FOXBOROIf you were a Patriots defensive player during Thursday’s training camp practice, chances are you busted a celebratory dance move or two at some point… There was one particular stretch of the team’s seventh summer practice in which the defense showed that it can get fired up even in the dog days of camp. With the offense pinned up against its own goal line, Tom Brady threw a pass over the middle that was tipped and then intercepted by Darrelle Revis, who ran in from about 10 yards out for a touchdown. The celebration that followed would have made Chad Ochocinco blush. Revis and Devin McCourty partied in the end zone while Sealver Siliga and Chandler Jones got in on the mosh pit. Vince Wilfork chirped at Brady for a second before getting into the mix with his defensive teammates. After practice, Brady explained the difficulty of going up against both Revis and Brandon Browner. “They’re both great players, so when you make a mistake, they make you pay, and I think that’s the mark of a really good corner,” he said…

At the center of the defense, linebacker Jerod Mayo would much rather see over-the-top reactions after good plays — like the ones he saw Thursday — than not. “Obviously, we enjoy working,” Mayo said. “Any time you have a group of guys that love the game of football, it’s always going to be fun. We’re surrounded by guys that love to play the game… ” Mayo knows what it’s like to have a locker room full of guys who aren’t all-in — guys who don’t have fun on the job — and guys who are. “I’ve been around both sets of players, players that don’t enjoy the game and look at it as work,” Mayo said. “And players that we have now that enjoy to come out here and compete. This isn’t a place for people who don’t love the game of football. We put a lot of hours in, and we enjoy being here, especially on our side of the ball.”

Could there be any better news than this right now?  The Red Sox are doing everything short of hiring homeless guys to stand at intersections with signs that say “LIQUIDATION SALE. EVERYTHING MUST GO.”  The Celtics are gearing up for “Tanknado 2: The Next One.”  And the Bruins are… whatever the Bruins are on August 1st.  So now, more than ever, we need to hear something good, and this is it.  I take a backseat to no man when it comes to giving Tom Brady the reach-around.  But hearing that he’s getting his dick kicked into the field turf on a regular basis at camp is welcome news to say the least.  I mean, how long has it been before he’s had to face a defense like this every day?  You’d have to go back like ten years, to the Law/Bruschi/Seymour/Harrison team to find anything remotely like it.  Since then it’s been all these Wheatleys and Wilhites and Brady would go into the season without even breaking a sweat.  Now we’re seeing plays like this video where Revis just flat out hid behind Kenbrell Thompkins and goaded the GOAT into throwing a ball he knew he could pick.  Unbelievable. They say iron sharpens iron, and now that Brady’s facing Valyrian Steel every day it can only make the best quarterback in the game even better (if that’s even possible).

That said, I think the even better news is the stuff Mayo talked about.  The word “swagger” is like poison in my ears.  And one of my personal favorite all time Belichick quotes is the time in 2002 he read where one of his players saying they were getting their swagger back and he said “We didn’t win last year because of ‘swagger.’  We won because we played smart, tough, physical football.  So that that ‘swagger’ talk and stick up your ass, OK?”  But I’ve thought for years they’ve needed something.  Call it that. Call it “an edge.”  Whatever.  The times they’ve been beaten it’s all too often been by mouthy, cocky teams who thumped their chests, celebrated in your face, held you down and teabagged you.  And that’s been missing in New England.  Remember Belichick on “A Football Life” showing film on one of his guys making a play and no one congraluating him and him saying “it’s OK to celebrate.  It’s an emotional game.”  And that was the 2009 team of Adalius Jetson that had the worst attitude of any this century.  So we’re looking at potentially the best defense we’ve ever seen playing with a “go fuck yourself” attitude and having fun while they’re humiliating you?  Summer of 2014: Consider yourself made.  @JerryThornton1

PS. NFL Films needs to hire sw6blues yesterday.  That is some remarkable camera work.