10 things we learned Tuesday from Patriots training camp
|08.14.12 at 11:22 pm ET|
FOXBORO ‘ The Patriots held their second straight day of practice in full pads on the upper practice fields Tuesday. The team announced that it will practice from 1:30-4 Wednesday through Friday. The team likely will be off Saturday, the same day Bruce Springsteen plays Gillette Stadium. Camp will break as the team likely will have a walkthrough on Sunday before hosting the Eagles Monday night at Gillette.
The biggest news came off the field as the team confirmed that linebacker Dane Fletcher cleared injury waivers and was immediately placed on season-ending injured reserve. The team also confirmed that wide receiver Britt Davis was released outright after an injury settlement, meaning he is not eligible to rejoin the team on injured reserve. Tuesday’s moves leaves the active roster at 88 players.
Among the remaining players, nine were not seen on Monday, most notably tight end Aaron Hernandez. Also missing were fullback Eric Kettani,, fullback Spencer Larsen, linebacker Tracy White, offensive lineman Matt Kopa, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, tight end Jake Ballard, and defensive linemen Gerard Warren and Jonathan Fanene.
Safeties Malcolm Williams, safety James Ihedigboreturned.
There was again a lengthy list of players in shorts, including Rob Gronkowski defensive linemen Myron Pryor, Daniel Fells, receiver Brandon Lloyd for a second straight day, defensive back Alfonzo Dennard, offensive tackle Markus Zusevics, and offensive linemen Kyle Hix and Sebastian Vollmer.
Here are nine other things we learned from camp Tuesday.
MANKINS STILL HELD BACK
Logan Mankins was in padded pants on Tuesday, but again he was in only shells. The hope is he might be able to finally fully participate on Wednesday in full 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 drills. Mankins was again primarily an observer on the sidelines, only taking part in agility and technique drills.
Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett were all victimized by a very aggressive Patriots secondary on Tuesday. All three quarterbacks were intercepted. The secondary forced a number of turnovers, getting their hands on the ball and making good on opportunities to intercept passes. Steve Gregory, Patrick Chung and Kyle Arrington were all able to corral picks, and the defense was especially strong overall during situational work.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Chung leaped high in the air in the end zone to pick off Brady on a one-handed interception. Brady threw into triple-coverage looking for Julian Edelman on the play before Chung made the spectacular defensive play.
ROUGH FOR RIDLEY
For those wondering about Stevan Ridley and his re-dedication to protecting the ball, Tuesday was a set-back. On a simple screen in the flat from Brian Hoyer, Ridley caught the ball and took two steps before fumbling the ball for a turnover. Ridley, however, was given plenty of reps with the first-team in hurry-up, both as a receiver out of the backfield and split wide. Ridley was the primary ball carrier for Brady in 11-on-11 drills.
In addition to Mankins easing back into work, Dan Connolly was held out of one-on-one battles and 11-on-11 drills. Connolly has not shown any apparent injury in the preseason opener or practice.
Chandler Jones again impressed in one-on-one battles, beating Nate Solder cleanly on a counter rush. Vince Wilfork continues to dominate, beating Nick McDonald before McDonald had better luck against Marcus Forston.
Donte’ Stallworth had another day with the first team offensive unit, with Lloyd in shorts on the sidelines. Stallworth got open several times but had three drops on the afternoon.
In the offensive play of the day, Wes Welker hauled in a deep ball from Brady on play-action, splitting the safeties on a post route. Welker caught two touchdowns in the red area from Brady.
During a 1-on-1 battle between receiver Jabar Gaffney and defensive back Marquice Cole, it was the defensive back who limped off the field after Gaffney pushed off to catch a Brady pass. Cole remained on the ground and clutched his right knee. He also appeared to tweak his left shoulder, rotating it in a circular motion several times. But he remained in practice and stayed on the field.
BARREL OF LAUGHS
Ryan Mallett became the first quarterback in camp to land a pass into the blue barrel from 40 yards out. Mallett was the only Patriots QB to connect on the day as all three had four chances.