This morning’s practice, the third for the Patriots and Saints, was run at about half the speed of yesterday’s sessions — but there was certainly some pushing and aggressive play during special teams work.
* As Bill Belichick mentioned this morning, there seemed to be a heavy focus on situational work and execution – the teams went into 11-on-11 work fairly quickly.
* The quick attendance check: Torry Holt, Gary Guyton, Leigh Bodden, Matthew Slater and Terrence Johnson were shorts-clad observers; Nick Kaczur and Ty Warren were not present.
* We also learned through attendance that the Patriots have re-signed running back Thomas Clayton and released Darnell Stapleton — if you’re keeping score, Stapleton was on the roster for less than 48 hours.
* The Saints’ Malcolm Jenkins provided some early entertainment – George Clinton & Parliament’s “Atomic Dog” came over the speakers while the teams were stretching and Jenkins popped up and did a step routine from his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. When he was done, his teammates were cheering and so was the crowd.
* From the Some Things Never Change Dept.: Tom Brady and Wes Welker still have it. During goal line, Brady got the snap, stood in the pocket, but then pulled the ball down and rolled to his left, hitting Welker in the far back left corner of the end zone. There was some debate as to whether Welker got both feet down, but the feeling in the press tent was that he did.
* Alge Crumpler also had a nice “touchdown” catch from Brian Hoyer, stretching out to pull in the ball near the sideline.
* During special teams, which today was punting, Pats’ rookie Sergio Brown and Adrian Arrington, Terrence Wheatley and Leigh Torrence, and Jonathan Wilhite and a Saints player all had some pushing and shoving as they ran down on coverage.
* There was one injury, as Saints running back Lynell Hamilton dropped after getting the ball. It is feared that he has a torn ACL.