The Patriots held their first practice of Dolphins Week yesterday, and everyone took part. Only four players were limited in the activity, including tight end Rob Gronkowski (ankle/back issues).
A Boston Herald column tackles the question of what's become of Gronkowski this season and what the Patriots should do about him in games going forward.
"It's time for the Patriots to pick their spots with Gronkowski, something they can only do effectively if he's completely honest about how he's feeling each week. That's not an easy thing for an athlete to do. The tendency, especially for the greats, is to think they're letting down the team if they tell the truth. In fact, just the opposite is true at times. Saying you can play and then not playing well hurts the team more than it helps it."
A Providence Journal piece details how this week's opponent, the Miami Dolphins, still fear Gronkowski on the field.
However, a WEEI.com writer maintains that the Patriots haven't set themselves up well for the eventual day when they no longer have Gronkowski on the roster.
Meanwhile, Boston Sports Journal provides a thorough breakdown of who the Patriots are on both offense and defense at this point in the season.
In a similar vein, the Patriots don't have an identity problem, according to one Boston Globe columnist. Their identity, he writes, is their ability to adapt from game to game.
"It's the defining characteristic of a team whose identity is being able to change styles, tactics, and approaches to be whatever team they need to be to get the win, a trait that bodes well for December and beyond," he continues in part.
Elsewhere, the MassLive blog analyzes the contributions of this year's Patriots rookie class.
ESPN blog has a nice feature on LB Kyle Van Noy and how he's grown as a player in the Patriots' defense.
Finally today, a comical attempt by a Miami Herald writer to translate what Bill Belichick really means when he answers questions about the Dolphins.