Eric McHugh of the Patriot Ledger previews the top positional battles heading into training camp such as Martin Gramatica vs. Stephen Gostkowski in the battle to be Adam Vinatieri's replacement, Dillon vs. Maroney to be the starting running back and the competition between Reche Caldwell and Chad Jackson to be the No. 2 wideout.
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe sits down Patriots vice president of player personnel, Scott Pioli and discusses the concept of team building. For Pioli and the Patriots, new challenges are always arising in the team-building process. "There's a natural attrition on every NFL roster," Pioli said. "Seven years later, depending on when a player is picked up, they're at different points in their careers -- some guys toward the end, others entering their prime, others entering free agency. Those are the things you have to keep in mind; there is always going to be that cycle and motion of players at different points in their careers. That's where the personnel job differs from the coaching job. The coaches are focused on this week, right now, this moment. From a personnel standpoint, you have to think about that, but you also have to keep an eye on the future."
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that amid all the depth chart speculations, out-of-shape ruminations and other minutia from Patriots minicamp, a moment of appreciation is probably in order for the player who deserves it more than any other. Troy Brown is back for more, 13 years after Bill Parcells took him in the eighth round of the 1993 draft. With Deion Branch holding out and veteran David Givens lost to free agency, Brown was once again a focal point of the receiving corps at minicamp. And while Brown doesn't quite have the jump in his step that allowed him to catch 198 passes between 2001-2002, he still has good hands and an excellent feel for the game.
USA Today's "Inside Slant" also discusses Troy Brown's long tenured stay with the Patriots. In 13 seasons, all of them with the Patriots, Brown has 514 career catches, just 20 behind Stanley Morgan's franchise record. All the other receivers in camp had combined for 82 receptions, 76 of those by free agent Reche Caldwell. The "Inside Slant" also notes that while Branch might extend his holdout into training camp, Brady said he wasn't worried that his chemistry with the Super Bowl XXXIX MVP would be affected. "It's not going to take long with him because I know him so well," Brady said. "When he gets here it's not going to take any time at all. He'll come out here and you'll think he didn't miss a day."
Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe offers his daily Patriots blog with notes and quotes. Reiss also offers his latest mailbag where he shares his thoughts about minicamp and answers readers questions about the kicker situation, Deion Branch, and more.