryan Mallett, Five Other 2011 Draft Picks: Ryan Mallett and Marcus Cannon inked their first NFL contracts on Friday, as the Pats signed them to rookie contracts. In addition, the Pats have signed running back Stevan Ridley, Lee Smith, Markell Carter and Malcolm Williams - all of whom were drafted by New England in 2011. In addition, wideout Tyree Barnes and running back Eric Kettani were reinstated from the military reserve list.
Twelve Undrafted Rookie Free Agents Sign With Patriots: The Pats signed 12 undrafted rookie free agents to contracts over the three-day period, adding the following players: offensive lineman Mike Berry (Auburn), linebacker and long snapper Ryan Coulson (Nevada - released on Friday), offensive lineman Kyle Hix (Texas), kicker Chris Koepplin (Massachusetts), defensive end Aaron Lavarias (Idaho), linebacker Anthony Leonard (West Virginia), defensive end Clay Nurse (Illinois), wide receiver Jeremy Ross (California), defensive end Alex Silvestro (Rutgers), linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (Iowa), offensive lineman Corey Woods (Akron) and tight end Will Yeatman (Maryland).
Bill Belichick Speaks To Media For First Time Post-Lockout: Bill Belichick has never been a man of many words (of many kind words towards reporters, rather), but he did talk to the press for the first time post-lockout on the second day of Patriots training camp. Read the transcript of Thursday's press conference here at Patriots.com. Belichick also spoke to the media on Friday, and that can be read by clicking here.
The New England Patriots have announced the release of six veteran players: DL Ty Warren, TE Alge Crumpler, OT Nick Kaczur, LB Tully Banta-Cain, CB Tony Carter, and DL Marcus Stroud. The most surpising name here is Ty Warren, who was expected to start next to Albert Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork. There's the possibility that Warren is simply restructuring his contract with the team, but if not, then this opens up questions about the Patriots' defensive line that seemed to have been answered with the Albert Haynesworth acquistion.
Veteran run-blocking TE Alge Crumpler is also a somewhat surprising name to see on the list, while Nick Kaczur had proven increasingly ineffective, and news of Tully Banta-Cain's release broke earlier in the week when it was revealed he had waited until just before the lockout ended to have surgery done on an abdominal tear.
The Patriots have also announced the signings of third-round selection Ryan Mallet and fifth-round pick Marcus Cannon. Mallet was a surprise choice by the Patriots, and is expected to either be groomed to take over for Tom Brady whenever he decides to hang up his cleats, or just to be shifted for a better pick when another team goes looking for a potential future starting quarterback.
Marcus Cannon, an offensive lineman out of TCU, just recently finished chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma earlier this month.There's no word yet on when he will be able to take the field full-time again, but it's an encouraging sign that the Patriots were willing to make a commitment.
The New England Patriots have announced that they will open their 2011 training camp on Wednesday, when players will report to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA for the first time since the NFL lockout ended on Monday.
While camp opens on Wednesday, the first practice - which is expected to be a light one - on Thursday. Here's everything that you need to know about the Patriots' 2011 training camp. Welcome back, football.
Event: New England Patriots Training Camp 2011
Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Dates: Training camp opens on Wednesday when players will report fro the first time. The first practice open to the public takes place on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. EDT to 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Friday, public practices will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 and again from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. So, to recap...
The NFL Lockout is (unofficially) over, and we're all about to witness one of the wildest and shortest offseasons in the sport's history. Now that a new CBA has been agreed upon, we can finally get down to business.
Rumors have pegged Wednesday as the day that the New England Patriots will begin training camp at Gillette Stadium, according to a Tweet from Matt Pomeroy of the NFL Network.
In addition to the Patriots, the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks are expected to open their camps on Wednesday as well. Here's the complete list of expected training camp start dates from Pomeroy.
2011 NFL Training Camps - Start Dates
Wednesday, July 27 - New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks.
Thursday, July 28 - San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers.
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