As we told you yesterday, the Patriots have cut short their springtime practice schedule and are now officially on summer vacation until training camp begins in late July. So, between now and then, you’ll be seeing lots of “filler” from the media that cover this team – stories and opinion pieces to provide content simply for the sake of providing content to football-starved audiences.
We’ll begin with one offering that actually gives us some detailed insight into the final day of the offseason program, courtesy ESPN reporter Mike Reiss.
“Before Bill Belichick canceled the New England Patriots' final two voluntary organized team activities this week,” Reiss writes, “he transformed parts of Gillette Stadium into a real-life ‘Back to the Future’ movie.”
“It was a lot of fun,” one player told Reiss. “We walked in and you could tell something different was going on than the normal practice day.”
“Fun” is the operative word around Gillette these days, as well as the focus of a Boston Globe editorial about the current Patriots vibe.
“The barrage of ‘Patriots are all work and no fun’ accusations this offseason were a bit overblown,” the author proclaims. “Belichick has done this in previous years, whether it’s cancel one or two OTAs at the end of spring or bring his players to the movies or bowling, etc.”
Meanwhile, a WEEI.com scribe offers his pre-Patriots-training-camp thoughts in the immediate wake of spring practices.
In the Boston Herald, you’ll see another opinion piece declaring that New England still has many issues to resolve once training camp opens.
The Providence Journal takes a more focused look at the Patriots wide receiver position, while NBC Sports Boston’s website examines New England’s o-line situation.
Finally today, joint training camp practices have become a wonderful recent NFL tradition, and the Patriots have embraced the trend as much as any team. Sadly, however, it seems unlikely they’ll have a willing partner this summer, as a Mass Live blog post explains.