FOXBORO (CBS) – Are you ready for some football? Training Camp has finally arrived for the New England Patriots.
UPDATE 2:47 p.m.: Here are a few observations from the first day of camp:
– The rain did not put a damper on the day. The crowd was pretty good despite the dreary conditions.
– Tim Tebow remained upbeat, but his practice was spotty. I saw two interceptions that he threw and there was talk that he made more mistakes. He said afterwards that he feels comfortable out there, but it’s obviously going to take some time.
– Jake Ballard looked pretty good in his first day out there. He’s a big guy, and made some nice catches. He is going to be an important addition when they get out there and make things work.
– Defensive end Chandler Jones has that second year look. He’s thinner and faster, and on the first day of camp, he had an interception.
– Not a Patriots note, but my colleague Dan Roche is singing every Taylor Swift song possible. This is not funny at all, especially if you’ve ever heard Dan sing. Swifty would shut him down..
– I’ll have a full wrap of Day 1 of Patriots Training Camp coming up on the WBZ-TV News at 5 and 6 p.m..
– As you can imagine, there are a lot of eyes on Tim Tebow today. He’s doing okay; nothing really special out of the quarterback position. He did however catch a few passes later in practice, so let the speculation begin!
Belichick was asked about Tebow’s role with the team, and if he would be used exclusively as a quarterback.
“I think that we’ll use Tim wherever we feel like he’s best for the team,” Belichick replied. “I know that’s what he’s committed to doing as well; whatever that is.”
When asked if he’s been impressed with Tebow so far, Bill priased his work ethic.
– With Gronk on the mend and Aaron Hernandez in jail, the Pats tight end group is totally different. Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells are the players to pay attention to as we head through camp, especially their chemistry with Brady.
– With the first practice taking place in the rain, players are taking it easy on the field. No one wants to get hurt right out of the gate.
Bill Belichick held his first official press conference of the season. Here are some of the major talking points:
– The Patriots will be practicing outside today. Even though it’s raining, Belichick said trying to get 90 players in the bubble is a bit much.
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– Everybody is here and accounted for, and second-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard will be a participant.
– A question about Rob Gronkowski’s rehab came up. Coach kind of glossed over it and said he doesn’t want to give any hopeful thoughts. Some players heal fast, others heal slow, and there is always the chance of a setback.
“I can’t predict what’s going to happen with rehabilitations or injuries of any sort,” he said. “Players work day to day. As we know, sometimes that’s a steady line, sometimes it’s slow progress and a big jump, sometimes it’s a jump and then it levels off. There is no way to predict exactly what’s going to happen. We’ll just take everybody day by day, see how they do, and treat them the next day based on what their performance and how they feel from the day before. That will be the same with everybody.”
However, the rumor is Gronk is way ahead of schedule.
– Belchick took three questions that dealt with the Aaron Hernandez situation and he glossed over them all. He basically gave answers about team building.
– These first two practices, which will be held in the morning rather than the afternoon, will be more like mini-camp. Coach made it seem like they were in a holding pattern until next week.
“Sunday we’ll be able to get the pads on and work more on the running game and pass protection and things like that, things that involve more contact,” said Bill. “The first two days will be a continuation of the spring and then building on to that.”
Things should get back to normal (afternoon practices) once Taylor Swift leaves town; she pretty much has the stadium on lock-down the next couple of days…
Stay tuned for updates throughout the day, and a special Patriots All Access coming up tonight on WBZ-TV at 7 p.m..
Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid