The big news in Foxboro yesterday was the return of Logan Mankins, who practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday. Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald writes that the veteran offensive lineman is “ready to go”. Mankins actually reported two weeks ahead of when he was required to be in Foxboro, but sounded like he just wanted to get back on the field.
“It was just time,” said Mankins, who arrived two weeks ahead of the deadline to receive an accrued year toward free agency. “I’m not looking at it as if I’m early. Actually I’m eight weeks late.”
Rich Garven has more on Mankins’ return, with the veteran guard telling reporters yesterday that his teammates were excited when he called to let them know he’d be returning this week.
“I have a lot of friends here, a lot of guys I have a lot of respect for and love playing with, so it was good to see everyone again. When I let a bunch of guys know the day before, everyone was pretty happy I was coming back, so I knew I had a lot of support here”
Garven also has an article on quarterback Tom Brady, who discussed his relationship with former Patriot Randy Moss yet again yesterday. Moss was claimed by the Titans yesterday and will now be playing in Tennessee, but should he become a free agent after the season and want to return, Brady said he would welcome him back.
“Would I welcome him back?” Brady said “You can ask coach (Bill) Belichick. I don’t make the decisions around here. If I did, Lawyer Milloy would still be here and Deion (Branch) never would have left. Whatever I want doesn’t happen anyway, so I just try to keep my mouth shut.”
For anyone curious – the Tennessean has the complete Q & A transcript of Moss’ press conference if you’re interested in reading it.
Karen Guregian has a fantastic column this morning on Belichick, who nearly outsmarted everyone by moving Moss for a 3rd round pick and getting him back – all in the same season.
Steve Buckley also has an article on Belichick, and feels that his “genius” has returned after looking at what the team has done so far this season.
Ian Rapoport has an article on Myron Pryor, who came clean yesterday on his hit that knocked Brett Favre from the game in the 4th quarter of last Sunday’s win over the Vikings.
“You don’t mean to hurt somebody,” Pryor said. “And when it happened, I didn’t think I hit him hard enough to make him (injured). But maybe just from the impact going to the ground and from me laying on top of him, that’s what made the chin messed up.”
Moving on to the upcoming game against the Cleveland Browns, Jeff Howe of NESN.com writes that the relationship between Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini hasn’t exactly been warm and fuzzy as of late, and as usual all eyes will be on the two of them at the end of the game to see how they handle it. Mangini had some comments about it yesterday, as did Belichick in this piece.
“I am sure it will be firm and brisk,” Mangini said. “You know, textbook. It will be in business schools for years to come.
“I haven’t gone through the range of shakes that are available. I might have to seek an outside consultant.”
Scott Petrak of the Chronicle Telegram out in Cleveland has an in-depth article this morning on their relationship, which he writes hasn’t recovered since “spygate” and may never will.
Shalise Manza Young has an article on Browns QB Colt McCoy, who looks like he may be the real deal after grabbing everyone’s attention by beating the New Orleans Saints recently.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com has an article this morning on the fact New England didn’t vary much from their base defense Sunday against the Vikings, and looks at the number of snaps for each formation.
Tim Graham looks at some of the Patriots rookies, who have quietly become some of the best players out of this year’s draft class.
And finally, an interesting article in the Irish Central, who feels that at the halfway point that Tom Brady should be considered as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.
That’s it for this morning. We’ll have more updates as they become available.