More than one month ago, the New England Patriots held the last practice session of their organized team activities. Since then, players and coaches have not been obligated to work at the team’s premises as they have enjoyed their own offseason. However, with training camp approaching fast, team members will soon return to Foxboro’s Gillette Stadium.
In fact, according to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots’ coaching staff will do so tomorrow: As Reiss noted in his Sunday column, head coach Bill Belichick and the rest of New England’s coaches will pick up work on Thursday – and the group will look marginally different when compared last year’s.
With the departure of Brian Daboll to become Alabama's offensive coordinator, former offensive assistant Nick Caley took over as tight ends coach. Furthermore, the team has added three coaching assistants: Cole Popovic will work on the offensive side while Mike Pellegrino and Brian Belichick (one of three Belichicks on the team) will support the defensive staff.
But while coaches will not be back in the building until tomorrow, some players already are. As Reiss also reported, linebacker Dont'a Hightower, wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell and special teams ace Matthew Slater were among those who are trying to get some work in before the start of training camp. Players will report to camp in exactly one week, on July 26 (rookies will report two days earlier).
The first practice session of the Patriots' 2017 training camp is scheduled for the following day and start at around 9.00 a.m. ET and is open to the public.