Quick notes from Patriots’ Friday morning walkthrough
|07.29.11 at 12:04 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots finished up their Friday morning practice session, their third of training camp. In tone and tenor, it was an awful lot like the Thursday morning session — a light walkthrough in jerseys and shorts that lasted about an hour. There were some more new faces on the field, including rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett, who signed his four-year deal Friday morning.
• When it comes to attendance for these sessions, it’s important to remember that some players don’t necessarily have to be here, like Logan Mankins and Sammy Morris because of their contract situations. In additions, players who have been released, like Marcus Stroud, are still technically on the roster, at least until the weekend. So with that in mind, the following guys were not on the field for the morning session: Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Morris, Shane Vereen, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Marcus Cannon, Mankins, Nate Solder, Nick Kaczur, Alge Crumpler and Myron Pryor.
• Quarterback Tom Brady gave his annual training camp address after the walkthrough, a session that lasted roughly 15 minutes and included his thoughts on the lockout, the offseason, new receiver Chad Ochocinco and Matt Light. For more on his Q&A with the media, check out DJ Bean‘s blog post here. In addition to Brady, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Danny Woodhead and Leigh Bodden all talked briefly with reporters. Welker, who spent part of the offseason working out with Ochocinco in Florida, discussed the new acquisition.
“From what I saw, he works had and goes out there and gives his best effort. He’s an early riser and likes to get after it and that’s what I like. I’m hopeful to see the same type of deal here in camp and throughout the season,” Welker said. “I think the toughest part [for him will be] learning the offense. We’re so complicated, so different than any place from where he’s been. It’s just going to be a little different and we’re just going to try and help him along, bring him along slowly but surely, and get him out there and get him playing with us.”
• The biggest name of the day was Ochocinco, who was was on the field for the first time but not in uniform. (Again, simply a procedural thing — with Ochocinco reportedly agreeing to restructure his deal, he cannot practice until Aug. 4.) He spent lots of time with the quarterbacks and the wide receivers throughout the practice, dipping his head in and out of the offensive huddle much of the morning. After the hourlong session was complete, he walked off to the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse. As for the other new veteran — Albert Haynesworth — he is reportedly in Foxboro but was not sighted on the field during Friday morning’s walkthough.
(There has been much discussion about what number Ochocinco would wear. The current No. 85, Aaron Hernandez, was on the field but was in sweats, though his threads were marked with the No. 85. Ocho has offered to pay for the new number, but so far there’s no indication as to how things are going to shake out on that front.)
• As was the case with Thursday morning’s practice, it was tough to get a handle on much of anything because things were pretty slow. However, one thing that did catch me was the fact that the special teamers — kicker Stephen Gostkowski and punter Zoltan Mesko — spent their time working strictly with veteran long snapper Matt Katula and not rookie tight end/long snapper Lee Smith. Smith will face a challenge if he wants to carve out a niche at a crowded tight end spot, but if this trend continues, it’s a sign that if Smith wants to crack the roster, he’ll likely have to do it as a tight end and not a long snapper.
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