FOXBORO — The Patriots held their second of two practices Friday at Gillette Stadium, and it was highlighted by the sight of Chad Ochocinco donning a New England jersey and helmet.
Ochocinco came out in workout gear, the same attire he was wearing in the first session (he did not participate in drills Friday morning). Then, after a brief disappearance — a span in which it was noticed that tight end Aaron Hernandez was wearing No. 81 on his shorts — Ochocinco came reemerged on the field, wearing his familiar No. 85, but in a new color. If Hernandez, who seemingly sold his number to Ochocinco, ends up wearing No. 81 (his college number), California rookie receiver Jeremy Ross will be forced to take No. 89, the only number in the 80s or teens that isn’t currently taken.
Ochocinco also changed his cleats during the practice, losing a pair that was white with either red or orange (potentially from his Bengals days) and putting on a pair of new white and blue ones.
-Those missing from practice included Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Shane Vereen, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ryan Coulson and Logan Mankins. Brandon Deaderick, James Sanders and Aaron Hernandez were seen riding the stationary bike. Marcus Cannon was on the field in shorts.
– While fans cheered Ochocinco in uniform and gave a round of applause for every catch he made, he had a couple of ugly drops, both of which were along the sidelines and both of which were passes from Tom Brady. Darnell Jenkins made a couple of nice catches, with Jonathan Crompton completing some nice passes. In rookie fashion, Mallett carried Hoyer’s pads after practice.
– Friday marked the return of the “bucket drill,” one of the more fun drills to observe. An empty plastic barrel is placed halfway into the corner of the end zone, with quarterbacks taking turns trying to land passes in it from a certain distance away. Nobody was successful Friday, as the quarterbacks attempted the drill from the 25 yard line. Brian Hoyer came the closest, hitting the barrel on one attempt, while a pass from Brady fell just short. (more…)