Here’s a rundown on what went on at Patriots’ practice this afternoon:
- Physically unable to perform list: DL Ron Brace, DL Brandon Deaderick, DL Myron Pryor.
- Non-football injury list: OL Marcus Cannon.
- Out: S Josh Barrett, OT Kyle Hix, RB Eric Kettani, G Ryan Wendell, CB Ras-I Dowling, OT Matt Light, RB Shane Vereen, RB Kevin Faulk, DE Albert Haynesworth, LB Brandon Spikes, DE Mike Wright.
- DB Ross Ventrone (left hamstring) was limping a lot in practice but kept going.
- Ventrone did not run sprints at the conclusion of practice. Neither did CB Leigh Bodden, LB Jerod Mayo, RG Dan Connolly, C Rich Ohrnberger or CB Thad Turner.
TOP OF THE NEWS
- DE Albert Haynesworth, who did not take part in sprints to finish yesterday’s practice was not seen on the field. During practice. No reason was given. Kyle Love took his place on the four-man line.
- Additional new absences: LB Brandon Spikes (Mayo switched back to Mike with Spikes out) and DE Mike Wright.
- Sebastian Vollmer, after playing exclusively at left tackle the first 10 practices, was back at his usual right tackle position. The Patriots had their line back except for LT Matt Light, who is out. Rookie Nate Solder played with the top unit.
- Newly signed DE Mark Anderson was on the field wearing No. 95.
In the red zone drill, Tom Brady wait for WR Chad Ochocinco to come open on the backline and two hooked up on a very nice touchdown. Perhaps a sampling of what’s to come?
The much-maligned offensive line (to this point) still had a rough day of one-on-ones, but the first unit was remarkably improved on the stunting drill where two defensive lineman go up against three offensive linemen. The previous two day, the offense had just been a mess. But with the top unit assembled where it normally is, they went 4-2-2 against the defense and was stout. Solder fell at one point, but he and Mankins showed some developing chemistry. The backup offensive line is still shaky, as it lost four of the five matchups.
The offense overall continues to be out of sync. Dropped passes weren't a huge problem today, but there was a lack of crispness in both run and pass blocking, and receivers getting open. The defense appears to be well ahead of the offense, and you can sense the frustration building with Brady and Belichick, who had words after one team period. They're used to being further ahead at this time. But the lockout hurt them as it did everybody.
- Dropped like it’s hot: Matthew Slater, Tyree Barnes, Deion Branch (all on air). Will Yeatman, Lee Smith.
- Nice catch: Jenkins, Barnes, Carson Butler.
- Fumbling men: Rich Ohrnberger and Brian Hoyer (botched snap), Buddy Farnham.
LOVE ME SOME ONE-ON-ONES
Standouts-Offense: Sebastian Vollmer (1-0-3), Logan Mankins (2-1-1), Chris Morris (0-0-2). Defense: Kade Weston (4-1-1), Steve Williams (3-0-2), Kyle Love (3-0-1), Eric Moore (1-0-3), Rob Ninkovich (1-0-1), Mark Anderson (1-0-1), Marques Murrell (1-0-0).
Stuggled a little bit-Offense: Dan Connolly (0-4-0), Dan Koppen (0-2-2), Nate Solder (0-2-3), Thomas Austin (0-2-1). Defense: Darryl Richard (0-2-1), Jermaine Cunningham (0-1-2).
Decided victories: Cohen over Connolly, Ohrnberger over Cohen, Ohrnberger over Richard (pancake), Mankins over Weston, Anderson over LeVoir, Murrell over Corey Woods.
The defensive line continued to dominate (17-5-17), but offensive line did make some strides, especially in the second of the two periods.
Weston continues to open eyes with a strong performance to boost his record so far to 5-2-4. Weston was 3-0 in the first of the one-on-one sessions, and then Mankins brought him back down by dominating him.
Give it up for Ohrnberger, who has really struggled before today. Both of his wins came in dominating fashion.
The newcomers showed some promise as Williams and Anderson combined to go 4-0-3. Anderson went around LeVoir basically untouched, as did Murrell around Woods.
Connolly really struggled for the first time in camp. He certainly has good punch, but he had trouble finishing.
Solder didn’t have a victory but there was definite improvement over the first day. He still tends to get a little over extended, which causes him to slip at times.
ODDS AND ENDS
- Despite having a full pads practice less than 24 hours earlier, Belichick had the troops out there in full pads again. They went through the motions for a bit, but by the end it was a very spirited and hard-hitting day at camp. Think the special teams drill – which included some tackling to the ground – got things kicked up a notch. And then we had our first goal line period where the pads were a popping.
- TE Rob Gronkowski continues to be outstanding in the passing game, but his blocking in the running game has been surprisingly up and down so far in camp. He whiffed in an inside running drill and looked frustrated, but then a few plays later he drove LB Gary Guyton down the field. In team, Gronkowski missed on LB Jeff Tarpininan.
- Mallett had one of his poorer days. Continued to miss high, and then threw one at the feet of Jenkins. Was holding the ball a lot as well. But we will say, Mallett is excellent with his play-action fakes.
- Taylor Price dropped a punt.
- CB Kyle Arrington got more looks in the slot.
- In team, Brian Hoyer was 2-of-3. Steven Ridley didn’t find much running room outside of a nice block by Thomas Austin.
- Landon Cohen had a tackle for a loss against BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who followed up with a nice run when Solder had his way with Christian Cox.
- Julian Edelman and Ridley made sweet moves in the special teams tackling drill to dust Cox and Tracy White, respectively. Jeremy Ross probably didn’t make the wisest move in driving Gronkowski to the ground, but the kid is trying to make a team.
- Belichick’s eye catches nothing. After a kickoff drill, he pulled Darius Butler to the side to instruct him.
- Ochocinco didn’t have a drop today. He didn’t stand out, but he did show some nice run blocking technique on the outside. Always important to the Patriots.
- The offense struggled in the final team period as from Danny Woodhead, who always knows when to cut. Gronkowski gave up a sack to Williams. Connolly did a nice job against Kyle Love.
- Eric Moore had a tackle for a loss when he blew up Steve Maneri.
- Anderson would have sacked Ryan Mallett in a game. He stayed alive to throw a real poor pass to Farnham that Patrick Chung nearly picked off.
- Brian Hoyer forced a pass in traffic to Aaron Hernandez that was almost intercepted.
- In red zone, the first team scored on a Woodhead run over left guard from the 6-yard line. Brady threw incomplete to Hernandez with Bodden in coverage. Brady threw a touchdown to Ochocinco along the back line. Green-Ellis did not get into the end zone behind a pulling Mankins.
- The second team got back-to-back touchdowns with Hoyer to Hernandez.
- In goal line, Green-Ellis got lit up by the defense when Solder slipped at the point of attack. Green-Ellis scored on the next play, but TE Lee Smith had a false start and Belichick sent him on a lap. Ridley showed a nice burst by winning the race to the right pylon for a TD. The drill finished with Chung nailing Ridley for a loss after Chung shed Morris’ block.
P Zoltan Mesko had a below average day by his standard with average hangtimes of 3.37 and 4.13 in his punting periods. He had one shank that stayed in the air only 2.50 seconds.
Stephen Gostkowski was 4-of-6, and his final boot went in after hitting the left goal post.
- Tommorow’s practice: 1:30-4 p.m.