Revisiting past minicamp storylines

The Patriots will be on the field today for the first day of their mandatory minicamp. Bill Belichick is scheduled to talk to reporters at 10:45 a.m., before the team goes through practice (11:15-1 p.m.).

The minicamp should feature a lot of full-team type of drills, which come after three weeks of practices that had a lot of individual/segmented work. This is generally the minicamp in which plays are installed and the coaching staff looks at some new things (e.g. players at different positions), with an emphasis on teaching. A successful minicamp will introduce players to things they will be doing when they come back for training camp, as well as some things they will want to work on between now and then.

For many reporters covering NFL teams, the mandatory minicamp is a balancing act between on-the-field goings-on and off-field issues affecting the team.

A look at top storylines at the last five Patriots mandatory minicamps:


On the field: How new tight ends Chris Baker/Alex Smith and receiver Joey Galloway will help the passing game

Off the field: Nose tackle Vince Wilfork shows up for practice after staying away from organized team activities (contract issue)


On the field: How the team is bouncing back from the Super Bowl loss to the Giants, with most of the same players in place

Off the field: Nick Kaczur and Oxycodine


On the field: Impressions of the Tom Brady connection with Randy Moss and Wes Welker

Off-field issue: Cornerback Asante Samuel stays away from minicamp (contract issue)


On the field: Reche Caldwell and Chad Jackson looking to fill the Deion Branch void

Off the field: Deion Branch is not present at minicamp; he requests a trade


On the field: The new inside linebacker tandem of Monty Beisel and Chad Brown

Off the field: Richard Seymour does not show up for minicamp (contract issue)