FOXBORO -- The Patriots will let you know that they're not focused on individual awards or achievements. But the award that offensive lineman Marcus Cannon received on Thursday was one of a different beast.
Cannon was selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2011 Ed Block Courage Award, which is given to the player who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship, while also serving as a source of inspiration.
And the rookie's comeback story was inspiring enough to be given the award.
Cannon was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma following his senior season at Texas Christian University, prior to being selected by the Patriots in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Cannon was promoted to the active roster in mid-November, and has appeared in seven games since.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn't usually speak about individual achievements, but this one was worthy of heavy praise.
"Of course, Marcus has gone through a lot this year," he said on Thursday. "He's certainly had to deal with a lot more than a normal rookie would have to deal with. It's a big transition as it is, just coming into this league. He dealt with a lot, very maturely and unselfishly. He did what he had to do, but at the same time, he was always there for the team, and was always doing what he could to help the team. And he's helped the team in a lot of ways.
"I'm proud that he's on our team, and what he's accomplished. He certainly deserves to be recognized for it."
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.