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News Blitz 8/8: Eric Decker meets the media

Training camp had started for all 32 NFL teams and veteran receiver Eric Decker had yet to find a home.

That’s never a good thing for an player, but the career concerns were short-lived when Decker signed with New England, a place he’d previously expressed his desires to play.

The Boston Globe says Decker’s wish as granted when he signed with the Patriots.

The Globe also has Rob Gronkowski talking about Tuesday’s scorching-hot practice in Foxborough as the Patriots grind through camp. The Globe offers up three thoughts on the Patriots, including a reminder of the harsh reality of life in the NFL. After attending Randy Moss’ Hall of Fame induction over the weekend, the Globe notes that Bill Belichick explained what he learned from the unique wide receiver.

The Globe thinks that Belichick has found a work/life balance of late in New England. The Globe’s practice report says that the weather and backup QB Brian Hoyer were both hot. The Globe also writes about the Patriots working out a free agent cornerback.

The Boston Herald says that Decker is playing catch-up as he settles in with the Patriots. The Herald observes that New England defenders are happy to have Dont’a Hightower back healthy and on the field. Though leaner, the Herald notes that newcomer Jeremy Hill is ready to fill the big back role in New England. The Herald observes that rookie QB Danny Etling had a busy practice on Tuesday.

The Providence Journal reports on Rex Burkhead taking punt return reps this summer, the running back potentially adding a new role to his already wide-range of skills. The Pro Jo has Belichick saying that Malcolm Mitchell “did everything he could” to get back on the field before eventually being released by the Patriots this week. The Pro Jo’s Tuesday training camp report assesses a busy day for the backup quarterbacks.

ESPNBoston.com writes about Decker quickly seeing a link between his new quarterback, Tom Brady, and a former one, Peyton Manning.

ESPN says that veteran running back Mike Gillislee is a top preseason trade candidate for the Patriots.

WEEI.com makes the early prediction that Decker will be a major contributor this season for the Patriots. WEEI.com has a couple updates on the release of Mitchell, who is now a free agent. WEEI.com has its own Tuesday training camp report.

Having played for Josh McDaniels in Denver, NBC Sports Boston notes that Decker has a head start on learning the New England playbook. NBC Sports Boston looks at Etling’s battle to stick around in Foxborough this fall. NBC Sports Boston passes along Belichick raving about the Red Sox. NBC Sports Boston says Patriots players won’t stop pushing for social change just because the offseason is over. NBC Sports Boston has its postcard from the 10th day of training camp practice.

NFL.com updated its preseason power rankings with the Patriots at No. 3 overall, behind the defending champs and the upstart Jags.

NESN.com notes that the Patriots PUP list is now empty, as Jonathan Jones, Cyrus Jones and Nate Ebner all returned to practice action on Tuesday.

Plenty of Patriots get the nod on CBS Sports’ all-AFC East team heading into 2018.

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