Buccaneers linebacker Mason Foster was fined $20,000 for a hit on Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco in a preseason game last Thursday, according to a Tampa television station.

FOXBORO -- Rookie running back Shane Vereen returned to Patriots practice on Wednesday for the first time since Aug. 3 as the team continues to get more and more players back from minor injuries. 

New to practice was offensive lineman Mike Berry, a rookie free agent signed Wednesday. Berry, at 6-3, 316 pounds, originally signed with the Patriots on July 27 as a free agent from Auburn and then was released on Aug. 3. Nate Solder, after missing Tuesday, returned on Wednesday, as did safety Josh Barrett and tight end Lee Smith. 

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady said Wednesday he's hardly shocked by the latest predictions coming from Jets camp that this will finally be the year the Jets win the Super Bowl.

"The Jets? Yeah, well, we've heard that for a few years so it's always... you don't ever hear us talking too much about that," Brady said with a smile on Wednesday at the press room podium.

FOXBORO -- Patriots personnel director Nick Caserio said Wednesday that second-year linebacker Brandon Spikes is in Foxboro with the team, attending meetings and working toward a return to the practice field. 

"Brandon is no different than any other player. He's working hard, he's trying to get back out there on the field and when he's ready to practice, he'll be out there," Caserio said of Spikes, who has not practiced since Aug. 5 with a sore ankle. 

FOXBORO — It’s not easy being the new kid on the block, especially when you're a wide receiver trying to learn the Patriots’ offense.



FOXBORO -- One day after pleading out his simple assault case in Washington, D.C., star defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth returned to full Patriots practice in pads on Tuesday outside Gillette Stadium. It marks the first time since Aug. 4 that Haynesworth has been in pads and officially part of practice. He attended but just watched a walk-through on Saturday. 

Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday, and discussed Albert Haynesworth, the Jets-Patriots rivalry and Chad Ochocinco. Lombardi was asked if Ochocinco will turn out to be a good fit in the New England offense.

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.