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New England Patriots links 7/27/18 - Hightower: Brian Flores makes learning defense ‘a lot easier’

Daily news and links for Friday

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New England Patriots Practice Photo by Elsa/Getty Images



  • Dave Brown discusses how the Patriots have been mathematically eliminated from the regular season. /Fine work.
  • Jeff Howe (The Athletic) What we learned from Patriots’ first practice of training camp. Includes timely reminder that “until they break out the pads Saturday, there’s nothing to learn about the actual running game.” /Athletic providing free content this week.
  • Kevin Duffy presents his practice report from Day 1: Brady, Gronkowski look sharp.
  • Dan Roche brings you his the observations from Day 1 of Patriots training camp: There was a lot of on-field chatting going on, and that’s a good thing, including a lengthy conversation between Brady and Belichick (that looked like a football conversation).
  • Karen Guregian speculates about the Belichick-Brady conversation during Thursday’s practice, and if it was a sign of a ‘thaw in their frosty relationship’ or just a sign of them being able to coexist despite their differences.
  • Doug Kyed wonders if the transition from Matt Patricia to Brian Flores is already a positive. “It’s a little different,” Dont’a Hightower said Thursday. “Coach is definitely different. I think guys are learning a lot better, a lot easier. A lot of young guys are stepping up and able to pick up for some of the older guys. It definitely works in our favor.” /Interesting.
  • Rich Garven notes that ‘staying healthy’ and playing 16 games is Dont’a Hightower’s main focus.
  • Tom E. Curran talks with Dont’a Hightower about his injury history and how the team plans to get past the Super Bowl loss.
  • Zack Cox thinks after one training camp practice in the books, that Trent Brown has the inside track on the starting left tackle spot.
  • Dan Roche profiles new Patriot Trent Brown.
  • Zack Cox notes Chris Hogan is ready to lead the new-look receiver corps in Edelman’s absence.
  • Phil Perry highlights intriguing roster long-shot Keion Crossen who got off to a good start in his first camp.
  • Kevin Duffy Patriots Notebook: Brian Flores makes good first impression as new leader of defense.
  • Mike Dussault (PatsPropaganda) Tweets of Note: 2018 Patriots training camp practice #1.
  • Doug Kyed addresses his Patriots Mailbag: Can Phillip Dorsett add versatility to his skillset?
  • Ricky Doyle hears from a rival scout that this roster ‘wouldn’t even beat the Browns’ without Tom Brady.
  • Mark Daniels hears the fans cheer for Brady and Gronk’s first connection of camp.
  • Nick O’Malley explains the weird jersey numbers at camp.
  • CBS Boston finds that neither Bill Belichick nor any of the players are worried about Tom Brady’s offseason approach or commitment to the team.
  • Ryan Hannable determines that Rob Gronkowski’s actions, not words, show he really wants a new contract. “Not with how he performed, as he was dominant in both sessions, but with the way he acted.”
  • Joshua Schrock notes Rob Gronkowski reveals the meaning behind his “Be FREE, Be HAPPY” Instagram message to Danny Amendola. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t that deep.
  • Ryan Hannable relays Bill Belichick’s response to questions about Alex Guerrero’s role with his team and the players. “...We always want to play and abide by the rules, and we want to, at the same time, do what’s best for the team. So, we’ll continue to instruct all of our players that way in every area.”
  • Zack Cox hears from Duron Harmon why it’s okay if he doesn’t get an explanation about Malcolm Butler’s benching.
  • CBS Boston posts an adorable video of Tom Brady meeting toddler twins named Tom & Brady.
  • Andrew Callahan’s Film Friday: How the Patriots defense thrives inside the red zone.


  • Conor Orr (SI) Morning Huddle: Welcome to training camp. “Tom Brady looked just like he did at the team’s June minicamp—locked in and ready.”
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) “Nothing is imminent” still on Gronkowski contract.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Gronkowski didn’t consider holding out.
  • Matt Miller (Bleacher Report) Patriots 2020: NFL insiders on the future of a seemingly undying dynasty.
  • Kevin Seifert (ESPN) Grading NFL’s offseason priorities checklist: Where it gets an F.
  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Pete Carroll on Earl Thomas: He should be here and he’s not. /This is a real training camp holdout, but hey, let’s keep harping on Malcolm Butler, if Gronk is ‘happy’, and and how Brady and Gronk showed up early, energized and in shape but skipped voluntary workouts.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) More than a week later, Roquan Smith holdout still lingers. /Lookie here, another real holdout.