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New England Patriots Links 8/07/09 - QBs Having A Ball At Camp

<em>Belichick and O'Connell playing dodgeball at Thursday's a.m. practice.</em>
Belichick and O'Connell playing dodgeball at Thursday's a.m. practice.

David White (San Francisco Chronicle) The Derrick Burgess to NE trade:  "No, the Raiders are not a minor-league farm team for the Patriots. It just may seem that way after their latest coast-to-coast swap."

That ends a nine-day camp boycott by Burgess, who joins Randy Moss, LaMont Jordan and Andrew Walter as players who grumbled their way out of Oakland to New England since 2007.

"Anytime you have a talent like Burgess that commands the respect and double teams that he did, it's definitely a huge loss," Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said at training camp in Napa.

"He was able to get guys to rally around the way he played the game."

Jeff Howe points out the preconceived perceptions of coach Belichick by both new players and veterans.

"I thought coach Belichick was like a tough guy, real stringent, army-like and all that," said New England Patriots wide receiver Greg Lewis, who was acquired through an offseason trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. "But being here and being around him, really he is just passionate about football, and he wants to get the best out of his players. He really doesn’t take any nonsense, but he is willing to work with you, and is lenient and willing to get to know you once you get to know him. He is a good coach to play for."

Andy Hart discusses the O-Line and D-Line position battles taking place at camp.

At this point Belichick would seem to have options with his depth chart. Go with the known commodities, new faces or a mix of the two? Either way, theoretically, the Patriots win. If the young guys play their way not only onto the roster but also into contributing roles for the 2009 team, it'll be because they earned it. If they don't, New England returns impressive top-end talent and experienced backups on both sides of the line of scrimmage that's worked cohesively with impressive results for years.

Continuity is good. Fresh blood is good. A combination of the two may be even better. It's a win-win situation for a team expected to do a lot of that this fall.


Wes Welker being pursued by Pat Chung at Thursday night's practice inside Gillette Stadium.