The news from training camp took a bizarre turn Friday morning when Head Coach Bill Belichick announced guard Joe Panos was retiring and the team had no idea where third-year linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer was.
Katzenmoyer, who had neck surgery during last season, did not get many reps in the first practice of camp, but as far as Belichick knew, there was nothing physically or mentally wrong with him. The coach said he had spoken with Katzenmoyer after a workout at the end of last week, and everything seemed fine.
"Andy Katzenmoyer was here this morning, and we haven't seen him," Belichick said. "He wasn't at practice, and nobody that I've talked to has heard anything from or about him. I can't really answer anything on him other than I don't know where he is."
Belichick did say that nothing appeared out of the ordinary with Katzenmoyer after Thursday's practice. If he was ailing in any way, Katzenmoyer did not tell anyone on the coaching or medical staff. Belichick said he would provide more information on the player's status later in the day if he learned anything more.
The decision by Panos caught Belichick by surprise, but the coach also was understanding. Panos did not participate in either team practice, and his departure will have a big impact on the offensive line. He, Mike Compton and Joe Andruzzi were expected to battle for the two starting guard spots.
"I was surprised by it, and I think the other people who have worked with Joe, it took us all a little bit by surprise," Belichick said. "In talking to him, I can certainly understand his position, and I have a lot of respect for him. Football has to end for everybody; nobody can play forever."
Belichick said that Compton and Andruzzi were ahead of the rest of the guards on the roster at this point. Andruzzi felt his back tighten up Friday morning and left practice early, and first-year player Adam Davis filled in for him. Belichick did not think Andruzzi's situation was too serious.