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Patriots practice report

August 15, 2012
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Greg A. Bedard’s rundown of Patriots practice Tuesday afternoon.

ATTENDANCE

Reserve/did not report: RG Brian Waters.

Exempt/left team: FB Tony Fiammetta.

Physically unable to perform: RT Sebastian Vollmer (back), OT Markus Zusevics (unknown), TE Daniel Fells (shoulder), TE Jake Ballard (knee), DT Myron Pryor (shoulder).

Still out: CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), LB Tracy White (unknown), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (unknown), DT Jonathan Fanene (unknown), FB Spencer Larsen (unknown), OT Matt Kopa (leg), OT Kyle Hix (right shoulder), TE Rob Gronkowski (unknown), FB Eric Kettani (unknown), DT Gerard Warren (unknown), TE Aaron Hernandez (unknown), WR Brandon Lloyd (unknown).

Limited in practice: LG Logan Mankins (right knee, no team drills), RG Dan Connolly (unknown).

Returned to practice: S James Ihedigbo, CB Malcolm Williams.

Injured during practice: CB Ross Ventrone (left leg) returned to action; CB Marquice Cole (arm).

DRESS CODE

Full pads.

TOP PLAYS

 It was a desperate situation with the clock winding down so Tom Brady forced one into the end zone, but Patrick Chung made a sweet one-handed interception on Brady’s throw into triple coverage to Julian Edelman.

 Chandler Jones looked like a veteran and made Nate Solder look like an undrafted rookie when, in one-on-ones, Jones slapped Solder’s hands down and then clubbed him out of the way for an easy would-be sack.

 Matthew Slater had a one-handed catch from Brady in the back right corner of the end zone against CB Devin McCourty.

THUMBS UP

Great day for the defense, especially the secondary. It had four interceptions for the second straight practice, and broke up another five passes. The safeties, Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung, had a terrific practice. Gregory had an interception and two pass breakups while Chung had a pick and a breakup.

THUMBS DOWN

On the whole, the offensive line had a terrible practice. It got whipped (2-11-1) by the defense in one-on-ones, and it might have been just as bad in a two-on-two session. In team drills, we counted at least eight would-be sacks or tackles for a loss against the run. RT Marcus Cannon again had a very rough go, as did RG Nick McDonald, who was working in place of the injured Connolly.

SUPERLATIVES

Dropped passes: Wes Welker, Donte Stallworth (3), Jabar Gaffney.

Nice catch: Welker, Julian Edelman.

Fumbled: Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett.

Interceptions: Chung (of Brady), Josh Barrett (of Brian Hoyer), Nate Ebner (of Mallett), Steve Gregory (of Brady).

ONE-ON-ONES

One man’s opinion on how the offensive and defensive lines matched up in one-on-one drills (our favorite part of camp). Records shown indicate wins-losses-draws.

Standouts — Offense: None. Defense: Brandon Deaderick (2-0-0), Trevor Scott (1-0-0), Marcus Harrison (1-0-0).

Struggled — Offense: Donald Thomas (0-2-0), McDonald (0-1-1), Solder (0-1-0), Dustin Waldron (0-1-0), Derek Dennis (0-1-0). Defense: Justin Francis (0-1-0).

Decided victories: Jones (vs. Solder), Scott (vs. Deaderick), Harrison (vs. Waldron).

 It was a shortened session, and it still wasn’t good for the offensive line, which went 2-11-1.

The two offensive linemen I like watching the most are Thomas and Ryan Wendell. Yes, Thomas went 0-2, but almost all of his battles are prolonged and he relishes the battles. Wendell just keeps getting better. On the short side, Wendell does a great job with leverage and holds his own against powerful guys like Kyle Love.

 Waldron offered no defense against Scott. He easily went around Waldron.

 Harrison went through Dennis. The Patriots’ reserve linemen — outside of OT Darrion Weems — have not competed well.

ODDS AND ENDS

 Another situation- and preparation-heavy practice with assistant coaches using cards in the huddle for the opponents. The defense got about a half-dozen reps against the wildcat. The Bills and Jets are each expected to use it during the season.

 The Patriots need to find a way to get Julian Edelman the ball more in the open field during games. He can be electric. Edelman has had a great camp and he and Brady hooked up on a 50-yard touchdown bomb that torched S James Ihedigbo.

 When the offense was going against cards, Dan Koppen and McDonald allowed Vince Wilfork to easily sack Brady, and then Cannon and Alex Silvestro watched Scott walk in. But on the next play, Brady had a real nice play-action touchdown to Welker deep down the middle.

 Justin Francis batted down a pass and then kicked McDonald while he was on the ground.

 Ryan Mallett became the first QB to get it in the bucket. Looked like Tom Brady wasn’t happy about that and may have disputed whether it was a make or not.

 Mallett should have been flagged for intentional grounding when he threw the ball away to no one while still in the tackle box and backpedaling.

 On Ebner’s interception (second in as many days), Scott would have had a sack as he sped around Cannon with ease.

SCHEDULE

Wednesday: 1:30-4 p.m.

Thursday: 1:30-4 p.m.

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