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Sports

July 31, 2009

Brady's knee? Fast as lightning

Summing up a strange opener to Patriots training camp 2009

On Pro Football

Hector Longo

Did we learn anything on opening day of Patriots training camp 2009?

From my vantage point, cowering from the weather under the concourse at Gillette Stadium, sure — even with the thunder boomers that halted the morning practice abruptly about an hour in.

First and foremost, Tom Brady's knee has recovered perfectly.

When a menacing lightning rod crackled into the tree line about 400 yards from the team workout, Brady jumped/skipped left like he was ducking Joey Porter. And as soon as Bill Belichick gave the nod to hit the showers, the newly-married QB sprinted 70 yards for cover like a Super Bowl-winning scramble.

I proclaim Tom Brady ready for action.

Belichick doubles up

Speaking of Belichick, the man may not have invented the word "innovate," but I'll bet he's improved on it.

The media is playing checkers down here at Patriot Place, wondering what the coach is up to by breaking trends of the last few seasons and scheduling seven straight double-session days.

"We feel like what's best for the football team is what we need to do," explained Belichick, divulging an incredible state secret.

Seriously, the coach isn't just throwing things out there and hoping they stick.

The increased practice time, all those doubles, are because he's brought in more than a handful of rookies and younger athletes like Darius Butler, Patrick Chung and others who need the work.

Don't expect to see Brady, Randy Moss or any veteran worth his weight twice a day everyday.

Expect to see the outside linebacker battle take center stage as the coach auditions at least four or five different athletes like Pierre Woods, Shawn Crable, Tully Banta-Cain, Eric Alexander, et al, in the Mike Vrabel void. The only sensible way is to give each of these guys a shot running with and against the big boys, not the 14th best offensive tackle in camp.

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