Ian Rapoport notes James Sanders didn't seem to mind practicing with the special teamers in his first practice back from a hamstring injury.
"Like Bill (Belichick) always says, ‘The more you can do,’ " Sanders said. "If you can play special teams and play defense, you know you’re more valuable to the team."
"You never know what to expect," Sanders said. "I’m competing to be the No. 1 guy out there, and whatever the coaches feel is best for the team, that’s what they’re going to do. All you can do is go out there and prepare your hardest. I feel like I’ve gotten better. Just hoping when the lights come on, I’m one of those 11 guys on the field."
Karen Guregian notes Andre Carter has played for "five or six head coaches" during his 11 years in the NFL and finally gets the fuss about Bill Belichick.
"By far, I see why he’s successful. I see why he’s definitely an X’s and O’s guy," Carter said yesterday after practice. "From special teams to position meetings, to just detail in general, I’ve never seen a coach so hands-on."
"But it’s great," Carter continued. "He takes pride in his job. He takes pride in his craft. He also wants to see the players on his team, whether it’s the 90-man roster in training camp or the 53-man roster, prepare themselves for a great game week after week after week."
- Erik Scalavino tells us what happened Thursday at Gillette.
- Erik Scalavino posts the list of absentees from Thursday's practice.
- Press Conference: Bill Belichick (15.51 min. video) plus Transcript.
- Patriots Today - Vereen ready for his chance. (1.57 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Thursday news and notes. (3.21 min. video)
- Locker Room Uncut - Thursday thoughts from the Pats. (3.28 min. video)
- Mike Reiss talks about the moving parts at safety over the last two weeks and the addition of veteran James Sanders to the mix after he returned to practice.
- Mike Petraglia focuses on James Sanders, who is excited to play but knows he has a lot of catching up to do after missing a lot of camp.
Tom E. Curran sits down with Jerod Mayo and talks about all things Patriots with the defensive captain. (4.39 min. video). Congratulations to the Mayo family on the birth of new baby, Jerod, Jr.
- Monique Walker says this preseason has been invaluable to Deion Branch, who joined the team last year five weeks into the season.
- Christopher Price says the Patriots defense has been lacking their most consistent pass rusher, Mike Wright.
- Mark Farinella suggests the Patriots may debut it's 'real' defensive line in game conditions Saturday night in Detroit.
- Mike Reiss gives us some quick hits from Bill Belichick's news conference at Gillette Stadium yesterday.
- Chris Forsberg reports Shane Vereen is practicing with the team and "looking forward to staying out there this time."
- Mike Rodak notes Albert Haynesworth practiced for the third straight day, but it's unclear whether he'll play Saturday.
- Paul Kenyon talks about how the locker room is set up and says Chad Ochocinco's locker is right next to Tom Brady's where Randy Moss' used to be. Deion Branch is there too.
- Chad Finn talks about the high ratings for preseason football games and the symbiotic relationship the NFL has with fantasy football.
- Mike Reiss looks at the 11 QBs drafted in 2009 and says that after the three first-rounders (Stafford, Sanchez and Freeman), undrafted Brian Hoyer should have been next on that list. Colts' backup Curtis Painter was No. 11.
- Mike Reiss shares some quick hits from the media-access period of the Patriots locker room today.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
- Shalise Manza Young answers her weekly Patriots mailbag.
- A. Sherrod Blakely reports Hurricane Irene is throwing a wrench in everyone's weekend, including the Patriots'.
- Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Matt Light could see his first on-field action tomorrow night in Detroit; Bill Belichick said Mike Wright's injury is not related to last year's concussion; Belichick cautioned players just coming back have a long way to go; Patriots hope to time their travel to avoid Hurricane Irene; Ricky Brown has been getting attention from former BC buddies now that he's back in New England;
- Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Movie night with Belichick rates a thumbs up with players; James Sanders has gotten off to a slow start, but he took part in four practices this week and is eager to play in Detroit tomorrow night; Shane Vereen returned to practice plus who was missing.
- WEEI highlights Michael Silver's guest appearance on the Mut & Merloni show. Silver finds the arbitrary nature of NFL discipline troubling.
- Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein report Wes Welker attended an NFL kickoff party won by Patriots fan Anthony Marinez along with 75 of his friends. Way cool.
- MIchael Lombardi (NFL.com) Blue chips and red chips: Offensive position rankings.
- Michael Lombardi (NFL.com) Blue chips and red chips: Defensive position rankings.
- Josh Katzowitz (CBS Sports) Is QB the most important position in sports?
- Don Banks (SI) As usual, quarterbacks keep making the NFL world go round.
- Michael Silver (Yahoo! Sports) Goodell overreaches with personal conduct policy.