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Patriots ramp up camp’s intensity on first day of pads

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FOXBOROUGH — There was a lot of clatter, but there were no real big thumps, when the Patriots donned full pads and conducted their first workout of training camp in full gear Sunday morning before a crowd of about 7,000 at the upper fields behind Gillette Stadium.

For linebacker Brandon Spikes, who prides himself on making the splashy big hit, it was an opportunity to knock some rust off.

“Oh man, it’s like night and day to me,’’ Spikes said. “The OTAs, and the guys running around in shorts and T-shirts, that’s fun and it’s football. But, then again, you put the pads on and that’s when you see the real guys come out and compete.’’

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