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Patriots.com News Blitz - 8/8/2012

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Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com reports that head coach Bill Belichick was pleased with the team's joint practice with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday. Rodak writes that Belichick praised the Saints as one of the NFL's best teams, and that the two-and-a-half hour session was "a good day." Specifically, Belichick noted that the practice gave the Patriots defense an opportunity to go up against one of the league's top offenses from last season. "We got a lot of good, new looks," Belichick added. "We need them, we'll learn from them, and it will make us a better football team, so it was a good day here."

Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that Tom Brady has been working with new throwing coach Tom House to improve his mechanics. House is a former major league pitcher who has also worked with Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer. "House, Brady, and Brian Hoyer worked together on a back portion of a practice field after Monday morning's camp session," observes Young. Tom Martinez, Brady's former mentor, passed away in February after working with the quarterback for nearly 20 years.

Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reports that defensive end Chandler Jones made a strong impression on the Saints offensive line in Tuesday's joint practice with New Orleans. "He looks like a [Giants defensive end Jason] Pierre-Paul type, the way he comes off the ball," Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod tells Reiss. "He has long arms, he's a tall guy and he has good speed. If you let him get into your chest, he has power enough to bull you." Reiss notes that Bushrod's praise is "confirmation of what others have seen through the first 11 practices of training camp" and that Jones is poised to be "a big contributor on D."

Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe observes that the Patriots struggled on both sides of the ball against the Saints in 11-on-11 drills in Tuesday's joint practice. "Patriots' offensive line was one big sieve against the Saints' active front and it threw off the entire offense, including QB Tom Brady, who only completed 7 of 16 passes (43.8 percent) and threw an interception," writes Bedard. On the defensive side of the ball, Bedard notes that the Saints offensive line "easily handled the Patriots up front as Drew Brees hit on 18 of his 26 passes (69.2 percent) with an interception."

Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Saints tight end Jimmy Graham both showcased their elite status at Tuesday's joint practice. Guregian observes that neither tight end "could be adequately stopped or covered by the opposing team's defense," especially in red zone drills, where both players thrive. "They're both such a tough task," Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington tells Guregian. "Graham is a pretty good basketball player. He hasn't played football that long, but you watch him, and it looks like he has. He's just so athletically freakish." Gronkowski (second round) and Graham (third round) were both taken in the 2010 NFL Draft and are entering their third season in the league.

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