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The Rundown: Practice #2

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  July 28, 2011 05:19 PM

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Here’s a rundown on what went on at Patriots’ practice this afternoon:

ATTENDANCE PLEASE

- Unsigned draft picks: OT Nate Solder, RB Shane Vereen, QB Ryan Mallett, CB Ras-I Dowling, OL Marcus Cannon.
- Veteran free agents that can’t practice until Aug. 4: CB Kyle Arrington (exclusive rights), RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (restricted), G Logan Mankins (franchise), RB Sammy Morris (unrestricted).
- Not present: DL Myron Pryor (undisclosed), TE Alge Crumpler (shoulder).
- Rehab group: DL Ron Brace, TE Aaron Hernandez, DL Brandon Deaderick, OL Mike Berry, S James Sanders, DL Ty Warren.
- Did not finish practice: LB Brandon Spikes (undisclosed), LB Ryan Coulson (undisclosed). Appeared minor, like cramps.
- Returned to practice: CB Malcolm Jenkins (signed contract), RB Stevan Ridley (signed contract).

DRESS

Players were in helmets, shells and shorts.

TOP PLAYS

- Brian Hoyer looped a very nice pass over Dane Fletcher and into the arms of Brandon Tate. Hoyer started practice strong but was not sharp overall with some throws that were high or behind receivers.
- Tom Brady made a great throw to Taylor Price in between Darius Butler and Brandon Meriweather, who were both charging hard.

ODDS AND ENDS

- DL line coach Pepper Johnson and safeties coach Matt Patricia were doing a lot of teaching in the morning session. Was surprised that the Patriots didn’t feel the need for much instruction in the afternoon. Typically rookies – especially UDFAs signed just a few days ago – need to be taught the very basics. But that didn’t happen in the afternoon session. Everybody seemed to be on point where they had to go.
- S Brandon Meriweather pulled up a little lame at one point trying to recover in coverage, but returned later after Ross Ventrone took some snaps.
There’s been a lot of talk about whether Eric Moore is an OLB or DE. He lined up at DE today.
- It’s been a while since Brett Lockett has been in a practice and it showed. He got tangled up with a few guys, and had an easy interception go through his hands. So did Bodden.
- Brandon Spikes had an interception.
- CB Leigh Bodden got physical with TE Rob Gronkowski going down the seam. Was in his pocket. Gronkowski was a busy man all practice with several receptions, and was very much insync with Brady..
- Gary Guyton got some looks at OLB. Kyle Love got a lot of time with first team at DE.
- The lack of speed was fairly evident for fifth-round pick Lee Smith. The tight end’s forte is blocking, and he also had a drop.
- CB Thad Turner showed some nice man cover skills.
- The defense had to run a lap near the end of practice and had a moment with coach Bill Belichick.
- Rookie RB Stevan Ridley got a ton of action and looked to acclimate himself well, but he did drop a few passes.
- With Matt Light in contract negotiations and Logan Mankins unable to practice until Aug. 4, Sebastian Vollmer and Ryan Wendell manned the left side of the Patriots’ line.

KICKING CORNER

- With Stephen Gostkowski coming off of a torn quad, the team will obviously take it very slow with him. Camp leg Chris Koepplin (UMass) showed well on the 13 kickoffs he took (Gostkowski took none) with an average hangtime of 4.03. He had only two below 4 (one was really short at 3.09) but other than that kicked well.
- Gostkowski did kick in a limited FG period near the end of practice. He didn’t appear to have his full snap but he did make 5-of-6. The only miss was from 34 yards out. It was barely wide left.
- Notable that LB Rob Ninkovich was the long snapper on the FGs, not Matt Katula.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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