FOXBORO -- Make no mistake, the Patriots are fully-focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But Bill Belichick is a loyal friend, which would explain the white Tony La Russa St. Louis Cardinals jersey he sported in the Patriots' locker room prior to Friday's practice at Gillette Stadium.
Belichick and La Russa are good friends, and the Pats' coach was clearly pulling for the Cardinals manager after Thursday night's wild Game 6 of the World Series, in which St. Louis came from behind several times and finished it off with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning.
"I'm happy for Tony," said Belichick in his morning press conference. "I wish him well tonight. That team's showing a lot of resiliency, physical toughness, mental toughness, from being way behind in September, and in the World Series and in various games. They lost a couple games I'm sure they feel like they should have won. But they've been able to bounce back from those. And now it's a one-game season."
Belichick said he spends at least one day with La Russa in spring training every year, and sees plenty of benefits with having a great relationship with coaches of other sports.
"It's good to talk to people, sometimes, in other sports," said Belichick. "Coaching's coaching. Dealing with players, dealing with coaches, dealing with other situations. There's certainly a lot of common ground there. I'm fortunate to have a great relationship with a person like Tony."
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.