|Two more days of double sessions down here at Gillette||08.17.09 at 9:24 am ET|
FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots have another day of double sessions at Gillette Stadium, with the first practice set to start at 9:30 a.m. and the second scheduled to kick off at 3:45 p.m., with Coach Belichick addressing the media at 11:45 a.m. If you are coming to camp today, dress accordingly–it’s a hot one. We should have our first blog post of the day up around noon–make sure to check back then.
|Chung happy with his debut||08.17.09 at 12:17 am ET|
FOXBOROUGH — For a professional debut, it was pretty good.
Wearing No. 25, rookie safety Pat Chung saw his first NFL action in the Patriots’ preseason opener against the Eagles Thursday in Philadelphia. He came away with five tackles, a pass defensed and a blocked field goal. Operating mostly with the second defense, he was able to get some serious playing time, going deep into the second half.
In addition, he showed a big play ability with some impressive hits on Philly’s Danny Amendola and Eugene Bright, and nearly had a sack on Philadelphia backup quarterback A.J. Feeley late in the fourth.
His overall assessment?
“I did all right,” shrugged the second-round pick out of Oregon, New England’s first overall selection in the 2009 draft. “There’s so much stuff that goes on during the game. There’s a couple of things I did right, there’s a couple of things I did wrong. I just have to improve off that.”
The 5-foot-11, 212-pound safety was one of 11 New England rookies who got their first taste of NFL action — albeit the preseason variety — against the Eagles. Many of them did well, including seventh-round pick Julian Edelman (75-yard punt return for a touchdown, as well as 136 total yards from scrimmage) and sixth-round pick Myron Pryor (a sack of Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb).
“I think all of our rookies that played, they all showed some good things,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “They all had plays that were positive, and they also had things that showed they have a lot of work to do, and a lot of things they could have and probably should have handled better than they did. So that’s part of the learning experience.
“It’s the first NFL game, even though it wasn’t regular season. It’s still an NFL game for them and that was a good experience. Everybody’s got to have their first one, and get it under their belt so our players did that.”
Chung confessed to being nervous out of the gate, but he recalled Sunday that once he got a couple plays in, the butterflies disappeared. He was still impressed by the overall speed of the game, a big change even for someone who came of age in the big-time world of Pac-10 football.
“Everybody’s fast,” said Chung, who will turn 22 on Wednesday. “Everybody’s fast and everybody’s good, so you just have to have your ‘A’ game the whole time.”
Now, after getting the first one under his belt, Chung is excited to try and build on that for Thursday’s preseason home opener against the Bengals.
“You have to improve from the first game — I would hope so,” he said. “I’m just going to keep working, keep getting the experience from these older guys and just help the team.”
|Audio Wrapup of Sunday’s Practice||08.16.09 at 8:58 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Tedy Bruschi, Matt Light and Chris Baker all spoke to the media after Sunday afternoon’s practice. Today marked the first day Bruschi spoke to reporters and he touched on a varitey of topics. Matt Light talked about the hot weather that caused Logan Mankins and another offensive lineman to go down. Chris Baker discussed the tight end competition and if he thinks Brett Favre will stay retired. Click on the audio below to listen to these player’s comments from today.
|Bill Belichick Q&A, 8/16||08.16.09 at 8:30 pm ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media today at Gillette Stadium:
Read the rest of this entry »
|Tedy Bruschi Q&A, 8/16||08.16.09 at 7:28 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Here’s a sizable portion of the Q&A that took place between the media and linebacker Tedy Bruschi after this afternoon’s practice at Gillette Stadium:
We haven’t seen you out there in a while…
I’m back. It was … just had to take care of a few things. You get a little bit older and you have to mend some aches and some pains. That’s just why it took a little while longer for me to get out here, but I’m feeling better now and hopefully, I can get back to work.
What do you like fro what you’ve seen out here?
Before predicting anything or looking into my crystal ball for anything like that, I guess the one thing I can clearly say is enthusiasm. I think you get that with a lot of younger players. They have a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, and that’s evident at times. Not so much today when it’s warm and everyone’s a little tired – you’ve got guys passing out because of the heat out there. But in meetings rooms, in locker rooms, on the practice field, things like that, there’s a lot of enthusiasm. I think that’s all I can give you right now. It’s just too early.
On this year’s rookies and their raw ability
I was with them all in the offseason program and minicamps and things like that … and you want to talk raw athletic ability? When you come out of college and you’re 21, 22, 23 years old, yeah, you’re going to be explosive, you’re going to be fast and you’re going to want to contribute. The ability is evident in a lot of guys, but it’s up to them to define their roles within the team, and that’s what training camp is for, and we’ll see in the next three weeks.
Feel like you have to catch up?
Absolutely. There’s only one thing that … if I can quote my coach: ‘Practice execution equals reality.’ So you don’t really get that look, you don’t really get that rep until you’re out here on the practice field. Do you feel a little bit behind because you haven’t been out here for so long? Yeah. But you get in the meeting room and watch the film and hopefully you don’t become an error repeater. So that’s something I haven’t been in awhile, so hopefully, I can fix the problems that I had today.
On the 4-3…
Well, what I know is that everyone around the league always looks at us as unpredictable. I mean you never really know what we’re going to bring to the table, so … 4-3, 3-4, 5-2 … whatever it is, whatever numbers you want to put out there, is it possible for us to do it? I think it is because of the guys that are multitalented along our fronts. So any type of front that we play, week to week, it’s something for our opponents to guess.
