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Some quick notes from the Patriots Thursday afternoon practice

08.04.11 at 9:20 pm ET

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FOXBORO ‘€” The Patriots held a full padded practice Thursday afternoon on the fields behind Gillette Stadium under sunny skies and an almost full house. The session ran nearly three hours, and was a busy one.

The following players were not on the field for practice: Shane Vereen, Eric Kettani and Ryan Wendell. The following players were in shorts and sweats: Ras-I Dowling, Kevin Faulk (who could be seen running sprints on the far field with a strength and conditioning coach), Josh Barrett, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Deaderick, Kyle Hix, Matt Light, Myron Pryor and Ron Brace.

Here are some of the things that stood out:

‘€¢The battles between Logan Mankins and Albert Haynesworth were really impressive to watch. The two went head-to-head on a number of snaps, and it appeared that Mankins had a slight edge in their matchups. (Haynesworth was often double-teamed by Mankins and center Dan Koppen.)

‘€¢First-round pick Nate Solder saw some extended action with the first team ‘€” Light was on the sidelines in shorts and sweats ‘€” and looked like he wasn’€™t overwhelmed. It’€™s interesting watching him work ‘€” he doesn’€™t appear to be as muscular as guys like Light and Sebastian Vollmer, but what really stood out about him at first glance was his wingspan. He was able to keep linebackers Rob Ninkovich and Markell Carter, and then defensive lineman Aaron Lavarlas at bay with his arms.

‘€¢It was a bad day for the receivers, as wide receiver Chad Ochocinco suffered at least five dropped balls, including a perfectly thrown deep pass from Tom Brady in an 11-on-11 drill on a deep ball that bounced off his hands. Tight end Aaron Hernandez dropped at least two passes early in practice, while wide receivers Julian Edelman and Darnell Jenkins each had drops in a 7-on-7 drill. The one pass-catcher who really stood out on Thursday was tight end Rob Gronkowski, who caught everything that came his way, including a great reception on a ball from quarterback Ryan Mallett over linebacker Gary Guyton.

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