My partner in crime was (allegedly) delayed by Boston traffic this morning, so he wasn’t able to do much of the practice-observation thing he’s so good at. So yours truly will take a crack at it…
* Logan Mankins was of course absent, but today Matt Light was as well. With the starting left side of the offensive line unavailable, Sebastian Vollmer took most of the snaps at left tackle (though Mark LeVoir was in there a bit as well), with Nick Kaczur back in his “usual” spot at right tackle. Versatile interior lineman Dan Connolly was at left guard.
* Wes Welker did his usual, taking part in warmup drills and route work.
* In one passing drill, Tom Brady good-naturedly yelled at Nick Caserio to get out of the way when Randy Moss nearly ran into the Pats’ director of player personnel tracking down a pass. Caserio was standing about 30 yards from the line of scrimmage for the drill.
* There was more of a focus on special teams today, with Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman and Darius Butler all taking turns returning kicks. Stephen Gostkowski also spent some time kicking through the narrow goalposts, though it was hard to tell from our angle how successful he was.
* There seemed to be a focus on third downs during 11-on-11 time; Brady of course looked to Moss for some plays, but also completed passes to Edelman and Aaron Hernandez. When Brian Hoyer was in at quarterback, he hooked up with rookie Taylor Price — who has been very impressive this week — on a deep ball in the left corner of the end zone. Brandon Meriweather and Leigh Bodden were the closest defenders on the play.
* Watching Torry Holt during these practices is amusing. The receiver is perpetually in motion, as today he did his usual top-taps over yardage lines, and also was shadow-boxing, karate-kicking and head-standing to help pass the time.
* Robert Kraft was once again an interested observer, on the field in his suit and tie.