Hightower quickly learning the Patriot Way


Hightower quickly learning the Patriot Way

FOXBORO -- Dont'a Hightower learns quickly. The rookie linebacker is sounding like a Patriot after just two days of training camp.

I definitely feel like I can help out somewhere along the line. Im going to do what I can, whatever they ask me to do. Whether its kicking or holding the snap, Im going to do whatever I can to get on the field.

His standing isn't as tenuous as all that; nobody will be asking the first-round pick to kick the football. Still, it's smart for Hightower to play the role of sponge for now.

He's already found a wellspring of advice and information: Jerod Mayo.

Hightower said he's followed Mayo's career from the University of Tennessee to New England. Seeing the former Volunteer win Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with 128 tackles clearly made an impression.

"I feel like most linebackers have the mentality that they want to come in and make a big impact. Me talking to him and asking him how he did things as a rookie, how he prepared and things like that, is going to help me out the best, said Hightower.

The Patriots must love the effort at emulation.

During camp, Mayo has been moved inside and outside over all three linebacker positions. When Hightower comes in, he does the same.

Is it too much, too soon? Yes, head coach Bill Belichick said he's wary of throwing too much at the new kid and overwhelming him. But, like with Mayo, the potential can't be wasted.

Hes a smart kid and he definitely understands football concepts. It comes pretty quickly to him so thats good," said Belichick. "He might now know exactly what every part of his assignment is, he just spatially knows where hes playing, who is next to him, can figure out kind of how hes supposed to fit things."

Good instincts, good football IQ, and versatility -- an invaluable mix. And add to that the wisdom not to take anything for granted.

I'm learning everywhere: on the field, off the field, in the weight room," said Hightower. "How to study for a different level, how to understand difference terminology. Again, Mayo's done well here. Brandon Spikes has, too. A lot of guys.

"I'm just trying to learn as much from those guys while I'm still young."

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

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 adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen


Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

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.

@tombrady always fighting for that extra yard. 😂😂 #TBAsiaTour #IWILL

A post shared by Under Armour (@underarmour) on

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. 

Arigatōgozaimashita 🇯🇵🙏

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on

Brady vs Brady #therecanonlybeone 🏆

A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on