FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (NEWS CENTER) -- Thursday marked the 13th time the Patriots opened training camp under head coach Bill Belichick. As to be expected from the league's most consistent franchise over the past decade, they looked sharp from the first snap.
Franchise tag signee Wes Welker put in a workman-like performance catching every ball thrown his way, whilst fielding a slew of questions concerning his inability to sign a long-term contract. All-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski showed little signs from his ankle surgery following the Super Bowl XLVI loss to the Giants.
Lots of new faces were present from first-round picks DE/LB Chandler Jones and LB Donta'a Hightower to free agent acquisitions like wide receiver Brandon Lloyd. Another two faces were a bit more familiar with the return of wide out Jabar Gaffney and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
The only notable omissions were a pair of all-pro guards. Logan Mankins is on the physically unable to perform list following offseason ACL surgery. The other was no show was Brian Waters. Head coach Bill Belichick said his situation was day-to-day.