Welcome to your first in a weekly series of Patriots news. Despite just four days separating us from Week 1 of the season, little attention is being paid to the Cincinatti Bengals. Most Patriots coverage revolves around contracts: who’s close to signing (Tom Brady) and who’s not (Randy Moss and Logan Mankins). The closest most reporters are coming to the Bengals is delving into Coach Belichick’s past history with Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. The links below are an assemblage of stories coming from all over, from local (WEEI.com) to national (ESPN.com). So without further ado, let’s get to it!
ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss recapped Tom Brady’s Wednesday press conference, citing in particular Tom Brady’s praise for Randy Moss and Logan Mankins and his disinterest in discussing contract negotiations until they’re finished. And in his blog post Reiss mentions that Brady’s four surgeries may have opened his eyes to the possibility of injury ending his career, which might have affected his approach to these contract negotiations. How this realization affected him is not mentioned. Other blog posts mention Brady’s love for Moss, coach Bill Belichick’s connection to Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, and a random pawn shop in Las Vegas finding a 2001 New England Patriots Super Bowl ring (AFC East writer Tim Graham goes into more detail). Mike Reiss finishes things off with a conversation with former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi sizing up the team’s preseason performances.
The Boston Globe’s website leads off with a gallery of the five biggest games of the season, then its writers run the gamut on Brady’s contract and the deal reported yesterday but never confirmed. Dan Shaughnessy decries the Patriots’ silence regarding negotiations, whereas Albert Breer asserts that whatever the final deal may be, the fact that numbers are finally coming shows that both sides are talking to each other and progress IS being made. Breer backs this up with a transcription of Brady’s Wednesday morning interview on WEEI. Tony Massarotti, meanwhile, argues that Belichick’s use of so many draft picks this year suggest he may be building towards next season, not this one, and that may explain why no one seems overly concerned with Randy Moss, who they may already be planning to let go after this year. And on the “Extra Points” blog, Monique Walker has more on Belichick and Chad Ochocinco, along with a short piece on tight end Rob Gronkowski and how he will no longer be playing his brother this season.
The Boston Herald’s Ron Borges presents Brady as a rational adult, able to balance life priorities such as making money with his desire to prepare adequately and play well on Sunday. The trio of Borges, Ian Rapoport and Karen Guregian updated yesterday’s contract terms, adding a fourth year and a commensurate amount of money to the previously mentioned deal. On his “Rap Sheet” blog, Rapoport discusses Ochocinco’s love of Twitter and his coach’s disdain for it, while in his notebook he introduces us to nose tackle Kyle Love, who grew up idolizing none other than starter Vince Wilfork. Lastly, Guregian warns that Moss may play hard this season despite wanting more money, which may earn him a big-money deal from one of the Patriots’ rivals next season.
Over at CSNNE.com, Tom Curran gives us Brady’s extended take on Moss, while Mary Paoletti warns us that expecting wide receiver Wes Welker to return immediately to his position as one of the top receivers in the NFL may be a tad unrealistic. CSNNE.com also gives the injury report for Wednesday. 5 players did not participate in practice, most notably running back Laurence Maroney.
WEEI’s Mike Petraglia has an update on who was and was not at practice Wednesday, and Jerry Spar summarizes Brady’s appearance on the “Dennis & Callahan show.” There’s an especially good bit about Brady’s take on the New York Jets and their HBO show “Hard Knocks.” Meanwhile, Jerry Thornton questions why Patriots fans have suddenly gone so cold to coach Belichick’s methods, considering since 2001 the Patriots have had a higher winning percentage than any other team in any professional sport. And Christopher Price, in gearing up for the season opener Sunday, gives his five best season openers since Belichick took over in 2000. Here’s a hint: SpyGate.