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Saturday morning training camp report: LeGarrette Blount, Dominique Easley return as pads go on for first time this summer

08.01.15 at 12:18 pm ET
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LeGarrette Blount was back on the field Saturday morning. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

LeGarrette Blount was back on the field Saturday morning. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — The Patriots just completed their first full padded training camp workout of the summer, a session that ran for just over two hours on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. Here are a few quick notes:

Running back LeGarrette Blount and defensive lineman Dominique Easley were back in the field. Blount hadn’t practiced the first two days of camp because he was placed on NFI (reportedly, he had failed the conditioning test), while Easley was on the physically unable to perform list.

Meanwhile, defensive lineman Xzavier Dickson and linebacker Dont’a Hightower were wearing red non-contact jerseys. For what it’s worth, Blount looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, making all the right cuts and running well. Jerod Mayo was in full uniform and not in a non-contact red jersey, a good sign that he has nearly fully recovered from his right knee patellar injury.

The following players were not in pads or not spotted on the field: quarterback Matt Flynn (NFI), special teamer Matthew Slater (PUP), wide receiver Brandon LaFell (PUP), cornerback Justin Green, defensive back Derek Cox, linebacker D.J. Lynch (who limped off the field midway through Friday’s practice), linebacker Dane Fletcher (PUP), linebacker Chris White (PUP), offensive lineman Ryan Wendell (PUP), defensive lineman Vince Taylor (PUP), offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann (PUP), tight end A.J. Derby, defensive end Chris Jones (PUP) and defensive lineman Alan Branch (NFI).

In one-on-ones between the offensive linemen and defensive linemen, Jabaal Sheard provided a highlight with an impressive spin move on tackle Marcus Cannon. Sheard also tossed Cameron Fleming aside on another head-to-head drill. (Cannon later rebounded with a nice job on youngster Dekoda Watson.)

In addition, rookie guard Shaq Mason tossed defensive lineman Zach Moore to the ground (Mason was later beaten by fellow rookie Geneo Grissom), while tackle Nate Solder and defensive lineman Trey Flowers locked up in a great battle. Young defensive lineman Eric Martin also looked really impressive later in the same drill, sneaking past Solder and using his quickness to get into the backfield. (Defensive lineman Antonio Johnson jumped and had to run a lap.

Later, Mason had to run a lap as well.) Meanwhile, Bryan Stork handily beat all comers, including a sequence where he stoned Easley, who tried to come after him with a bull rush. If Stork stays healthy, he appears to be in line for a terrific season. In that same vein, if Sheard stays healthy and pointed in the right direction, he could also be posted for a good year.

Another highlight for the defense came in passing drills when rookie strong safety Jordan Richards broke up a pass intended for the much taller tight end Scott Chander in the red zone.

Quarterback Tom Brady completed a pass to Aaron Dobson in 11-on-11s, but the receiver fumbled the ball after Jamie Collins poked it away. Dobson made amends later with a leaping grab on a Brady pass near the sideline. He beat fellow Marshall product and rookie corner Darryl Roberts. Shortly after that, the whole offense was forced to run a lap. Dobson had a nice catch later in practice in 11-on-11s, and also had an impressive connection with Brady over Jimmy Jean in a passing drill.

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Patriots announce offseason award winners

08.01.15 at 7:00 am ET
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FOXBORO — On Friday, the Patriots announced their offseason award winners. The honors are doled out on the combination of attendance at offseason workout programs, physical testing and overall improvement, and usually come with a prime parking space closest to the players’ entrance at Gillette Stadium.

This year’s winners are: safety Nate Ebner, linebacker Jonathan Freeny, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, defensive lineman Antonio Johnson, linebacker Eric Martin, safety Devin McCourty, left tackle Nate Solder and center Bryan Stork.

By way of comparison, here’s a look at the offseason award winners the last three years:

Defensive end Chandler Jones, wide receiver Julian Edelman, linebacker Jamie Collins, safety Devin McCourty, cornerback Logan Ryan, fullback James Develin, safety Nate Ebner, linebacker Jerod Mayo, offensive lineman Dan Connolly and linebacker Dont’a Hightower.

Wide receiver Danny Amendola, quarterback Tom Brady, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, linebacker Dane Fletcher, linebacker Jerod Mayo, defensive end Rob Ninkovich, special teams captain Matthew Slater, left tackle Nate Solder, cornerback Aqib Talib and defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.

Linebacker Bobby Carpenter, safety Patrick Chung, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, wide receiver Julian Edelman, kicker Stephen Gostkowski, linebacker Jerod Mayo, linebacker Trevor Scott, left tackle Nate Solder, linebacker Jeff Tarpinian and running back Danny Woodhead.




Read More: Antonio Johnson, Bryan Stork, Devin McCourty, Eric Martin

Tom Brady, Roger Goodell showdown to be open to media

07.31.15 at 8:01 pm ET
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Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady's four-game suspension. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension. (Elsa/Getty Images)

There will be no hiding from the media or spinning of the truth needed when Tom Brady and Roger Goodell sit down on Aug. 12 in New York.

