Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe writes that entering his fourth NFL season, Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel has taken a different approach to his offseason training. Samuel teamed up with Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jevon Kearse to train two days per week. The work, supervised by trainer Jeff Sanders, was designed so nothing will hold the 25-year-old Samuel back entering the final year of his contract.
Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan of the Boston Globe report that Bill Belichick and his wife, Debby, led one of 31 teams that competed in the fourth annual AccesSportAmerica Mayor's Cup Regatta on Sunday. The event raised more than $150,000 for children and adults with disabilities.
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.
Previously In the Blitz...
The Daily Advertiser (Louisiana) offers a Q&A with Patriots running back Kevin Faulk.
Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe writes that the possibility remains that Deion Branch may choose not to accept any offers from the Patriots and fullfill his rookie deal to become a free agent in 2007. Solomon reports that the Patriots have yet to offer Branch a contract with numbers high enough for him to play ball. Solomon writes that Branch will make a statement by not coming to training camp on time. If nothing is worked out, he will report in time to receive that automatic deposit of the first game check. (If he doesn't, he has until Week 10 to join the team and still be a free agent after the season.) For fans, at least, it seems the debate over what (or whether) the Patriots should pay Branch has turned into whether he is a legitimate No. 1 receiver.
Michael Felger of the Boston Herald writes that you never want your Super Bowl hopes to rest on two rookies and two veteran disappointments, but barring any late signings or trades, that could very well be the situation facing the Patriots heading into the 2006 season. The Patriots will hope Chad Jackson is as good as he's looked in non-contact workouts and that Stephen Goskowski can kick in clutch situations. The Patriots will also need linebacker Monty Beisel to step up his performance and prove that he can be a play-maker next to Bruschi. Tebucky Jones will also need to prove he can be an impact player if Rodney Harrison has not fully recovered from his injury(three torn ligaments, including ACL).
USA Today's "Inside Slant" takes a look at what it views as the three most important offseason moves and also offers Patriots notes and quotes.