The Complete Patriots Training Camp Guide

Mike Dussault@PatsPropagandaSenior Analyst IJuly 20, 2013

The Complete Patriots Training Camp Guide

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    The Patriots enter 2013 training camp with some of the most intriguing storylines of Tom Brady's and Bill Belichick's careers.

    Can Brady keep the offense moving at an elite pace without Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez and the rest of the receivers the Pats saw depart this offseason? Will Rob Gronkowski make a miraculous recovery from four offseason surgeries?

    And can the defense finally take the final step and return to their ways of winning games and not just not-losing them?

    It should be one of the most fascinating training camps and preseasons since 2007, and one that sets up the final act of Brady's and Belichick's legacies with the Patriots.

    In the following slides, you'll find our full training camp preview featuring in-depth looks at all 90 players on the roster, including the rookies, the questions facing the Pats and the positional battles, and an early projection of the 53 Pats who will be left standing in early September.

    Patriots football is back, and here's everything you need to know.

Training Camp, Preseason Schedule

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    Training Camp Schedule:

    Thursday, July 25

    Players report to training camp — closed to the public 

    Friday, July 26
    9 a.m. — Practice (open to public) 

    Saturday, July 27
    9 a.m. — Practice (open to public) 

    Sunday, July 28
    Schedule to be determined (open to public) 

    Monday, July 29
    5 p.m. —  2013 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for Tedy Bruschi and Gil Santos at the NRG Plaza outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon (open to the public)

    7 p.m. — In-stadium ticketed practice for Patriots season ticket holders and Foxborough residents 

    Other Important Dates
    Aug. 6-7  Patriots joint practices with Philadelphia at the Eagles NovaCare Complex (not open to the public) 

    Aug. 13 - 14 — Patriots will host Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two days of joint practices (open to the public)

    Preseason Games:

    August 9th 7:30 p.m. EST:  at Eagles
    August 16th 8 p.m. EST: vs. Buccaneers
    August 22nd 7:30 p.m. EST:  at Lions
    August 29th 7:30 p.m. EST: vs. Giants

Roster Breakdown

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    As camp opens, the Patriots roster is bloated at 90-players strong, but as competition and injuries start to play out, things should start to become a lot more clear.

    The Pats roster is a mix of future Hall of Famers, promising players entering their primes and right on down to undrafted rookies just praying to find a spot.

    For a closer look at all 90 of the Pats players headed into camp, click here.

Burning Questions

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    It's been a long time since the Patriots have experienced so much turnover on offense in an offseason.

    In 2006, both starting receivers Deion Branch and David Givens departed, and the following season the Pats brought the most talented wide receiver free-agent class perhaps in NFL history.

    Now, with the departures of Branch, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd, Aaron Hernandez and Danny Woodhead, the Pats offense will have a new flavor in 2013.

    For a closer look at that burning question, along with nine other big ones facing the Pats this preseason, click here.

Biggest Camp Battles

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    One thing the Patriots always preach is competition. Even at roster spots that are generally stacked, Bill Belichick won't hesitate to bring in a player he thinks can compete and perhaps help the team win.

    The wide-open competition at wide receiver is an obvious place to start, but other battles for a starting safety spot, third defensive end and coverage linebacker are all in there for the taking.

    For a closer look at the biggest camp battles, click here.

Rookie/UDFA Watch

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    The Patriots brought in a number of talented rookies this spring, both via the draft and rookie free agency. All will be given a fair shot to make the team, and as usual, it's likely that quite a few of them will carve out roles for themselves.

    Click here for a closer look at the rookies who will be competing for a roster spot this summer.

Bubble Watch

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    In a perfect world, Bill Belichick would likely want every player to believe they're firmly on the roster bubble. That would provide the kind of motivation that brings out the best in players.

    However, that's just not realistic. But there are a number of players who are at a career crossroads as camp opens. Whether they're high-round draft picks who just haven't lived up to their draft status or unproven veterans looking to thrive in a football-first environment like the one in Foxborough, it will be a make-or-break camp for many.

    Here's a look at eight players firmly on the roster bubble as camp opens.

Projected Final 53-Man Roster

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    It's nearly impossible to accurately project who will make it through the gauntlet of training camp and preseason.

    And really, that's what makes the preseason so much fun—especially for a team like the Pats, who always seem to have undrafted rookies making the team out of nowhere and proven veterans getting unceremoniously cut.

    It's always exciting to watch unfold—except the injuries, which always seem to derail the best-laid plans.

    For our Pre-Training Camp projection of the Pats' 53-man roster, click here.