|A few quick notes on Monday PM practice||08.10.09 at 5:34 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Hey all … a few quick notes on the Monday afternoon practice, which is just wrapping up down here at Gillette Stadium.
•Hot again. Really hot. Probably the hottest day of camp so far. Temps again in the 90s.
•The players were in pads again — the 15th time in the 20 practices they’ve been in pads this camp. My math could be off, but I believe it’s also the ninth day of double sessions.
•By our count, the following players were not in attendance: wide receiver Brandon Tate, cornerback Shawn Springs, linebacker Paris Lenon, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, offensive lineman Dan Connolly, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, offensive lineman George Bussey, nose tackle Vince Wilfork, wide receiver Randy Moss, wide receiver Wes Welker, tight end Benjamin Watson, defensive lineman Richard Seymour, defensive lineman Ty Warren, defensive lineman Mike Wright.
•In a drill involving running backs and tight ends running passing routes while being guarded by linebackers in pass coverage, tight end Chris Baker did a fine job getting separation from linebacker Adalius Thomas, while running back Fred Taylor simply outran linebacker Vinny Ciurciu on his turn. Alex Smith also did a nice job getting free on one pass play.
•Later in practice, quarterback Tom Brady spent extensive time working with wide receivers Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis on red zone passing, and could be heard coaching both receivers through the drill. At the end, Brady was clearly excited about the result, seeking them both out for congratulations. (The quarterback pretty much kept up a constant, good-natured stream of chatter all afternoon, barking at the defense on several occasions.)
•In 7-on-7 drills, tight end Tyson DeVree made a nice catch on a pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer.
|Bill Belichick Q&A, 8/10||08.10.09 at 5:16 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 »
|Report: Pats interested in Holliday||08.10.09 at 3:22 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — According to this report at Foxsports.com, the Patriots are hosting free agent defensive lineman Vonnie Holliday for a visit Monday. A first-round pick of Green Bay in 1998, Holliday is an 11-year veteran who has started 141 games in his pro career for the Packers, Dolphins and Chiefs.
The 33-year-old out of the University of North Carolina, Holliday was released by Miami in March after leading all Dolphins’ linemen in 2009 in tackles (46) and sacks (3 1/2). Overall, the 6-foot-5, 285-pounder has 55 sacks in his career.
Last week, it was confirmed by WEEI.com that veteran defensive lineman Kevin Carter visited Gillette Stadium for a visit, and a league source indicates that he could still be in the mix for a job with New England.
|Updates from Day 12 of Training Camp||08.10.09 at 12:20 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Monday morning practice session just wrapped up down here at Gillette. Here are a few quick notes worth passing along:
•A hot day, probably the hottest of training camp. Temps in the 90s. Practice was held in full pads, the 14th of 19 practices to be held in pads this summer.
•After practice, several players spoke, including cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, safety Pat Chung, tight end Benjamin Watson, running back Fred Taylor and wide receiver Greg Lewis — who could be one of the funnier guys to play for the Patriots.
•By our account, the following players were not present: wide receiver Joey Galloway, wide receiver Brandon Tate, cornerback Shawn Springs, linebacker Paris Lenon, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, offensive lineman Stephen Neal, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, offensive lineman George Bussey, defensive lineman Jarvis Green, linebacker Shawn Crable and defensive lineman Mike Wright.
•Quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Wes Welker had a couple of nice connections. First, in a drill geared toward timing for the receivers, Welker made a sweet fingertip grab close to the ground, and then went tumbling. Later, in 7-on-7 drills, he hauled in another nice reception along the sidelines. (Later in that same 7-on-7 drill, Andrew Walter found Greg Lewis on an impressive deep ball down the middle.)
•The battle for the No. 2 quarterback spot rages on, but I have to believe based on what we’ve seen so far, Walter has usurped Kevin O’Connell for the role of primary backup. Walter looked smooth in drills (Coach Bill Belichick just remarked Walter “looks more comfortable in the huddle each day”), and O’Connell looked to have another tough morning. He overshot a wide open Tyson DeVree in 7-on-7 drills, and later had two bad throws that were easily picked off — one by safety Brandon Meriweather and another by cornerback Leigh Bodden. (In the interest of equal time, O’Connell did have a nice connection to wide receiver Shun White down the sidelines later in practice.)
