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Setting the Stage for Patriots Minicamp

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Alfonzo Dennard, shown here in training camp in 2013, is expected to be with the Patriots for minicamp, according to a report. Jim Rogash / Getty Images file

The Patriots will begin their mandatory three-day minicamp on Tuesday, marking the last leg of the offseason before training camp.

The practices, which are closed to the public, will begin at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, ending at 1:15 p.m., while beginning at 11 a.m. on Thursday and ending at 12:45 p.m.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick will address the media on Tuesday at 8 a.m. Tom Brady will speak to the media on Wednesday after practice.

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Here are the rules guiding minicamp, including two-a-day practices, according to the league’s collective bargaining agreement with the player’s union:

- Players may be on the field for a total of no more than three and one-half hours per day;
- Players may participate in one practice for no more than two and one-half hours of on-field activities under Phase Three rules;
- The second practice may only be for the remaining portion of the players’ daily three and one-half hour on-field activities and shall be limited to walk-through instruction only;
- No organized team activities (including treatment and taping) may begin prior to 7 a.m. local time or end after 8:30 p.m. local time, and players shall be given at least one hour for lunch and dinner each;
- Players may only be asked to participate in club activities for a maximum of 10 hours per day including taping and treatment but excluding meal time;
- There will be no contact work (e.g. “live” blocking, tackling, pass rushing, bump-and-run) or use of pads (helmets permitted) at minicamps.

Here’s what we’ll be looking for when minciamp begins:

1. The return of Alfonzo Dennard — He missed all of the team’s OTAs and is expected to return for minicamp, according to report by MassLive.com’s Nick Underhill. How he fits with new Patriots corners Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, as well as returning veterans Kyle Arrington and Logan Ryan, will be an ongoing storyline for the team.

2. Continued observations of rookies — We’re still waiting to get a glimpse of Dominique Easley, the Patriots top draft pick. He’s been recovering from his second ACL tear. But it will also be interesting to see how quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running back James White, offensive linemen Bryan Stork, Cameron Fleming, and Jon Halapio come along. And I think we’re particularly interested in how the team will use defensive back Jemea Thomas and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, who are both on the extremely versatile end of their respective position groups.

3. Will Armond Armstead participate? — Armstead did not fully partake in OTAs and hasn’t been seen fully participating in a Patriots practice since last year’s training camp. He’s basically the Loch Ness Monster of Foxborough.

4. Rob Gronkowski check — Gronkowski’s movements need to be evaluated. He did not take part in full practices during OTAs that were open to the media. It’ll be interesting to see where he is in his recovery.

5. Tom Brady dialogue — Brady will have an opportunity to expand on some of his thoughts from the offseason about his future with the team, his new backup quarterback, and maybe even the development of his second-year wide receivers. We’ll see.

Zuri Berry can be reached at zberry@boston.com. Follow him on Twitter @zuriberry and on Google+.