Patriots minicamp notes, 6/15
|06.15.10 at 1:51 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots just wrapped up their Tuesday minicamp session down here at Gillette. Under mostly sunny and warm conditions, the practice ran just shy of two hours, and the players were in shorts and shells. Here’s a look at what we saw:
•The only missing player was offensive lineman Logan Mankins, who is now officially embroiled in a contract dispute with the team. In his place at left guard, the Patriots used a combination of players — Nick Kaczur took some snaps at that position (in that formation, Sebastian Vollmer was at right tackle and Matt Light at left tackle), as well as Dan Connolly, who filled in at guard and center last year when Stephen Neal and Dan Koppen went down with injuries.
•Ty Warren, Stephen Neal and Brian Hoyer drew the biggest media crowds after practice.
•It was the first appearance of the spring for Warren, who was missing from earlier camps because he was working toward his degree, as well as rookie wide receiver Taylor Price (graduation rule) and rookie defensive lineman Kade Weston (visa issue). Price jumped right into drills, working closely with quarterback Tom Brady. While he was pulled aside for some one-on-one coaching, he did not appear to be overwhelmed at all throughout the day.
•Wide receiver Wes Welker was on the field. He followed the same routine he had through the most recent OTA sessions, sticking around for the first part of practice, which included passing drills, before leaving the field. While working with his teammates, he again appeared able to work at close to 100 percent. He did not appear to be hindered in any way through the drills, running with the usual brace on his left knee. There was a scary moment early on where he slipped and fell on the turf while trying to make a cut, but he simply slapped the ground in frustration, popped up and continued what he was doing. (He jumped right back in line and continued the drill without missing a beat.)
•Both Brady and Brian Hoyer looked sharp. In passing drills, Brady and rookie Brandon Tate connected on a sweet deep pass down the near sidelines, and could be seen later talking with Price. Brady and Randy Moss connected in the corner of the end zone in what appeared to be a red zone drill, beating Brandon Meriweather for the score. A couple of plays later, when a play broke down, Brady scrambled and found the end zone for a touchdown. And later in practice, Hoyer did a really impressive job running a two-minute drill, finding Torry Holt, Julian Edelman and Sam Aiken to keep the chains moving.
•There were a couple of flubs for the quarterbacks, most notably earlier in practice when Moss got behind safeties Brandon McGowan and James Sanders, but wasn’t able to hold on to the pass. Meanwhile, a Hoyer pass for David Patten was overshot.
•As for Moss, he had a few really impressive hookups with Brady, but Terrence Wheatley got the better of him when he batted away a pass meant for No. 81 later in practice.
•In punt return work, it was a combination of Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, Kevin Faulk and Buddy Farnham. After practice, Farnham, Matthew Slater and Wheatley were all working together catching punts out of the JUGS gun, operated by special teams coach Scotty O’Brien.
•Other than Wheatley’s pass breakup on the ball meant for Moss, maybe the most impressive defensive display of the day was when linebacker Jerod Mayo was able to keep pace with Edelman on a pass meant for the wide receiver out of the backfield. Mayo was able to stick right in Edelman’s jersey as the ball sailed just out of their reach down the near sidelines. (In addition, rookie defensive back Sergio Brown had a Hoyer pass in his hands, but dropped the ball.)
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