The New England Patriots opened their training camp at Gillette Stadium Thursday and hundreds of loyal fans showed up to watch the players practice.

Jake Pereira of Norton was among those fans, and it was a special occasion for him.

"I always love the Patriots," he said. "It's fun to go see them on my birthday, and hopefully they can perform well."

Players say training camp feels like the first day of school. And this year, there are a lot of new faces. Paige Crites of Middleboro has her eye on one.

"I'm familiar with Braxton Berrios, he's a wide receiver from the Miami Dolphins," she said. "I'm waiting to see how he's going to contribute to the patriots."

During an on-field interview before practice, Coach Bill Belichick gave reporters his rundown of team goals: "It’s a big day. We have a lot of opportunities today to get better. Hopefully, we can maximize all of them or as many as possible. That’s our goal every day," he said.

Chayanne Baito of Providence says he's been prepping and studying up on the new players. "I like a few of the rookies we drafted, such as Patterson, I like him. Hopefully he's big in the wide-receiver spot," he said. "I'm looking to see how a few of them play."

Training camp runs through Sunday and is free and open to the public.