By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsBy Levan Reid

FOXBORO (CBS) –Today is the final day of open to the public training camp. Expect the players to go up to the fans and show them some love.

Today, the Pats start a very different week. This is the first time this preseason that the Pats do not practice against their opponent. So this will feel like a real game, and it will be the always-important third preseason game on the schedule. Here are some of the things Bill Belichick had to say as the Pats get ready for Cam Newton and the Panthers.

Coach said it is good to get back on the field and this is the first week that they will have a type of real preparation. They will not see the Panthers in joint practices, so Belichick feels this is a very big prep style week.

About game planning, Belichick said there won’t be a whole lot. This will be about continuing to build on what they are doing and giving themselves a chance while still seeing where guys are and how they will fit into the roster.

Belichick mentioned the punting problems from the other night and that they have to get better in every facet in that area. Belichick said the punting game was their biggest problem. He saw improvement on kickoffs but they have to eliminate the bad plays.

Regarding flag talk, Belichick mentioned that it’s one of the items that they don’t have control over. He can’t worry about it and they just have to coach the players to play within the rules. That’s all they can do.

When determining positions, coach says it all comes down to value. How does a player help out the team? That’s the most important aspect. You have to fulfill all the roles that are required on a team.

Belichick said that he felt the competition behind Tom Brady is right where he thought it would be. Belichick was very vague in answering this question. He would not mention if the Pats have a clear cut backup yet or if Jimmy Garoppolo has moved ahead of Ryan Mallett.

Thoughts From Friday’s Win Over Philadelphia

Last week, the Patriots made some improvement in the second preseason game.

Ryan Mallett looked better. He had a play on the night that opened everybody’s eyes. Ryan scrambled out of the pocket and uncorked a rocket. The throw missed its target but the velocity was something that made the news.

Jimmy Garoppolo was OK. He was late on a couple of throws and had the benefit of good hand from his receivers.

Malcolm Butler has a spot on this team. How this kid made it through the draft is crazy. He’s everything a team looks for in a cornerback. The Pats love him and he seems ready for primetime.

Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid.

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