Notes from Saturday’s Patriots practice
|08.13.11 at 4:49 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots held their first practice since Thursday’s 47-12 win over the Jaguars when they took the field Saturday on the practice fields at Gillette Stadium. The practice featured players in full pads, though quite a few players were missing, including some who played in the preseason opener. Here are some notes from the practice, which lasted upwards two hours:
– Veteran offensive tackle Matt Light made his first appearance on the practice field since signing a two-year deal to stay with the Patriots on July 31. He had missed the preseason opener because he was on the physically unable to perform list, the result of offseason shoulder surgery. In speaking with the media after practice, he said he was glad to be back on the field and that he and coach Bill Belichick came to an understanding regarding the team’s tackle situation before he signed his contract.
– As previously noted, the list of players not in uniform was rather lengthy, and quite a few players were on the sidelines in shorts. By my count, the players not in full uniform consisted of Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Brandon Tate, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Kevin Faulk, James Sanders, Danny Woodhead, Malcolm Williams, Eric Kettani, Josh Barrett, Christian Cox, Brandon Spikes, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, Brandon Deaderick, Albert Haynseworth, Ron Brace and Mike Wright.
While many players not practicing could be spotted in shorts, Woodhead was nowhere to be seen. This can likely be explained by a tweet from teammate Sergio Brown. The safety tweeted “congrats on the baby girl woody” to the running back, suggesting Woodhead may have been welcoming a new addition to his family.
– With the changes that have come to the roster (defensive lineman Steve Williams and offensive lineman Chris Morris were released, with defensive lineman Zach Roth — pronounced Rothe, rhymes with “both” — being signed), defensive end Andre Carter has changed his number. He now wears No. 93 (which had been worn by Williams) after initially wearing a blue No. 68 jersey upon signing last week.
– Offensive lineman Mark Wetterer, who wears a white No. 75 jersey (something suggests he’d have to change his number if he made the team) had to take a lap Saturday during 1-on-1 drills with linemen.
– Wide receiver Buddy Farnham, who picked off Jaguars’ quarterback Todd Bouman as a safety in the second half of Thursday’s preseason game, was a part of a couple of notable plays Saturday at both positions. First, he let up a big play to receiver Jeremy Ross, who made a nice catch on an intermediate route with Farnham in coverage. Later, Farnham made up for it when he had to slide to haul in a low dart from rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett.
– Speaking of Mallet, the always-entertaining QB-blocking-pad drill made another appearance, with Belichick waving the pad in front of (and occasionally throwing it at) the quarterbacks as they dropped back. Belichick appeared to put a little extra mustard on one throw, as Mallett had to jump out of the way of a pad headed for his head, but the rookie quarterback bounced back nicely. On the following play, he hit Aaron Hernandez in the endzone on a play in which the second-year tight end did a good job of keeping both feet in.
Mallett would later be intercepted, as Brown showed he could do more than congratulate his teammates on twitter.
– The Patriots got their usual special teams work in, but with the likes of Tate and Price not taking part in practice, defensive back Darius Butler worked as a kick returner. Butler is no stranger to working as a returner, as he did so in his college days at UConn as well as his rookie year in New England in 2009.