FOXBORO — For all the talk about the Patriots’ renewed commitment to an aggressive pass rush this season, arguably their best and most consistent pass rusher over the last two seasons hasn’t seen action in New England’s first two preseason games.



FOXBORO -- In a sign that he might be able to make his Patriots debut Saturday night in Detroit, Albert Haynesworth practiced for the for the third straight day as the team worked out in shorts and shells outside Gillette Stadium on Thursday. 

But while Haynesworth, Matt Light and Shaun Ellis are all candidates to make their preseason debut Saturday, the same 14 players who missed practice on Wednesday were again absent Thursday. 

FOXBORO -- The hostility between the Jets and the Patriots softened a bit on Thursday when Bill Belichick sounded a gracious tone when responding to Rex Ryan's gushing compliment of the Patriots coach on Wednesday. 

Ryan told the NFL Network's Michael Irvin that "Bill Belichick is the best coach in this game; I don't even think it's close."  

Belichick responded on Thursday.

FOXBORO — Everyone wants stability. Everyone is striving for permanence.



In an interview set to run Wednesday night on the NFL Network, Jets coach Rex Ryan talked about Patriots coach Bill Belichick and called him the "best coach in the game."

"I can put my resume out there, stats, with anybody's who's ever coached in this league. That's a fact. Defensively, that's a fact. But I don't need any credit. I just want to win. I want what Bill Belichick's got," Ryan said.

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.