•In all, it was a pretty good day for the secondary — defensive back Jamar Love knocked away a Brady pass for Randy Moss along the sidelines.
•Another guy who continues to impress is wide receiver Terrence Nunn. He went up and hauled down a pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer, splitting the defenders (Chung and Darius Butler). Later in practice, he had another impressive catch in traffic. He could be playing his way on to this team.
•Hoyer and veteran running back Kevin Faulk mishandled a handoff, and were forced to run a lap. In addition, offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer was also forced to run a lap during practice for an unknown infraction.
|Back to Gillette||08.10.09 at 9:24 am ET|
FOXBOROUGH — Time for another day of double sessions down here at Gillette Stadium — the Patriots have practices scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. Coach Belichick is also set to address the media at 11:45 a.m. (Look for our first blog post around noon.)
|Bill Belichick Q&A, 8/9||08.10.09 at 12:01 am ET|
Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of Bill Belichick’s Q&A with the media Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium:
Read the rest of this entry »
|Notes from Day 11 at Training Camp||08.09.09 at 6:12 pm ET|
FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots just wrapped up their Sunday afternoon session here at Gillette Stadium, and here are a few notes worth passing along:
•It was a mainly overcast afternoon session, with the rain holding off. It was slightly on the cool side, and good weather for football. The team was in pads — the 13th time in 18 overall practices they have been in pads for a practice session.
•By our count, the following guys were not out there: wide receiver Brandon Tate, cornerback Shawn Springs, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, offensive lineman George Bussey, tight end Benjamin Watson, defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith and defensive lineman Mike Wright. (Yep, you read that correctly — linebacker Shawn Crable was in attendance, as well as defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Ty Warren.)
•New outside linebacker Derrick Burgess and fellow OLB Crable, as well as Warren all drew big media crowds as soon as practice was completed. We’ll have something on Burgess and new quarterback Andrew Walter later today.
•The Patriots opened by focusing on various end-of-the-half and end-of-the-game scenarios on both offense and defense.
•Burgess drew limited snaps on the outside, and it appears they are working him into the rotation very gradually. It does sound like he’s going to stick with No. 49.
•Running back Laurence Maroney showed some good burst on a handful of runs in 7-on-7 drills, but struggled at times in the passing game, a series that included a bad drop on a pass from quarterback Brian Hoyer.
•Another guy who struggled at times was kick returner Matthew Slater, who simply dropped his first attempt as a kick returner. (He followed that up with a clean catch and return, which — we believe — drew mock cheers from the fans in attendance.)
•Quarterack Kevin O’Connell got some good reps today, but had some bad overthrows in red zone work. He overthrew Kevin Faulk on one play (which was a clear miscommunication on someones part), but bounced back on the very next play with a laser to wide receiver Joey Galloway. However, later on in practice, he had some overthrows to tight ends Alex Smith and Dave Thomas. (Smith did shine later in practice when he was the recipient of a sweet catch, beating Adalius Thomas in coverage.)
•The play of the session was likely a long-distance strike down the sideline from Tom Brady to Randy Moss. Darius Butler was in coverage and appeared to be running stride for stride with No. 81, but he just got turned around by Moss, who made an excellent catch in stride for a ball that would have easily gone for a touchdown. (Looked an awful lot like the record-breaking pass from Brady to Moss that broke the record in the 2007 regular-season finale against the Giants.)
•Julian Edelman had a nice punt return. His words from a week or so ago — “I’m about a thousand punts away from where I want to be” — have really rung true lately. (Maybe he’s trying to get all thousand in before the start of the preseason schedule.) He was one of the first position guys on the field at the start of practice, taking punts from veteran Chris Hanson.
•At the end of practice, it looked like the offense and defense switched roles, with the defense trying to score on the offense. It appeared — we were blocked in our line of vision — that Jonathan Wilhite led the offense to a pair of scores as the quarterback, leading to big cheers from the crowd on hand. That left the offense running a lap at the end of practice.
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