The first day of NFL training camp is a bittersweet day. No matter how hot and muggy it is right now, you know that when all is said and done, the season will end with snow on the ground and ice in your blood. It’s a reminder of how fast things go in life. There’s a lot to be excited about this Patriots season, and it all begins today.
PatriotsDaily.com kicks off coverage of the season with a extended Training Camp edition of the Roundtable.
The “Questions” column is a staple whenever a team is about to start the season. Today is no exception. We’ve got questions columns, plenty of them. John Tomase has six. Shalise Manza Young has seven. Ian M. Clark only has four. Eric McHugh submits ten. Christopher Price and Jeff Howe have five things to look for in camp. David Heuschkel also gives us a number of storylines and questions from camp.
Jackie MacMullan says that once again, Rodney Harrison enters camp with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. Albert Breer says that Asante Samuel deserves a little more credit than some are willing to give him. Karen Guregian and Breer has Samuel set to stay home until something gets worked out in his contract situation. Young says that Samuel could end up joining his teammates sooner rather than later.
Christopher L. Gasper has Troy Brown approaching this training camp just as he has the last 14 for the Patriots, just trying to compete for a job. (Bob Ryan gave Gasper some serious love on a WROR appearance yesterday morning, saying that this kid “has it.”) Mike Reiss notes that the Patriots continuity on both the offensive and defensive lines has given them a solid foundation. Mark Farinella previews the defense, and says that Asante Samuel’s return is the biggest question mark for this unit. Thomas also notes that Brandon Meriweather doesn’t have a deal, either.
Dan Shaughnessy is making Super Bowl reservations. David Brown says that we can expect a circus in training camp, though it might not be as entertaining as we’d like it to be. Lenny Megliola says that the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning rivalry is at an all time high right now.
The Red Sox celebrated the start of Patriots training camp by scoring two touchdowns and holding the Cleveland Indians to three field goals in a 14-9 victory at Jacob’s Field.
Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox bats (including Wily Mo Pena) coming to life in a big way last night. Nick Cafardo has more on a big night at the plate for the Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox changing things up after only scoring one run over the last two games prior to last night. Bill Ballou has the Red Sox adding on to their lead over the Yankees in the process. Joe McDonald has the Sox hitting the Indians with both barrels last night.
Rob Bradford has Manny Ramirez hitting what he called the longest home run of his career last night, showing that he can still surprise after 15 years in the league. Amalie Benjamin has a look at a big night for Pena, who had a single, two doubles and a home run. Joe Haggerty has a look at Gabbard, who prior to last night, had been rolling along for the Red Sox. Bradford has David Ortiz looking for the Red Sox to make a move at the trade deadline that will bring them some help for the stretch run.
Horrigan has the Red Sox penciling in August 5th as the date for Curt Schilling‘s return to the rotation. Donald Emmons reports on Schilling’s outing for Pawtucket last night. John Wagner has more on the five inning stint for Schilling.
Rich Thompson has the PawSox giving Clay Buchholz a chance to pitch deeper into the game. Benjamin looks at another minor league pitcher that is grabbing attention for the Red Sox, AA right hander Justin Masterson.
Horrigan’s notebook has Kason Gabbard unable to pick up the victory last night despite all the run support. Cafardo’s notebook has the Red Sox unwilling to overpay for any trade in the next few days. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Schilling’s rehab start last night. Ballou’s notebook has Terry Francona saying that he’ll be happy if his club stays just as it is at the trade deadline. The Projo notebook says that deals are possible, but not imminent.