On possible changes to his role in the 4-3…
Well, we’re not sure. We’re in training camp right now and roles are being defined and I know we have a lot of good inside linebackers. I think Gary Guyton is a good player. Jerod Mayo, of course, you guys have seen what he can do. So however it is – even myself, in my 14th year, every training camp I have to look at is I have to come in and establish a role for myself on this team, and this year is no different.
On how much game time he needs to get ready for the season…
That’s something you never think of. You go into the second preseason game and say, ‘I should have this many snaps to be ready to go in Week 1.’ Absolutely not. You don’t think that way. You just have to have yourself ready to play the whole game, like Bill says, and if you do that, even if you don’t get as many reps as you want, at least you were ready to get those reps.
On some of the challenges Jerod may face going from Year One to Year Two…
You talk to Jerod, he’ll want more on his shoulders. He’s that type of player. He wants to be good. He wants to be really good. His work ethic, in any aspect of his game. You can really see that he desires to be a good player, and that comes with being a second-year player, a third-year player. He’s going to have a lot more on his shoulders than last year. It’s different. You look at him as a rookie last year, but now, you look at him as an established leader of this team and leader of this defense. That’s something I’m sure he’ll do fine with.
On challenges he faces…
I look at today. I look at today, and the challenge I faced today was to come back after a long layoff and sort of feeling like it was my first day again. That’s the number one challenge in terms of getting back to playing football the way I want to play it, and also with myself and all the other linebackers in our room, it’s about establishing yourself as a member of this team that has a role on this team.
|Notes from Sunday PM practice||08.16.09 at 6:16 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Just a few notes here from Foxborough as the Sunday evening camp sessions just wrapped up (have to get home in time for Mad Men…):
•It was a hot one. Really hot. And humid. A tough day for football. Two offensive linemen went down during practice — veteran Logan Mankins down on all fours at the end of a penalty lap that the offense had to run, and had to be removed with the trainers’ cart. And at the very end of practice, it appeared that rookie Rich Ohrnberger was carted off as well.
•By our count, the following players were not on the field for the session: punter Chris Hanson, wide receiver Shun White, wide receiver Brandon Tate, cornerback Shawn Springs, running back Sammy Morris, cornerback Mike Richardson, linebacker Paris Lenon, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, offensive lineman George Bussey, wide receiver Wes Welker, tight end Benjamin Watson, tight end Tyson DeVree and defensive lineman Mike Wright.
•After practice, a handful of players spoke and drew big crowds, including Pat Chung, Fred Taylor, Tedy Bruschi and Ron Brace. We’ll have something on Chung and Bruschi along a little later this evening.
•In a series of early passing drills, Tom Brady and Randy Moss hooked up for some sweet connections early on, with Moss taking it to Terrence Wheatley on one reception and hauling in a grab over Jonathan Wilhite (who was wearing a red non-contact jersey) later on. In the same drills, Kevin O’Connell had a nice hook-up with Terrence Nunn over Wheatley.
•In our continuing quest to try and figure out the backup quarterback situation, read into this what you will — on Sunday, when the quarterbacks would go off and do a quarterback-specific drill, more often than not it would be Brady and O’Connell, while Andrew Walter and Brian Hoyer would be working together on another part of the field. A bit of a change from last week, where Brady and Walter were working spent most of their time working together while O’Connell and Hoyer would be together.
•After some early work on kickoffs, Wilhite had a nice breakup on a Brady pass for Julian Edelman in 7-on-7 drills. (Edelman bounced back with a nice catch immediately after that.)
•One of the highlights of the day came when James Sanders and Darius Butler combined for a nice pass breakup on a deep ball down the middle of the field that Brady threw for Galloway. Later in the day, Butler had another nice breakup of his own when he busted up a Brady pass for Greg Lewis down the sidelines.
•Brandon Meriweather had a really nice pick on Brady on a pass over the middle that was intended for Edelman.
•Sam Aiken hasn’t gotten all that many opportunities in the offense, but when they’ve thrown the ball in his direction, more often than not, he’s made the catch. He did it again Sunday, laying out for a grab on a pass from Brady. Don’t be shocked if Aiken becomes a semi-regular part of the New England offense. He could surprise.
•Adalius Thomas had a nice play in coverage when he batted down an O’Connell pass for Lewis. Later on, O’Connell had a possible connection with Joey Galloway (who saw a lot of action on Sunday) broken up by Leigh Bodden, who had another good day in coverage.
•Late in practice, the offense was forced to run a lap for an unknown infraction — a group that included offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia. With about ¾ of the lap completed, Mankins stopped, but his hands on his knees, and then gradually continued to the ground. He was on all fours for a second or two, and then rolled over on his back while be attended to by a trainer and a member of the Pats’ support staff. It clearly wasn’t a strain or a cramp — the trainers were not working on him, but he was chugging down the fluids. He got up with some assistance and then was helped onto the cart and driven away. Again, it did not appear to be serious, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
•Ohrnberger and Sebastian Vollmer were later forced to run a lap for a false start, one they both barely finished because of the conditions. Later, at the very end of practice, the media was moved down toward the interview area and away from the field, but we saw one player helped to his feet and taken away on the trainers’ cart. It was later determined that player was Ohrnberger.
|Sunday afternoon at Gillette||08.16.09 at 3:11 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — We’re back at Gillette for a single Sunday afternoon practice session. Here’s the schedule for the afternoon:
3:15 p.m. — 3:30 p.m.: Coach Belichick Press Conference
3:45 p.m. — 5:30 p.m.: Afternoon Practice
5:30 p.m. — 6:15 p.m.: Player Access on the field
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