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News Blitz 8/19: The current state of the Patriots back-up QB battle

In this edition of the Patriots.com news blitz we take a look at some observations from yesterday's practice and check in with the back-up QB battle between Jimmy Garoppolo and Ryan Mallett.

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The Boston Globe's Shalise Manza Young and *ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss posted their observations from the final day of public training camp at Gillette Stadium. Both writers noted that Dominique Easley looked very good in individual drills and that Malcolm Butler continues to impress on the practice field. Additionally, the team appeared to have gotten healthier over the weekend with Jerod Mayo, James Anderson, Michael Hoomanawanui, and Bryan Stork returning to practice.

Check out our favorite photos from the training camp at Gillette Stadium on Monday, August 18, 2014.

In his Day 17 Postcard from Camp, Comcast SportsNet's Phil Perry said that Rob Gronkowski, Malcolm Butler, and James Anderson were the most impressive players on Monday. He also recapped every play from 11-on-11 drills and highlighted some of the biggest news of the day in Tom Curran's Greetings from Foxboro video.

"The big news of the day was that Rob Gronkowski was back out there for 11-on-11's," says Perry. "That's good news for the Patriots there because he says he's planning on playing a full 16-game regular season schedule."

Christopher Price joined CSN's "Sports Tonight" to talk more about Gronkowski's practice with Michael Felger and Bob Neumeier. Price believes the team had a hidden agenda by having Gronk participate in 11-on-11's at practice.

"The fact that he was out there today, the last day of availability," said Price. "He's not there yet, but now this raises the possibility of him starting week one. I just think they wanted that message out there, I don't think it was a coincidence."

One training camp battle that has been interesting to watch throughout the preseason is at the backup quarterback position. ESPN's Field Yates went on SportsCenter to discuss the competition between Ryan Mallett and rookie Jimmy Garoppolo.

Chandler Jones came in at No. 85 on ESPN.com's #NFLRank Project this week. Though Jones showed significant improvement in his second season, Mike Reiss believes he could be even better in 2014. Reiss says that the addition of Darrelle Revis may have a trickle down effect for Jones because he should have more time to get to the quarterback.

Evan Horowitz of the Boston Globe says that the NFL's most consistent winners share common traits. Interestingly, Horowitz says that the key to a championship team is not balance. In fact, he says it's better to finish in the top 5 for defense or offense rather than in the top 10 for both.

"All six of the best teams since 2000 achieved their success by being dominant on at least one side of the ball. No team managed to be consistently good by way of balance — by having, say, the 10th-best offense and the 10th-best defense," explains Horowitz.

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