Pats begin practice following turbulent off season

By: Melissa Toupin

New England Patriots fans turned out by the hundreds Friday morning to watch their team practice for the first time this season. The distractions of the off season seemingly un phasing to those who braved the rain. It's been a long and turbulent off season for the Pats. The arrests of several players, most notably former tight end Aaron Hernandez, putting a dark cloud over the team. 

“He had talent, had the world in his hands, rock star, lot of money, I just think maybe he's got a  brain about this big, the size of a pea to do that stuff,” said Scott Joseph of Upton, Mass. who was enjoying the practice with this wife and children.

Friday the organization and its fans were looking to turn the page. Hidden under ponchos and umbrellas Patriot fans opted to not give the Hernandez murder investigation another thought.

 “I Think we should just move on,” said John Nunes of Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Head coach Bill Belichick, who earlier this week expressed his disappointment in the arrest of his former player, was back to his usual self. When asked if he was addressing the situation with the team before practice his response was short.

“We talked about a lot of things,” said Belichick.

Young fans watching from the sidelines were very conscious that #87 was missing, but are okay with the decision. The say there are better role models out there for them to follow.

Alfonso Dennard, another Patriot who is in trouble with the law, did practice Friday. Dennard was arrested earlier this month on DUI charges.

(C) WLNE-TV 2013