. . . the more precarious it gets for the Celtics, say the Boston Globe's Dan Shaughnessy and Bob Ryan. So it would behoove them to wrap things up against the Hawks in Game 6.
CSN Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran reports "Jamie Collins' practice absence today was expected and is not contract-related."
I've been told that Jamie Collins' practice absence today was expected and is not contract-related.— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) July 28, 2016
More to come...
FOXBORO -- Every day from Patriots training camp, we'll provide you with some notes and observations from the Gillette Stadium practice fields. Here's what we saw at the first day of on-the-field work for Bill Belichick and his club.
* Linebacker Jamie Collins was not spotted at practice, one of only two players that were not seen for the summer's first practice. (Running back Dion Lewis, who is on the physically unable to perform list, was also not present.) It's unclear what might have been keeping Collins off of the field as he was present for spring workouts, and he was not one of the seven players placed on PUP earlier this week, but CSN Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran is told Collins' absence "was expected and is not contract-related."
* Jonathan Freeny saw reps at linebacker next to Dont'a Hightower with Collins out.
* Even after coach Bill Belichick made it clear that it was a priority to get Jimmy Garoppolo ready for Week 1, it was Tom Brady who was first in line to take reps with the Patriots offense during 7-on-7 portions of practice. When the team went to 11-on-11 work, it was Garoppolo who took over with what projects as the first team offensive line.
* Several players on PUP were present for Thursday's workout, but did not participate outside of early conditioning work. Receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola were on the field early but not in helmets. Same went for offensive linemen Sebastian Vollmer and Tre' Jackson. Tight end Clay Harbor was also present but not participating. Alan Branch, who was placed on the active/non-football injury list on Wednesday, was present early but did not have a helmet.
* Shaq Mason appears to have been removed from the PUP list as he practiced with the team with his helmet on. Fellow offensive linemen Josh Kline and Nate Solder were present and participating at practice. Neither player was seen during spring practices.
* Running back LeGarrette Blount was another player who was on the field and participating Thursday after having missed spring work. Blount's 2015 regular season came to an end when he suffered a hip injury late in the year.
* Players wore shorts, shells and helmets for the workout. Players in red jerseys included all three quarterbacks, safety Duron Harmon and corner Logan Ryan. Both Harmon and Ryan were not seen during OTAs or minicamp practices open to reporters.
* Matthew Slater's No. 18 was not spotted on the field, but the special teams captain was out there. He gave a nod to his teammate Nate Ebner -- who is with the USA Rugby Men's Sevens team at the Rio Olympics -- by wearing No. 43 for the practice.
* The first day of training camp often brings with it some different contraptions used by the team in drills. On Thursday, the Patriots broke out large foam wheels that were rolled by coaches and then hit by players working on their form tackling.
* During special teams work, Brady worked off to the side with tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. At the same time, Garoppolo handled hand-off duties during a period focused on offensive and defensive line play.
* A little over an hour into the session, Jabaal Sheard spent some time on the turf, apparently tending to his left foot or ankle. Eventually he got to his feet and stayed on the field.
* Rookie second-round pick Cyrus Jones, Keshawn Martin and Chris Harper spent time returning punts.
* When Garoppolo got reps with the first-team offensive line in 11-on-11 work, Brady chatted with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
* For a time, Amendola and Edelman ran routes near a back corner of the practice fields while their teammates practiced. They finished up their workout about 15 minutes before the rest of the team finished their on-the-field work.
7-on-7 RED ZONE
Brady complete to Bennett on a back-shoulder throw with Freeny in coverage
Brady incomplete (deflected by a racquet)
Brady complete to Bennett with McCourty in coverage.
Brady incomplete to Gronkowski. Pass was dropped. Chung was in coverage.
Garoppolo complete to AJ Derby over the middle
Garoppolo incomplete for Martin. Pass broken up by Justin Coleman.
Garoppolo complete to Martin
Garoppolo complete to Washington with EJ Biggers in coverage.
