Tom Brady's return is the talk of New England, even if Bill Belichick and many of his players don't seem interested in actually talking about the topic.
One thing that Belichick is interested in is his team preparing for a Browns team that is winless on the season but could present some problems for the Patriots this Sunday in Cleveland.
The Boston Globe says that while the Browns may be winless, they are by no means pushovers. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is one guy who is willing to say that Brady looks like he’s ready to go, via the Globe.
The Boston Herald says that Belichick actually swatted away nine Brady-related questions in his Wednesday press conference. The Herald wonders if linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower are worth the investment for the Patriots as the two players play out the final years of their contracts. The Herald also notes that Brady faces the challenge of finding success in his 17th season, which historically has been an issue for other passers.
The Providence Journal *says that with Brady back under center McDaniels’ offense should be ready to roll. The *Pro Jo's film review of last Sunday's loss to the Bills focuses on Rob Gronkowski’s rarely being targeted in the passing game.
ESPNBoston.com says that Belichick is making it clear Brady won't clear all New England's ills, while the site notes that the quarterback will pass on the traditional mid-week press conference that starting quarterback's usually hold. ESPNBoston.com writes that Belichick isn’t getting nostalgic in his return to Cleveland this week, where he got his first chance as an NFL head coach.
ESPN has Browns coach Hue Jackson saying Brady's career story is one of the greatest that's ever been told, although preparing for him as he returns from suspension is, “Not fun at all.”
WEEI.com has Belichick telling reporters to “ask Tom how he’s personally feeling” even though the quarterback isn't actually holding a press conference and isn't even technically on the Patriots roster just yet. WEEI.com notes the Patriots worked out a pair of wide receivers this week. WEEI.com looks at how 2016 might compare to 2014, a season in which the Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl.
CSNNE.com offers up the best from the Patriots first quarter of the season, although be warned it's a slideshow. CSNNE.com says Belichick is clearly focused on Cleveland and not Brady’s return.
NFL.com says McDaniels is clearly the top head-coaching candidate at this point in the season, noting that Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has rising stock as well.
NESN.com projects how the Patriots offense will change with Brady back in the huddle.
The Wall Street Journal has a breakdown of how NFL teams have used the injury report through the first four weeks of action this fall, with the Patriots notching an league-high 31 players listed as questionable for games. “More likely, though, the Patriots are exploiting the vagaries of the NFL’s new rules on reporting injuries,” the paper writes.