According to Raffi Melkonian, an appellate lawyer with a Fifth Circuit appellate practice, the hearing will be open to reporters.

While a court stenographer was on hand for the Brady appeal hearing with Goodell on June 23 at NFL offices in New York, reporters were not allowed inside the room with the parties and their attorneys.

That led to leaks from presumably both sides as to how the hearing went, with Adam Schefter initially reporting that Brady came off looking “A-plus” kind of guy.

That was countered the next day with a report that Brady was “not entirely credible” and that not much had changed in the eyes of the NFL.

So who will win? You can be the judge.

Read More: Deflategate, New England Patriots, nfl, roger goodell

Judge requests Tom Brady, Roger Goodell meet at settlement conference Aug. 12

07.31.15 at 6:14 pm ET
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Roger Goodell and Tom Brady will meet again Aug. 12 at a court conference. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Roger Goodell and Tom Brady will meet again Aug. 12 at a settlement conference. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

It seems things are getting closer and closer to getting resolved in the Tom Brady Deflategate case.

According to several reports, New York Judge Richard Berman has scheduled a settlement conference for Wednesday, August 12 in which he’s requested both Tom Brady and Roger Goodell be present.

“Let’s see what we can accomplish at that conference,” Berman wrote in the order.

He also requests the two sides keep talking before the conference.

“Lastly, I request that you all engage in comprehensive, good-faith settlement discussions prior to the conference on August 12, 2015,” he wrote.

The Patriots likely won’t have a full practice Aug. 12 as it is the day before their preseason opener against the Packers.

It now seems more and more likely this will be resolved by the opening night, Sept. 10., especially given that was what both sides requested Friday.

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Read More: Deflategate, roger goodell, Tom Brady,

Bernard Pollard doesn’t believe Tom Brady deserves four-game suspension

07.31.15 at 5:38 pm ET
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 29: Bernard Pollard #31 of the Tennessee Titans looks on before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 29, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Bernard Pollard said Tom Brady doesn’t deserve a four-game suspension. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

One of Tom Brady‘s fiercest rivals doesn’t believe the quarterback should be suspended for four games.

Former Kansas City safety Bernard Pollard, who delivered the blow in the 2008 opener that knocked Brady out for the rest of the season, told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday that he doesn’t believe the Patriots quarterback deserved to be banned for his role in Deflategate.

“I do not like Tom Brady as a competitor or someone that is playing against him, because he’s a competitive player,” said Pollard, who is a free agent. “But I respect the piss out of him because the guy knows how to win. You can say whatever you want to say about him, but he is a true champion. He understands it.

“Do I feel that he should be suspended for four games? I’m going to tell you no,” added Pollard. “This dude is a competitor, man. I don’t think he should have been suspended for four games. But I’m not the commissioner. I’m not on that committee that suspended him. (But) I know he’s going to fight tooth and nail like he does on the field to get back on the field with his team.”

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Read More: Bernard Pollard, Deflategate, Tom Brady,

Patriots add to Wells Report In Context with series of emails detailing NFL’s failure to correct misinformation

07.31.15 at 3:50 pm ET
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The Patriots made an addition to the Wells Report in Context on Friday, revealing a series of emails in which they made specific requests to the league in hopes of having them correct initial misinformation being reported by the media and to investigate the sources of such misinformation, which — in their eyes — could only have been league personnel.

The series of emails includes an introduction that reads: “Shortly after the AFC Championship game, the league had all the data regarding halftime psi readings in hand, yet would not share that information with the Patriots, issue a statement with the facts or at least let the public know that reports circulating were inaccurate.”

The report includes several communications between the league and the Patriots — emails between Patriots PR chief Stacey James, NFL PR official Greg Aiello, Associate Legal Counsel at The Kraft Group Robyn Glaser, and Jeff Pash, the executive vice-president and general counsel of the NFL — that provide a detailed look at the efforts made by the Patriots to ask the league to correct the information.

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Read More: Deflategate,

Jerod Mayo just taking it ‘one day at a time’ after 2 straight season-ending injuries

07.31.15 at 3:03 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo kept it short and sweet with the media on Friday. After enduring season-ending injuries in the midst of his last two seasons, he’d rather let his practice and playing time do the talking.

Mayo’s 75-second session with reporters after Day 2 of training camp began with an observation that he must be excited to speak publicly with many of the media on hand for the first time since a season-ending patellar injury to his right knee last Oct. 12 in Buffalo.

“So excited,” said with a wry smile.

In a bit of very encouraging news, Mayo, along with Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower progressed far enough in the offseason to avoid being place on the active physically unable to perform list. This is a major step forward after an offseason dedicated to recovery.

“Just rehabbing, staying around here and enjoying time with family and trying to get back to work,” Mayo said of his offseason. “Obviously, I’m just taking it one day at a time. I’m just trying to get better each and every day.”

In 2013, Mayo had his season end on Oct. 13 when he tore his pectoral muscle against the Saints in mid-season.

In the midst of his media scrum, Mayo was interrupted by teammate Devin McCourty. “Make way for some special guests,” McCourty said.

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Read More: Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots,



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