The Patriots are set to hold their final two open-to-the-public training camp practices today as they start preparation for this week’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Mike Reiss has Bill Belichick running his team through arguably its toughest camp in his 10 year tenure with the club. Paul Kenyon notes that this year’s rookie crop is making a good impression in camp. Rich Garven says that the work done thus far in camp could point to a switch to a 4-3 defensive front.
Ian R. Rapoport says that during the oppressive heat of the last week, safety for the players has been a priority for the team. Mark Farinella has Logan Mankins talking about the heat. Garven says that thus far, the heat has been no sweat to the Patriots.
Karen Guregian says that it sure looks like Jerod Mayo has been handed the keys to the Patriots defense. Christopher Price has more on Mayo as the man in the middle. Andrew Merritt has a look at some of the new defensive lineman and how they’re working out thus far. Guregian has Le Kevin Smith headed west through the Bill Belichick pipeline.
Bob Ryan says that this whole Michael Vick situation is deeper and trickier than you might think.
Reiss’ notebook has the Patriots trading defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith to Josh McDaniels’ Denver Broncos. Rapoport’s notebook has the Patriots players talking speed. Kenyon’s notebook has more on what the Patriots are doing to beat the heat. Farinella’s notebook has the Patriots bringing yet another running back into camp. Garven’s notebook has Bill Belichick with some praise for rookie Ron Brace.
Alex Speier has a look at how Josh Beckett has returned to dominance in 2009. Amalie Benjamin says that it was apparent from spring training that Beckett was primed for a big season. Joe McDonald has the Sox hoping that the return of Kevin Youkilis turn the offense around.
Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox just aren’t that good, and saying that they will get hot is just cheap talk. Bill Ballou decides to rehash all the times that the Red Sox have faded down the stretch since 1967. Ron Chimelis doesn’t think it’s yet time to be hitting the panic button. Lenny Megliola has the Red Sox finding themselves right in the middle of the wild card jungle.
Silverman has Clay Buchholz feeling confident and good right now.
Stan Grossfeld has a feature on former Red Sox first baseman Brian Daubach, now enjoying his time as manager of the American Defenders of New Hampshire. Hector Longo has draftee Mike Yastrzemski choosing to go to Vanderbilt University rather than signing with the Red Sox.
Benjamin’s notebook says that Kevin Youkilis’ return tonight should be a boost to the offense. Silverman’s notebook has John Smoltz free to sign with whomever he pleases after being released yesterday.
Kevin Paul Dupont has Phil Kessel still playing the waiting game.