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New England Patriots links 8/06/20 - Filling Hightower’s shoes: It’s ‘Bentley or bust’

Daily news and links for Thursday

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New England Patriots v Buffalo Bills
Ja’Whaun Bentley stops Frank Gore
Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images



  • Mike Reiss talks about how for NFL coaches including Bill Belichick, the absence of preseason games is uncharted territory. It erases a foundational part of roster evaluation and hurts young players. /Good read.
  • Andrew Callahan reports Ja’Whaun Bentley, a self-described football junkie, will soon be tasked with replacing Dont’a Hightower as the Pats’ defensive leader. ”Basically it’s Bentley or bust.”
  • Phil Perry points out Ja’Whaun Bentley will be the primary fill-in for one of the most important Patriots defenders of the last decade - whether he’s ready or not.
  • Alex Barth finds third-year linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley already sounding like a Patriots veteran.
  • Evan Lazar’s Patriots training camp preview: Linebackers. The Boogeymen are no longer, and its next man up for the Patriots at the linebacker position.
  • Doug Kyed explains how Jonathan Jones might be the best choice to replace Patrick Chung.
  • Doug Kyed tells us what Brian Belichick will bring as the Patriots new safeties coach.
  • Karen Guregian was looking for a sign of Joe Thuney revealing anger or displeasure over his lack of long-term contract, but instead found him happy and content, and even willing to fill in at right tackle if needed.
  • Phil Perry wonders of Joe Thuney will be the ‘next man up’ at right tackle.
  • Alex Barth reports that now ready to make his comeback, 28-year-old center David Andrews returns to the field refreshed and refined.
  • Adam London highlights ESPN’s projection of Julian Edelman to put together a ‘bounce-back season’ in 2020. Staying healthy is key.
  • Tom E. Curran notes ex-Pats DT Kyle Love has doubts that Cam Newton can handle being called out by Belichick.
  • Zack Cox is hearing players admit things are feeling different at Gillette Stadium this year. /Ya think?
  • Robert Alvarez (PatsFans) Watch the Patriots train with their children. /Cute.
  • Robert Alvarez (PatsFans) Isaiah Wynn releases “Win with Wynn” mini-documentary profiling his football journey.
  • Karen Guregian notes as the opt-out deadline approaches, Patriots players say they feel safe at Gillette Stadium.
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate and Steve Balestrieri discuss positional groupings, strengths and weaknesses. (43 min.)
  • Locked On Patriots podcast: Mike D’Abate and Alex Barth run the gamut from the Pats’ new-look defense, the impact of Cam Newton on the offense and more. (45 min.)
  • NESN Patriots Podcast: Zack Cox and Doug Kyed discuss all things Patriots and training camp. (39 min.)


  • Tim Keown (ESPN) Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham’s path to New England. /Interesting read.
  • Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Joe Thuney on potentially playing RT: Whatever helps the team.
  • Joel Corry (CBS Sports) Agent’s Take: How key players opting out affects salary cap for 2020 and beyond, plus more opt-out details.
  • Charean Williams (ProFootballTalk) Patriots re-sign Isaiah Zuber. /When do we get to examine the Zuber film?
  • Albert Breer (SI) Mailbag: Which NFL teams have the best backup quarterback situations? Plus, what would happen if Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson switched places, will Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon catch on anywhere, how will the Aaron Rodgers situation play out; More.
  • Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports) Ranking NFL divisions from first to last. AFC East 5th. “Bill and Cam won’t go down without swinging hard, and I could still see them getting to the playoffs.”
  • Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports) NFL Power Rankings: Patriots ranked 9th, hit hard by opt outs.
  • Nora Princiotti (The Ringer) Unease and uncertainty at the first week of NFL training camp.
  • Staff (ESPN) Best of Wednesday at training camps: New look for Washington, who’s missing and who’s back.
  • Gil Brandt ( D-linemen ready for Year 2 breakout, No Pats.
  • Mitch Goldich (SI) A modest proposal to save the 2020 NFL season.
  • Charles Robinson (Yahoo! Sports) NFL will take billion-dollar double-whammy on lost ticket revenue as hopes of fan attendance dwindle.
  • Alex Prewitt (SI) The NFLPA has set up a whisteblower hotline to report health and safety violations. /#SnitchLine.
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) 56 NFL players have tested positive for COVID-19 since reporting to camp.
  • Around the NFL ( Opt-outs at 60 players as Thursday deadline approaches.
  • Hal Habib (Palm Beach Post) Albert Wilson becomes second Miami Dolphins receiver to opt out of 2020 NFL season. Allen Hurns opted out Tuesday.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) For players considering opt outs, don’t forget the retirement option.