Training camp in New England opened on Thursday as large crowds battled extreme heat to see the Patriots take the field for the first full-squad practice of the summer.
Jimmy Garoppolo and Tom Brady were at the center of attention, but really there were endless items of interest emanating from the first day of work at Gillette Stadium.
The Boston Globe kicks things off with a practice report, noting that the largest cheers and chants from the Foxborough crowd were reserved for Brady. The Globe notes that Garoppolo's mindset hasn't changed at this point this summer, even though he's at the center of attention these days. Meanwhile, the Globe says Brady quietly went about his business on Thursday. The Globe also writes about Jamie Collins' absence from the first day of camp, as well as his former teammate Jerod Mayo taking on a new role in retirement as a part of CSNNE.com's "Quick Slants" TV show.
The Boston Herald says that LeGarrette Blount might need to carry a big load for the Patriots offense, especially early in the season, assuming he makes the roster. The Herald notebook also looks at Collins being "MIA" for the first day of camp. The Herald says that New England's secondary opens training camp hungry to improve on its performance from last season, while also noting that Nate Solder is happy to be back to football after dealing with injuries over the last year. The Herald concludes that Garoppolo stepped in "nice and easy" for his first day as the "starter" in New England.
The Providence Journal says Malcolm Butler is motivated in part by his hungry backups, while also noting that Rob Gronkowski is looking to get in synch with Garoppolo.
WEEI.com has Butler using a classic Bill Belichick line to talk about his own contract, "It is what it is." The site also says that Thursday was Garoppolo's big day. WEEI.com notes that Matthew Slater wore Olympian Nate Ebner's No. 43 for practice action as his teammate pursues rugby glory in Rio.
ESPNBostom.com says Gronkowski sees "great" potential in new tight end teammate Martellus Bennett. ESPNBoston.com also breaks down how Garoppolo and Brady split reps on the first day of camp action.
CSNNE.com's postcard from camp (slideshow warning!!!!) looks at Garoppolo taking first-team reps in 11-on-11 action. The site says that if Garoppolo plays well, it will be offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' ticket to another head coaching job. CSNNE.com has Gronkowski saying Brady's intensity is at its normal level, while the sight offers insight into Collins missing the first practice, saying it was "expect and is not contract related."
The Washington Post writes that the "NFL's owners all hate the Patriots because of Deflategate,"citing a story from Sports Illustrated a day earlier that breaks down the results of the Deflategate.
USA Today says Patriots fans rallied to Brady's defense as the quarterback returned to the practice field with his teammates.
KHON2.com passes along the motivations of Patriots rookie defender Kamu Grugier-Hill, who's "always been the underdog."
NESN.com notes that, shocker, someone on ESPN's "First Take" said something that's bombastically dumb.