BOSTON Teams

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Bill Belichick doesn't seem to think the NFL's new helmet rule, and the frequency in which the penalties are being called in the preseason, is a major issue. In his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI, he said the team watched 25 plays specific to the new rule on Sunday night. "I think we understand it, I think I understand it. I think all of us could see those plays and why they were called, and the ones that weren't called, why they weren't called," he said on the "OMF" program. "The officials have a tough job to make that judgment, but I think the rule is fairly clear cut: If you lead with your head, and make contact with the opponent, then that's a foul." Belichick added that because the Patriots don't teach that technique, the new rule isn't a change to the coaching staff.

Ale's 'You Know It, You Love It' MLS Awards (3:17)

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

The spirit of New England football was on display Monday, as nine members of the Colby College football staff were guests of the Patriots at practice. Bill Belichick often opens up his practices to college coaches, mostly in training camp. Colby College is a Division III program located in Waterville, Maine and competes in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. The team's head coach is Jack Cosgrove, the longtime head coach at the University of Maine who is in his first year at Colby.

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Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Kenny Britt follows Cordarrelle Patterson in an individual drill at practice, as Britt seems to be increasing his workload as he attempts to return from a hamstring injury from June.

D.C. United 2-0 New England: Playoff bound? (4:06)
AL maintaining control of MLB Power Rankings (1:10)

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Behind the scenes stuff: Sunday marked the first day that reporters had 45 minutes of locker-room access after practice, as things have officially shifted from training camp mode when interviews would take place on the field. That created an opportunity to catch up with Tom Brady briefly. The theme from the chat: Relentless positivity from him. He's locked in football-wise, yet also highlighted the other things in his life – family, health etc. – that are important to complete fulfillment. He was, in my view, as upbeat as ever.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

WR Kenny Britt, who has yet to participate in team drills at training camp, drew a large media crowd in the locker room Sunday after practice. "I expected to be out there, but my hamstring told me something different," Britt said of the injury which first occurred in June's mandatory minicamp. If Britt doesn't start practicing soon, he could be in jeopardy of earning a roster spot.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Patriots WR Eric Decker was one of the first players on the field for Sunday's walkthrough practice. Decker said last week that he needs to do a better job with securing the football, as he has had too many drops.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Rookie RB Sony Michel (knee) was not spotted at today's walkthrough practice, which reflects how he is not yet on the cusp of returning to on-field work. Rex Burkhead, however, was in attendance after having missed almost two weeks.

Betts makes diving catch (0:36)

Seth Walder ESPN Analytics 

The Eagles are the best team in the NFL, per ESPN's Football Power Index. Changes to the vig on Philadelphia's season win total earlier this offseason bumped the defending champs over New England. However, the Patriots (17%) and Steelers (13%) remain more likely to win the Super Bowl than the Eagles (13%) because there are fewer contenders in the AFC. Note: these numbers were run before AJ McCarron's injury, which will affect the Bills' rating.

Martinez retakes MLB lead with 38th homer (0:22)