FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Patriots put on the pads for the first time in training camp on Sunday. With three practices in the books and the team's first padded practice, let's take a look at which players are trending up and which players are struggling.
Kamar Aiken: It's been a strong few days of practice for Aiken. He made a couple of impressive catches in the first two practices, including a leaping catch over cornerback Logan Ryan on the sideline. His impressive performance continued, and he showed an impressive release off the line of scrimmage in press coverage drills. Read more about Aiken's impressive start to camp.
Marcus Cannon: Took a majority of his reps with the first-team offensive line at right guard. On a few occasions, Cannon pancaked his assignment, and went 1-1-1 in one-on-one pass-rush drills, going against mostly the first-string defenders.
Chandler Jones: Forced a fumble of Stevan Ridley, with a little help from Vince Wilfork. Jones continues to move around the defense as they run multiple looks out of three- and four-man lines. His added strength from the offseason is noticeable.
"As you study more, learn more, different techniques, train, you’re able to utilize your strengths more effectively in time than you were before you did all that," Bill Belichick said, in response to the progress Jones has made from his first to his second year. "I think he’s in that process."
Stevan Ridley: Two fumbles for the lead back in the stable, including one on the goal line toward the end of practice. Ball security has been an issue for Ridley in the past, and today's practice was not a step in the right direction.
Joe Vellano: Registered a record of 0-4-0 in one-on-one blocker vs. rusher drills. Outside of the usual suspects (Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Rob Ninkovich etc.), no one on the defensive line has truly distinguished themselves as a front-runner for a job.
Aaron Dobson: After a strong showing in the first two days of camp, Dobson came back down to Earth a bit today. He showed the ability to get off jams at the the line of scrimmage in some drills, but he dropped a couple of catchable balls. Hiccups like today are expected for a rookie.
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