Notes from Day 8 of Training Camp
|08.06.09 at 11:41 am ET|
FOXBOROUGH — A few notes from the Thursday morning practice session, which just wrapped up here at Gillette:
•The practice was held in shorts (or sweatpants) and shells under a slightly cloudy day with a nice breeze. A perfect day for camp – not too hot, not too humid and no rain. Awesome morning.
•Julian Edelman, Logan Mankins, Paris Lenon and a group of young linebackers — Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton and Pierre Woods — all drew big crowds of media after the workout. (Edelman, a rookie, was heckled by some veteran running backs as they walked by — might be the last time he speaks for a long time.) I spoke with cornerback Leigh Bodden in a one-on-one setting, and I’ll have that as part of my story for tomorrow.
•Coach Bill Belichick is not scheduled to address the media this morning. However, Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio is scheduled to hold a press conference momentarily, and we will have the full transcript a little later on this afternoon.
•By our count, the following players were not on the field for the Thursday morning session: wide receiver Joey Galloway, wide receiver Brandon Tate, cornerback Jonathan Wilhite, safety Tank Williams, cornerback Shawn Springs, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, linebacker Tedy Bruschi, offensive lineman Al Johnson, offensive lineman Stephen Neal, offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, offensive lineman George Bussey, offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan, wide receiver Randy Moss, wide receiver Wes Welker, tight end Benjamin Watson, defensive lineman Le Kevin Smith, defensive lineman Myron Pryor, defensive lineman Richard Seymour, defensive lineman Ty Warren, linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, defensive lineman Jarvis Green and linebacker Shawn Crable.
•Quarterback Tom Brady was not wearing his traditional left knee brace. Again, he appeared to be moving well, and was not hindered in any of the drills the quarterbacks took part in. No limp, no hitch, nothing. However, while the Patriots were going through a series of special teams drills, No. 12 stood on the sidelines for an extended period of time, chatting with owner Bob Kraft.
•The officials were in attendance for the second consecutive day, and were involved in several of the drills, including the 11-on-11’s that concluded the morning session.
•Belichick was an animated presence throughout the morning — at one point, he commandeered a drill involving a quarterback rolling out and firing a pass to someone in the end zone. Belichick grabbed a large red ball (A medicine ball? Maybe a super-sized kickball?) and fired it at the quarterbacks in the 5-on-5 sessions, making sure they kept their heads about them as they rolled out and tried to find a receiver. It’s worth noting here that the quarterbacks who were his target in this drill were Kevin O’Connell and Brian Hoyer.
•O’Connell continued to see fewer and fewer reps in favor of new quarterback Andrew Walter, but he did well when given the opportunity. One of his best moments of the morning session came when he hit wide receiver Sam Aiken on a nice deep ball down the middle of the field. A really nice connection.
•Walter also had some good moments, including an impressive hookup over the middle with Edelman.
•At the end of the practice, the offense went up against the defense in a goal-line setting — much the same way they did at the end of Tuesday morning’s practice. But this time, the defense got the better of the offense when Edelman failed to hold on to a pass (after getting mauled by cornerback Darius Butler), which meant the offense had to run a lap at the end of practice.
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