FOXBOROUGH -- The Patriots players received a little surprise today in the form of an early vacation.
The team canceled its afternoon practice. It was the last of the team's mandatory three-day minicamp. The Patriots will return in late July for training camp.
The canceled practice was being viewed as a possible reward to the players after a good offseason. Although none of the players interviewed were completely sure.
"Maybe he was so mad we've been doing so poorly, he wanted to get us out of here," said linebacker Bobby Carpenter with a bit of a chuckle. "I don't know. You'd have to ask him why he does the things he does. I'm not trying to get inside his mind."
But were there any complaints?
"I'll never complain," Carpenter said. "Especially when we've got a lot of good work in, I think we've done some good things out here, so hopefully that was a sign from him that we've done a good job."
Deion Branch jokingly said he was sad.
"It was a shocker," Branch said. "But you know coach keeps us on our toes."
Branch, an 11-year veteran, had some advice for the younger players who are about to take five weeks off before training camp.
"Don't take the next five weeks and try and vacation for three, and [then] try and work out for two," Branch said. "It don't work out that way."