Belichick on Brady, Mankins & more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick answered questions from reporters before Sunday’s walk-through practice.

Here are some of the newsy nuggets:

No major worry on Brady’s fingers. The quarterback was spotted by the Boston Herald with two fingers on his throwing hand taped. Belichick was asked in his news conference whether this was reason for concern. “I don’t think it’s life-threatening,” he said, smiling. Asked whether it was game-threatening, Belichick playfully dodged the question, saying he can’t wait for the team’s first injury report Sept. 8. (“It’s the highlight of my week.”) After his news conference, a more serious Belichick said Brady is fine and there is no major worry in that regard.

Logan Mankins update. Belichick helped clear up a housekeeping-type issue with regard to offensive lineman Logan Mankins. Sunday is reportedly the deadline for teams to send a holdout player a letter informing him of their right to place him on the roster-exempt list, and Mankins’ agent, Frank Bauer, told The Boston Globe over the weekend: “We haven’t got it yet, but it’ll come. ... I would expect them to do everything nasty they can.” Yet because Mankins is not under contract, the Patriots have no cause to send the letter, and this reported deadline is apparently not a factor when it comes to the team’s dealings with Mankins, according to Belichick.

Different Terrence Wheatley. Belichick was asked to assess where third-year cornerback Terrence Wheatley is at this point, and he said he looks different. “I think he’s playing with good confidence and he’s made plays consistently on the practice field,” Belichick responded. “The play he made on the goal-line against New Orleans was a real good play. He actually had a play that was not the same, but there were some similarities to it last year, and he didn’t react nearly as quickly on. ... I definitely think he is way ahead of where he was last year at this time.”

Praising Randy Moss. Belichick agreed with a questioner who asked whether Randy Moss is having as strong a start to the preseason as it appears.

No Ron Brace update. With Ty Warren out for the season, the status of second-year player Ron Brace takes on added importance. Belichick was asked whether Brace might come off the reserve list and practice Sunday. Belichick danced around the question, saying that Brace remains “day to day.”

Praising Alge Crumpler. Belichick was asked what his impressions of the veteran tight end have been since the team signed him. “Very professional,” Belichick said, before elaborating on how he feels Crumpler’s presence has helped the team.