|08.01.12 at 1:43 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Bobby Carpenter has likely had a serious case of dÃ©jÃ vu for the last week or so.
The son of the former Giants fullback can look around and spot a former Giants defensive coordinator (Bill Belichick), as well as two former New York linebackers (Pepper Johnson — currently a Patriots’ coach — and Carl Banks, who was visiting New England’s practice on Tuesday afternoon).
The chance to be coached by someone like Johnson, who started his career with the Giants the year after his father left New York, is an honor for the former Ohio State product.
‘Pepper is a terrific coach — he knows his stuff and he’s a high intensity guy who relates well to players,’ Carpenter said of Johnson. ‘From playing for 12 or 13 years in the NFL at such a high level, he obviously garners the respect of his players with anything he says. So you’re going to listen to him, he’s been there, he’s been in the fights, he knows what it’s all about and you’ve just got to take advantage of that.’
Carpenter has struggled to find a spot in the NFL. A first-round pick of the Cowboys in 2006, he’s played for three different teams, with his best season coming in 2009 with Dallas where he played in 16 games (starting two) and finished with 46 tackles (37 solo) and two sacks.
But the 29-year-old is looking for a fresh start in New England, and has already taken to the program — he was one of 10 players recently recognized for his performance and improvements in the offseason program. (He gets a sweet parking space right next to the facility as a result.)
The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder brings some positional versatility with him to Foxboro, as he’s played inside linebacker in the 3-4 base defense and outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme over the course of his career, and has also served as a special teamer.
‘I think anytime you can play multiple positions you’re going to help yourself,’ Carpenter said. ‘They put a premium on that here, they try to work guys around, so hopefully that’s something they think I can still do and hopefully I can still do it. You’ll have to ask them.’
To that end, Carpenter has been placed in multiple spots through the first week of camp, and has seen a few snaps at inside linebacker next to Jerod Mayo.
‘Mayo’s a good player,’ Carpenter said. ‘I’ve enjoyed working with him and he’s been extremely beneficial to me, helping me get a grasp on stuff. From afar I’ve always admired his game, but you know he’s a very intelligent player and I’ve picked up a lot of stuff from him. [He’s] a highly competitive guy and I look forward to playing with him.’
|07.31.12 at 11:48 pm ET|
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Scott has played a multitude of positions over the course of his four-year career in the NFL (all four with Oakland) including defensive end and outside linebacker — with his hand down and standing up — which was one of the reasons he was on the Patriots’ radar when he came out of the University of Buffalo in 2008.
‘A lot of times he was on the line, sometimes in a three-point stance, sometimes in a two-point stance — but he also did play off the line in linebacker roles,’ Belichick said of Scott, who signed as a free agent in March. ‘We saw him do a lot of different things, in addition to the kicking game. He has some versatility, he’s young and he’s worked hard.
‘He had a real good offseason for us in terms of our offseason program; he was one of our award winners there. He’s getting acclimated, but again, [there’s] a long way to go. There are certainly a lot of things that we do that either he needs to work on or that he hasn’t done at Oakland or whatever it is. But he’s a hard working kid and he’s making progress.’
For his part, the 27-year-old Scott wasn’t surprised that he was on Belichick’s radar.
‘He knows everybody’s history,’ Scott shrugged after Tuesday’s practice. ‘He’s Bill Belichick.’
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|07.31.12 at 5:40 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes saw his first real action of camp on Tuesday, getting involved in 11-on-11 drills and bringing his usual high level of intensity to the field.
Spikes, who underwent an offseason procedure on his knee, had been on the shelf throughout the spring sessions, and had seen only limited time on the field to this point in training camp, instead mostly working off to the side. But on Tuesday, he was able to jump in on 11-on-11s and take part from his inside linebacker spot in New England’s 3-4.
‘It was just good to get back,’ he said, speaking to the media after practice with his helmet still on. ‘It’s been a long offseason, and I’m just happy to be out there running around again.
‘It’s kind of frustrating watching from the sidelines. To be able to get out there and get a little contact, it feels good,’ he added. ‘I’m just working to try and get out there full time. Whatever they ask me to do, I try and do it at 100 percent.
‘I’m just working to get better. I can’t really out a percentage on [how I feel]. It’s day to day.’
Spikes, who is entering his third season with the Patriots out of Florida, has been banged up through his first two years in the NFL. He played 12 games as a rookie in 2010, and eight in 2011 because of a strained MCL in his right knee. But when he’s been healthy, he’s played a major role in the success of the New England defense, working primarily as a first- and second-down linebacker and finishing the year with 47 tackles (32 solo).
Going into the 2012 season, Spikes feels confident about the state of the Patriots’ linebacking corps.
‘It’s just great,’ he said. ‘A lot of guys can do different things. Our thing is that we are only as strong as our weakest link. We have to be on the same page and come out and get better as a whole unit. We should be fine.’
