FOXBORO — It’s a different defense this season.

FOXBORO — Even though the calendar says August, the Patriots are starting to move into regular-season mode.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined The Big Show as part of Patriots Monday at Gillette Stadium on Monday. In talking with Glenn Ordway, Michael Holley and Tedy Bruschi, Belichick discussed the status of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. The former Titan and Redskin was not in Foxboro Monday due to a simple assault hearing in Washington D.C. and has missed several consecutive practices due to injury. Belichick said that Haynesworth, who is considered day-to-day, could possibly play in Saturday's preseason game vs. the Lions.

Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork joined The Big Show for Patriots Monday at Gillette Stadium, and declined to expand upon a Yahoo! Sports report that he accepted $50,000 from booster Nevin Shapiro while attending the University of Miami.

"I commented about it, and I'm done with that," Wilfork, who later added he couldn't remember when he first learned the story was going to be reported, said . "That's all I'm going to say about it. I've moved forward from that day. I'm looking forward to Detroit, and that's where I'm at right now."

Patriots defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth pleaded no contest on Monday to simple assault in connection to an alleged incident at W Hotel in the nation's capital. As a result, the 30-year-old former Redskins tackle will serve 160 hours of community service. It was while with the Redskins that Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100 million contract before being traded this summer to New England. 

FOXBORO -- Rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling and wide receiver Taylor Price returned to practice today as the Patriots worked out in full pads. Dowling had been out since Aug. 3 while Price was banged up during the preseason opener against the Jaguars on Aug. 11. Joining Dowling and Price in full pads were Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate and James Sanders. 

FOXBORO -- Speaking publicly for the first time since last week's story implicated him in the Nevin Shapiro scandal, which accused him of accepting $50,000 in a lump sum payment during his junior season at the University of Miami, Vince Wilfork said he has moved on and is focused on football, not the scandal. 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning.

While Brady said he needs to work on his decision-making and the speed with which he makes those decisions, the Patriots nonetheless appear to be off to an impressive start in the preseason, coming off a dominating performance against the Buccaneers Thursday. Brady was asked if Thursday's rout is a sign that Bill Belichick is "through screwing around," as one anonymous NFL executive said.

Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch joined Mut & Merloni on Patriots' Monday and talked about how the team needed to improve heading into the third preseason game this week against the Lions and how Chad Ochocinco is coming along. The veteran also talked about his role as a teacher/mentor with some of the younger players and he's been particularly impressed with second-year corner Devin McCourty. "The sky's the limit for that guy," Branch said. "If he continues to work hard he'll be the player that he wants to be." 

The Patriots offense struck early and often in last week's preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, putting up 21 first-quarter points in a 31-14 victory. After the game, Bucs defensive lineman Gerald McCoy joked about the degree to which his defense was on its heels against the Patriots, struggling to line up in timely fashion for the snap.

That perspective was a satisfying one for Patriots offensive lineman Dan Koppen, who joined the Mut & Merloni Show for Patriots Monday.