FOXBORO — Patriots defensive lineman Tommy Kelly knows EJ Manuel is a quarterback who can run if he’s forced out of the pocket. But he’s not ready to take that next step and say the Bills rookie signal caller is the next Michael Vick.

FOXBORO — Informed of Stevie Johnson‘s quote that he doesn’t feel like the Patriots have anyone who could stop him, Aqib Talib played it cool.

Asked if he had heard about Johnson’s boast, the New England cornerback responded by saying Thursday he hasn’t seen it.

Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard has again had his court appearance moved back, meaning his preparation for the season opener in Buffalo will not be affected.

According to the court clerk in Lincoln, Neb., the Patriots will now appear in court Sept. 16 to answer for an alleged violation of his probation. That means he would appear on the Monday after the home opener against the Jets and would not miss any on-field practice time.

FOXBORO — The Patriots practiced in shorts and shells on the wet upper grass fields outside Gillette Stadium Thursday morning.

The highlight during the media availability was Rob Gronkowski catching a touchdown pass from Tom Brady in first team offensive drills with no defense.

Say this much for EJ Manuel, he has a fair amount of confidence going into his first NFL game and making his first NFL start.

Perhaps that comes from playing in the football crazy state of Florida during his college years and playing at Florida State under Jimbo Fisher, who himself replaced the legendary Bobby Bowden.

Manuel’s job is not nearly as daunting. He is not replacing Jim Kelly but rather Ryan Fitzpatrick.

FOXBORO — One of the more overplayed story lines of training camp was how Tom Brady was going to adjust to his new corps of rookie receivers and Danny Amendola – and vice versa.

Well, on Wednesday, Brady, in a light-hearted moment, admitted it’s taken some getting used to but he thinks he finally has a good analogy to use when trying to communicate with them – his three-year-old son Benjamin Brady.

FOXBORO — Rob Gronkowski (forearm) was officially listed as limited in practice in the first practice participation report of the season released Wednesday afternoon by the Patriots. Gronkowski took part in all drills before practice began during the media portion of availability. Wednesday marked the second time he practiced this week in pads. Danny Amendola was listed with a groin injury, the first official acknowledgment by the team of his injury.

It’s the start of a new season, and the new year brings fresh challenges for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. In Sunday’s regular-season opener against the Bills in Buffalo, Belichick will be facing someone in Doug Marrone who has zero experience as a head coach in the NFL.

FOXBORO — The question on everyone’s mind staking out the locker of Rob Gronkowski was fairly obviously. Is the perennial Pro Bowl tight end ready to play Sunday in the season opener if Bill Belichick activates him?

“Do I expect to play on Sunday? I’m preparing every single day to the max of my ability and preparing every day to best I can. When my number is called, that’s when I’ll play. I can’t tell you when that’ll be,” Gronkowski said.

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been identified on video as being at a Boston nightclub at the same time as two men who were later killed in a drive-by shooting in 2012.

The report credits multiple law enforcement sources as saying Hernandez is visible on a nightclub surveillance footage.