That includes the rookies like defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
‘They’re just relentless to the ball,’ Spikes said. ‘A lot of guys, you can tell they’re hard workers. They play hard — that’s one thing I respect. I’m a passionate player. As long as they can keep getting better throughout camp, that’s fine with me.’
|07.31.12 at 5:18 pm ET|
FOXBORO — After the first day off of training camp on Monday, the Patriots were back at it in full pads on Tuesday afternoon in a two-hour session outside Gillette Stadium. The skies were mostly overcast, keeping it very comfortable on the field and not too hot or muggy.
In the offensive and defensive linemen battles, the star attraction was rookie Chandler Jones. The first-round pick out of Syracuse had an impressive showing, beating Nate Solder down low and using his leverage and quickness to get around him early on, the first of two wins for him on the line. Later, Solder got a bit of revenge with a shoulder jab that kept Jones at bay. It was a good day for the defensive line, as they won a majority of the battles, including Vince Wilfork getting the better of Dan Connolly and Brandon Deaderick getting the best of Donald Thomas.
BIG HIT OF THE DAY
The big hit of the day was a two-pronged attack, a high-low job delivered by safeties Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory on Stevan Ridley about 10 yards down field after Ridley caught a screen pass in the left flat and started making his way up the left sideline. He was met there quickly by Chung (high) and Gregory (low).
For the fifth straight day, Matthew Slater and James Ihedigbo both wore red non-contact jerseys. Once again, however, the two participated in every drill.
As has been the case for the entire training camp, Brian Waters and Jake Ballard were not present Sunday. Tracy White, who left the field with an unknown injury on Saturday, missed his second straight practice on Tuesday.
Myron Pryor, Nate Ebner, Nick McDonald, Markus Zusevics, Logan Mankins, Sebastian Vollmer, Jeremy Ebert, Daniel Fells and Alfonzo Dennard were all in shorts and T-shirts. They all rode bikes at the beginning of practice and went through agility exercises on the lower practice field while the team worked out on the upper practice field.
PLAY OF THE DAY
|07.30.12 at 4:23 pm ET|
The Patriots got the day off on Monday, a chance to heal up any bumps and bruises they’ve sustained over the first four days of camp. Overall, throughout the first few days, attendance has been pretty good. Here’s a quick rundown of what attendance has looked like for the first four days, a stretch where the team has had four practices with two days in pads and two days in shorts and shells:
Right tackle Sebastian Vollmer: Vollmer continues to deal with a balky back, something he’s had issues with on and off since college. Both Vollmer and Mankins have been at practices in T-shirts and shorts.
Right guard Brian Waters: Absent.
Tight end Daniel Fells: Fells continues to work his way back from a leg injury. Fells’ sightings around the facility throughout the spring and summer were apparently few and far between.
Tight end Jake Ballard: The former Giant had offseason knee surgery, and is not expected to play at all this season.
Defensive lineman Myron Pryor: Unknown. Pryor was placed on season-ending injured reserve early last September because of a shoulder injury. We saw him for the first time on Sunday in a T-shirt and shorts.
Safety Nate Ebner: While he’s been out there with his new teammates, Ebner hasn’t gotten on the field this summer.
Offensive lineman Nick McDonald: McDonald hasn’t seen the field this summer, but like Ebner, has been a regular part of the crew that has been working out off to the side throughout practice, mostly on the ellipticals.
Tackle Marcus Zusevics: The undrafted offensive lineman out of Iowa injured his pec while lifting at the combine this year, and wasn’t in pads for the spring sessions, but he has been on the field in T-shirt and shorts.
Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert: Depending on the report, Ebert is dealing with either a leg or hamstring injury, one he suffered earlier this offseason. He’s also been a regular at practice, but he hasn’t been involved in drills or in pads.
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard: The rookie corner has been dogged by a hamstring issue he suffered early in camp.
Linebacker Tracy White: White walked off the field with a trainer toward the end of Sunday’s practice and did not return.
|07.30.12 at 2:13 pm ET|
The Patriots have officially announced their schedule for the next two days of training camp:
Tuesday, July 31
12 p.m.: Patriots Fan Zone Opens.
1:30-4:00 p.m.: Patriots Practice (Open to the Public/Media).
6:00 p.m.: Patriots Fan Zone Closes.
Wednesday, Aug. 1: in-stadium practice
4:00-7:00 p.m.: Patriots Fan Zone Open to Season Ticket Holders and Foxborough Residents.
5:30 p.m.: Gates open.
6:30-8:30 p.m.: Patriots Season Ticket Holder In-Stadium Practice (All attendees must have a ticket to enter).
|07.29.12 at 11:10 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The prized parking spaces — the ones closest to the building — reportedly were handed out the other evening. The following 10 players were honored as the top performers in the team’s offseason program, according to a report from Greg A. Bedard of The Boston Globe:
Linebackers Jermaine Cunningham, Jerod Mayo, Bobby Carpenter and Jeff Tarpinian, safety Patrick Chung, wide receiver Julian Edelman, left tackle Nate Solder, defensive end Trevor Scott, running back Danny Woodhead and kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
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