FOXBORO -- Newly-minted Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien said Saturday that star wide receiver Chad Ochocinco is progressing well in his effort to learn the Patriots offensive plays and system in time for the start of the season. 

Defensive end Mark Anderson, who played four-plus seasons with the Bears before playing 11 games for the Texans last season, was signed as a free agent by the Patriots, the team announced Friday.

Anderson, 6-foot-4, 255 pounds, has 154 tackles, 25.5 sacks, seven passes defended, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 77 career games (20 starts). Last season, in four games with the Bears and 11 with the Texans, he totaled 29 tackles (24 solo), four sacks and two passes defended.

According to a tweet from ESPN's John Clayton, former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder was given a physical by the Patriots Thursday. Crowder was released by the Dolphins last week.

Wrote Clayton: It is too early to tell if they will make him an offer.

FOXBORO — Like a protagonist in a Clint Eastwood Western, Logan Mankins has never been much for small talk. Case in point: When he was asked Thursday why he signed his one-year, $10.1 million franchise tender so quickly, Mankins responded with a small smirk.

New Patriots defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth is one of those players you could describe by saying (spins the cliché wheel): “His troubles are well documented.” At least I can say it because I spend a good chunk of time last year documenting them. Well, I hope.

FOXBORO – Contrary to popular belief, Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins said he has never had a problem with owner Robert Kraft.

FOXBORO -- In an effort to continue to look for more ways to bolster their defensive line, the Patriots had veteran defensive end Shaun Ellis in Foxboro for a workout,'s Christopher Price has confirmed.  

Patriots coach Bill Belichick is very familiar with Ellis, as the 34-year-old was selected by the Jets in the first round (12th overall) of the 2000 draft out of the University of Tennessee. 

FOXBORO -- Before practice Thursday afternoon outside Gillette Stadium, Patriots coach Bill Belichick confirmed the signing of first-round pick Nate Solder. Solder, a left tackle out of Colorado, was taken with the 17th pick overall in April's draft and was one of three remaining unsigned first-round picks in the NFL before Thursday. 

With Solder agreeing to terms of a deal reportedly four years in length, the Patriots have signed all nine draft picks, and all are in camp. 

According to Aaron Wilson on, the Patriots have signed 17th overall pick Nate Solder. The offensive tackle was the last of the team's draft choices to ink a rookie deal, and it would seem that by signing he will be able to practice with the team on Thursday. 

Solder stands at a 6-foot-9 and 307 pounds, but the former tight end is considered raw and might not see significant time as a rookie given that starting tackles Matt Light and Sebastian Vollmer are both back. 

FOXBORO -- Speaking prior to a special practice for invited guest and select fans inside Gillette Stadium Wednesday night, veteran Patriots left tackle Matt Light said Wednesday that he can't wait to get back on the practice field and make another run at a Super Bowl with Tom Brady.