I can't help it -- I always wind up liking whatever team is on HBO"s "Hard Knocks."



KIRK MINIHANE

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FOXBORO — Roughly seven months since they played their last game, the Patriots will take the field for the first contest of the 2010 preseason Thursday night at Gillette Stadium against



FOXBORO -- On the eve of his induction to the Patriots Hall of Fame, Sam "Bam" Cunningham was again recognized for his work beyond the gridiron on Wednesday. Patriots owner Robert Kraft recalled a dinner at his Brookline home in 2009 when John Hannah paid tribute to Cunningham as a man who opened up football to African-Americans in the Deep South of Alabama.

 

FOXBORO — It was a little advice, from one No. 39 to another.



FOXBORO — According to Patriots coach Bill Belichick, wide receiver Wes Welker remains a game-day decision for the preseason opener against the Saints Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

"We'll see how it goes yesterday and today and make a decision on that," Belichick said during his Wednesday morning press conference prior to the third of three joint practices with the Saints. "I don't know. I'm not saying he will. I'm not saying he won't. We'll evaluate it and see."

FOXBORO -- In between talking about his optimistic feelings for the upcoming season and his thoughts on Sam "Bam" Cunningham heading into the Patriots Hall of Fame this week, Patriots owner Robert Kraft hinted he and star quarterback Tom Brady could be close to a long-term deal. 

 

FOXBORO — Speaking with the media before the third of three joint practices with the Saints, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the chance to get in some work against another team like New Orleans has been " a great learning experience for our football team." Belichick added that he believed his players "responded well" to the experience of working with the Saints.

The Patriots began the first of three practices with the Super Bowl champion Saints on Tuesday, and the event drew some recognizable faces, including Bill Belichick's friend Bon Jovi. Tight end Aaron Hernandez and receiver Randy Moss continued to have impressive camps.

 

FOXBORO — It didn’t take long for Randall Gay to realize he was back in New England.



FOXBORO -- The Patriots and Saints completed their first day of controlled workouts and scrimmages against each other on the practice fields outside Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. The two teams will have a single workout on Wednesday morning before playing each other in the preseason opener for both on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.