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New England Patriots Links 8/15/11 - Pepper Johnson Excited About His Players and the Season.

<em>Dane Fletcher gives Jaguars' rookie QB Blaine Gabbert a personal welcome to the NFL</em>.
Dane Fletcher gives Jaguars' rookie QB Blaine Gabbert a personal welcome to the NFL.

Pepper Johnson speaks to the local media about and coaching up the large numbers of new players and free agents brought in to camp.

"With all honesty, I thought our guys did a good job. We started slow, we started very slow, but our guys did a great job on the sideline being coachable. We made some adjustments and we were kind of skeptical about how guys were going to handle the sideline. There was no panic on the sideline and it showed out there on the field. The communication was decent; it was good for our first game, but he took charge in some certain situations and we were impressed.

[Mark Anderson is] a true professional. He was called on late to come out into the ballgame and I'm quite sure he wanted to play earlier in the ballgame, but preseason is what it is. The first time he gets out there on the field, he makes a difference. He looked really good.

"...Coach Belichick wants techniques taught, he wants the defense learned, and he wants to know who can learn it to the ability that they're, that they don't need a babysitter, they don't need someone to hold their hand while they're out there on the football field. That's my job - to find out what guys can handle all the information and how do you teach them. Some guys, you can just hand them a piece of paper and they can read about techniques and that's good with them. Some guys need diagrams; some guys need on-field training. I find out which is which, how do they learn best, and take them to the drills."

Mike Reiss reports Tom Brady is enjoying life with Chad Ochocinco.

"With Deion [Branch] and Wes [Welker], I’ve played with them for so long, they know exactly what I’m thinking and why I’m thinking that," Brady said on the "Dennis & Callahan" program, in which he was interviewed by John Dennis and Dale Arnold.

"With Chad, he’s been in a certain place for a long time. The way he’s played the game has been quite a bit different from the way we play the game. I think a lot of [it] is for him to understand what I’m thinking so we can always be on the same page. There are a lot of things that happen out there in the game that don’t happen in practice. It’s really been a crash course in that."

"He’s doing as good as you could hope. It’s an entirely new language," he responded. "He’s a hard worker. He wants to do it. He’s very competitive. It’s really fun to be out there with him, because he wants the ball, he wants to practice, he wants to be out there and do it right, because he really wants us to be able to rely on him.

"It’s been great for Deion and Wes, and for Julian [Edelman], that whole receiver group, it’s very competitive out there."



  • WEEI highlights Tom Brady's first guest appearance of the season on the Dennis & Callahan show.
  • Paul Kenyon writes that when it comes to D-line coaches, Pepper Johnson is one of the best.
  • Tom E. Curran calls the rumor put out by a nameless "NFL executive" about Haynesworth or Ochocinco getting cut senseless.
  • Christopher Price will host three free agents today: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Dararen Sharper and Renaldo Hill.
  • Mike Petraglia reports the Patriots signed LB Niko Koutouvides, bringing the roster to 90.
  • Mike Petraglia gives us Sunday's practice report. It was a good day to watch Tom Brady hook up with Chad Ochocinco.
  • Mike Rodak gives us his observations from Sunday afternoon's practice. Price and Edelman were not present for the second straight session.
  • Mike Petraglia reports Logan Mankins is "ecstatic" about his new contract and is now determined to earn it.
  • DJ Bean notes Matt Light returned to the practice field and explained the communication he had with coach Belichick prior to signing his two-year deal.
  • Shalise Manza Young says versatile pass rusher Mark Anderson has impressed the Patriots.
  • Mark Daniels reports Mark Anderson has already impressed the coaching staff with his desire to learn.
  • Mark Farinella says Gerard Warren feels one of the best things about playing for the Patriots is lining up next to Vince Wilfork.
  • Bill Reynolds reviews Chad Ochocinco's book, "Ochocinco" to get a glimpse into the life of the Patriots flashy wide receiver.
  • Mark Daniels focuses on BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the depth at running back.
  • Mark Farinella focuses on Dane Fletcher and the real progress he's made since last year.
  • Tim Britton sees Price, Maneri and Fletcher making huge strides in their sophomore seasons.
  • Monique Walker talks about how hard it is for the rookies to stand out among the running back depth at camp
  • Christopher Price forecasts who will make up the final 53.
  • Mike Reiss breaks down the defensive snap totals for the first preseason game.
  • Mike Reiss notes the PGA Champion, Keegan Bradley, said after he won that he'd "love to play with Tom Brady."
  • Mike Reiss reports Danny Woodhead was back at work a day after his wife gave birth to their first child, daughter Gia.
  • Tom E. Curran says it's tire-kicking time for the Patriots and the rest of the NFL.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Pepper Johnson is a fan of Albert Haynesworth; Logan Mankins was thankful to the Krafts and Bill Belichick for his new contract; Dan Connolly returned to practice for the first time since he injured his elbow last Monday; Danny Woodhead and his wife had their first child this weekend, a baby girl, Gia; Plus who wasn't seen at practice.
  • Karen Guregian Patriots Notebook: Logan Mankins plans on being accountable for every dime of his new contract; DL Myron Pryor lost weight in the offseason which has helped with his back problem and improved his stamina; Pepper Johnson was stunned by the news of Corwin Brown's self-inflicted gunshot wound over the weekend.