By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @dannypicard
One player that Belichick seemed extremely pleased with on Thursday night was linebacker Dane Fletcher, who seemed to be everywhere as a starting middle linebacker against the Jaguars.
Fletcher was running the defense and had five tackles in the absence of Jerod Mayo to start the game, something Belichick said Fletcher wouldnt have been able to do in his rookie year last season, thanks to his improved reaction time.
Well I think Danes made a big jump from his first year to his second year, said Belichick. Similar to our other first-year players... they're way ahead of where they were last year. It looks like Danes had a very good offseason. He looks good physically, and hes certainly a lot more confident and is reacting quicker, better than he did definitely at this time last year.
Although he played a lot of games over the course of the season, and by the end of the year, he was still doing a real good job for us.
I think those are things that he really wasnt that comfortable doing last year, added Belichick about Fletcher leading the defense. Somebody else would have been telling him. This year, hes telling other people. With that understanding and that confidence, allows a player to become more aggressive and to react quicker, because theres just less thinking involved, and hes just more sure of what hes doing.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.
Football is coming.
The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.
Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.
The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.
The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.
Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape.
OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.
The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.
Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent.