Today was the last time this year the Patriots were to hold practice for the public, but Mother Nature had other ideas — about two hours before practice began, the team announced that the session had been moved indoors and would not be open to the public.
There were several players not spotted for the shells-and-shorts workout, including Leigh Bodden, Nick Kaczur, Jermaine Cunningham, Matthew Slater, Damione Lewis, George Bussey, Thomas Williams, and Darnell Jenkins. Tully Banta-Cain, Gary Guyton, Terrence Johnson, and Dane Fletcher were all present but not participating.
The best moment of the day — and quite possibly the best moment of training camp — came when the offense and defense switched sides for some 7-on-7 red zone work with Vince Wilfork at quarterback.
Wilfork went 1 for 4, his completion going to Patrick Chung, who was covered by Sam Aiken on the right side of the end zone. On the next play, three defensive backs lined up trips right, and Wilfork’s fade was too high and too deep for Darius Butler. That particular throw was pretty ugly. Butler dropped a slant on the next snap.
“He really made some good reads out there, although he didn’t have a rush, so he sat out there for a good 10 seconds trying to get rid of the ball,” Wes Welker said, unsurprised by Wilfork’s mobility. “He’s an athlete; don’t let the size fool you.”
Wilfork’s impressive morning wasn’t finished: when the team went back to “normal” and did some 11-on-11 work, he nearly picked off a Tom Brady screen pass over the middle. Wilfork seemed to come out of nowhere, and got both hands on the ball but couldn’t hang onto it. He danced around in excitement, with Brandon Meriweather hopping on his back at one point.
Kevin Faulk made a tremendous one-handed grab on a screen, corralling a ball that was a bit in front of him and pulling it in to his torso.