Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots:
1. Those expecting receiver Wes Welker to return to the practice field in the coming days might be disappointed after listening to Bill Belichick on Sirius NFL radio Saturday. "Nobody works harder than Wes does. Wes's rehabilitation is coming along, and we'll take that day by day. He still has a ways to go," he said. "I'm sure he'll do everything he can to get back out there as soon as possible." (Update -- Welker is coming off the physically unable to perform list and will practice today. He is superhuman.)
2. One of the first things that came to mind after rookie Baltimore Ravens linebacker Sergio Kindle could not report to training camp because of a fractured skull (from an apparent fall down the stairs) was how Kindle’s name was linked to the Patriots by analysts in the pre-draft process. That's a tough blow for any team, to plan all offseason for the impact of a top draft choice, only to have to adjust at the last moment for something that didn't even happen on the field.
3. Belichick shared one of the team’s “target” goals for this year in his Sirius NFL radio interview Saturday. He mentioned how the team outscored opponents 427-285 last season, which was good, but was outscored 93-75 by opponents in the fourth quarter. A better finishing kick is the goal.
4. It’s been enjoyable following Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz on Twitter. He started tweeting as a way to better connect with fans.
5. The Baltimore Ravens were a popular preseason pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but they’ve already had a run of significant injuries. Makes you wonder if they can overcome it.
6. When veterans like David Patten (Patriots) and Sean Morey (Seahawks) retire early in training camp, it’s a reminder of the mental and physical challenges associated with playing football and going through training camp.
7. The Patriots are thin at outside linebacker, but finding a player to come in and compete is difficult at this time. Perhaps the club brings back former practice squad player Bruce Davis.
8. Former Boston College linebacker Mike McLaughlin is attempting to make the Ravens as a rookie free agent fullback. He caught two touchdown passes in a Saturday practice, and Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun wrote that he has “surprisingly soft hands.”
9. Nice pickup by ESPN.com NFC West reporter Mike Sando, who noted that the Patriots are the only team in the NFL not to have one tight end returning from the 2009 season.
10. Veteran tight end Alge Crumpler on some of his initial impressions of life as a Patriot: “There is accountability in our building. There is a lot more that goes on inside those walls than what’s visible to the public eye here. As an older player, that’s all I’ve ever wanted, for everybody to be held accountable and understand that you have to do it every single day.”