Monday morning practice notes: Situational football is focus in low-intensity workout
|08.05.13 at 1:30 pm ET|
FOXBORO — On a beautiful summer morning, the Patriots went through a workout that lasted just under two hours in sweats and shells on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. It was a relatively low-intensity get-together than felt a little like a glorified walkthrough, but allowed the team to focus more on situational work before jumping on a plane and heading to Philly to open joint practices with the Eagles on Tuesday.
‘¢In terms of attendance, Wide receivers Michael Jenkins and Mark Harrison and offensive lineman Kevin Haslam were on the field but not dressed. In addition, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, offensive lineman Marcus Cannon, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive lineman/end Jermaine Cunningham and defensive lineman Armond Armstead were not on the field.
‘¢Tight end Jake Ballard and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard were back at practice. Dennard worked in some team drills, as he continues to deal with an undisclosed injury.
‘¢Meanwhile, several players worked out on the lower fields, a group that included safety Nate Ebner, running back Shane Vereen, wide receiver Matt Slater and offensive linemen Marcus Zusevics and Kevin Haslam.
‘¢The rotation at right guard continues, as Cannon was out and Dan Connolly was limited again. In their place, Will Svitek — likely the No. 1 backup at tackle — took the majority of his reps with the starting offensive line at right guard on Monday. It’s not known if Svitek was simply a placeholder or a sign that he could be in for more work at the spot down the road, but the right guard position is certainly one worth watching for New England,
‘¢Lots of situational/teaching work took place over the course of the practice, including “Hail Mary” pass players where players were coached on the tipping process and best places to situate yourself on a pass. Quick snaps, clock management, laterals and last-second field goal attempts were also covered. In addition, teaching and coaching for situations like onsides kicks, punts from their own end zones and punts after a safety were also touched on.
‘¢Because of the low-intensity workout, it was hard to judge the work of the skill position players, but with Vereen working on the lower fields, Leon Washington got a lot of reps with the starting offense and looked good catching passes out of the backfield. Meanwhile, Zach Sudfeld continues to impress — he came away with one of the Hail Mary catches, and again displayed a nice set of hands while running with the starting offense.