Brissett incomplete to Devin Lucien
Brissett incomplete (deflected by racquet)
Brissett complete to Lucien
Brissett complete to Gaffney (scrambling)
Brady complete to Bolden on back-shoulder
Brady complete to Boldenon wheel with Hightower in coverage
Brady incomplete to Bennett
Brady complete to Dobson with McCourty in coverage
Garoppolo complete to Develin
Garoppolo complete to Hogan. Good adjustment by Hogan to come back to the ball.
Garoppolo incomplete (deflected by racquet)
Garoppolo complete to Gronkowski with Jordan Richards in coverage.
7-on-7 and 4-on-3 RED ZONE WORK
Brady complete to Gronkowski with Chung in coverage
Brady complete to Martin
Garoppolo complete to Nate Washington
Garoppolo complete to DeAndre Carter
Brady complete to Hogan
Brady incomplete to Dobson with Ryan in coverage
Brissett complete to Steven Scheu
Brissett complete to Blount
Brady complete to Gronkowski in the back of the end zone.
Brady incomplete for Washington
Garoppolo complete to James White.
Garoppolo incomplete to Malcolm Mitchell
Brissett complete to Harper
Garoppolo complete to Blount
Garoppolo incomplete to Carter. Hightower broke up the pass.
Garoppolo incomplete to James White. White was out of bounds.
Garoppolo complete to Bennett with Rob Ninkovich in coverage.
Garoppolo complete to Dobson in the back of the end zone.
Garoppolo complete to Hogan over the middle with Freeny in coverage
Brady complete to Harper with Cyrus Jones in coverage
Brady incomplete to Donald Brown. Biggers swatted the ball out of Brown's hands
Brady incomplete to Gronkowski. Pass was broken up by Richards.
Brady complete to Hogan in the back corner of the end zone with Biggers in coverage
Brady complete to Gronkowski on a back-shoulder throw
Brady incomplete to Dobson. Throw was out of reach of Dobson's dive.
Brissett complete to Gaffney
Brissett incomplete to Mitchell. Pass was dropped.
Brissett complete to Lucien
Brissett incomplete to Bryce Williams. Sunseri in coverage.
Brissett incomplete. Bad snap from Ted Karras.
Brissett complete to Harper.
Doc Rivers appeared on The Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski and dismissed the Blake Griffin trade rumors, claiming that “bloggers” who “have nothing to do with the sport” were the cause of the Blake-to-Boston gossip.
“We are hoping that Blake ends his career playing for the Clippers,” Rivers told Woj. “No team is calling because teams know we don’t have any interest. It just tells you the different times. Things have changed. Everyone believes that they’re media now. There are so many good, credible guys, but then there’s some of the guys who are bloggers and have nothing to do with the sport.”
Rivers went on to explain that his youngest son, Spencer, even took the time out to trace the source of this "groundless" rumor.
“Danny [Ainge] and I have talked twice this summer. One was about the British Open, and the other was about another golf tournament. That’s about it,” Rivers explained. “But my son traced [where this rumor started] it to I think a Boston radio talk show and the guy didn’t say that we had been talking, but that Blake would be one of the guys the Celtics should go after. That started the next step, and then the next thing you know, it blew it up.”
Glenn Rivers sounds more like a politician than a doctor. Everyone knows politicians lie.
So Doc says he’s spoken to Danny only twice this summer -- both times about golf and “that’s about it.” But it's good to know they did apparently find the time to lay the groundwork for Paul Pierce to retire with the Celtics, if he does choose to call it a career.
“If Paul does decide to retire, we’re gonna make sure that Boston picks him up for one day and he retires a Celtic because that’s what he should retire as,” Rivers said. “We have all that in place. We just don’t know what he’s gonna do.”
Allowing Pierce to retire as a Celtic would be the right thing to do, for sure. He spent 15 seasons with the Celtics, won a title, and someday No. 34 will be hanging in the rafters. Ainge has also made it clear before that he'd love for Pierce to take on some type of front office role with the team after he retires from his playing career.
But Blake is the guy Celtics fans want now, so it’s understandable Doc would dispel the rumors regarding his four-time All-Star.
It doesn’t mean those conversations didn’t take place because trade talks happen every single day in the NBA. But considering Doc spent the opening minutes of the podcast discussing Blake, it certainly makes it seem like a deal is dead. At least for now.