Here’s a rundown on what went on at Patriots’ practice this afternoon:
– Unsigned draft picks: OT Nate Solder, CB Ras-I Dowling, RB Shane Vereen.
– Veterans who can’t practice until Aug. 4: CB Kyle Arrington, RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (restricted), G Logan Mankins (franchise), RB Sammy Morris (unrestricted), RB Kevin Faulk (unrestricted), DL Steve Williams (unrestricted).
– Physically unable to perform list: DL Ron Brace, DL Brandon Deaderick, DL Myron Pryor.
– Non-football injury list: OL Mike Berry, S James Sanders, OL Marcus Cannon.
– Out: LS Matt Katula, S Josh Barrett.
– None from the looks of it.
TOP OF THE NEWS
– DL Albert Haynesworth made his debut for the Patriots and when he was taking part, he was dominating. But that was for maybe half the practice. He watched the rest and did not participate in sprints that concluded practice.
– Haynesworth was paired in the middle with Vince Wilfork, and the duo showed glimpses of great promise. If this works out, the Patriots could really have something there. But we’re a long ways off from that. The Patriots are obviously going to bring Haynesworth along slowly.
– Haynesworth announced his presence with authority in the opening half-line drill (three defenders vs. three OL and one TE). He quickly busted through center Rich Ohrnberger and guard Ryan Wendell to get into the backfield, much to the delight of the overflow crowd. On his second snap Wendell stood Haynesworth up – after he was initially pushed back 2 ½ feet. Haynesworth took exception for some reason, and gave Wendell a shove and stare.
– In the team drill, Ohrnberger and Thomas Austin did a little better but Haynesworth still got through the line. They finally got Haynesworth on the ground on the next play when the big man got a little tangled with Austin has Ohrnberger attempted to block Haynesworth.
– And that was about it for Haynesworth. A nice little tease to be sure, but a work in progress.
ILB Brandon Spikes played like a man possessed as he continued to knock people all over the place. He absolutely nailed TE Aaron Hernandez on a reverse. It must have been contagious as others, including Jerod Mayo and Dane Fletcher, laid some big shots. The defense was definitely having a lot of fun and feeling good about itself, which it should have because…
The offense was not good. The offensive line couldn’t open up running holes or protect the quarterback on a consistent basis. There were a ton of drops and more than a few fumbles. And the quarterbacks were not sharp either. Not sure I’m willing to chalk it up to the defense being ahead of the offense quite yet. It was just general sloppiness on the part of the offense, which is part of the ebb and flow of training camp. No offseason for the many young players on offense probably didn’t help.
– QB Ryan Mallett showed off with a beautiful bomb down the right sideline to Taylor Price after he had gotten behind CB Thad Turner.
– Haynesworth’s debut when he sliced through Ohrnberger and Wendell with sudden force.
– CB Leigh Bodden had an interception of Brian Hoyer when he underthrew TE Rob Gronkowski after there was a little pushing and shoving.
– In a big upset, C Ryan Wendell managed to get DE Mike Wright on the ground. It was tough to tell, but I’m willing to believe Wright simply got his feet tied up. Wendell also beat DE Eric Moore.
LOVE ME SOME ONE-ON-ONES
– Impressive: Offense-Sebastian Vollmer (2-0-0), Mark LeVoir (1-0-1), Dan Koppen (1-0-0), Rich Ohrnberger (0-0-2). Defense-Landon Cohen (2-0-1), Vince Wilfork (1-0-1), Jermaine Cunningham (1-0-1), Kade Weston (0-0-2).
– Struggled a little: Offense-Corey Woods (0-1-0), Dan Connolly (0-1-1), Ryan Wendell (2-2-0), Steve Maneri (0-1-1), Kyle Hix (0-1-1). Defense– Aaron Laverias (0-1-0), Darryl Richard (0-1-0), Clay Nurse (0-1-0), Eric Moore (1-2-0).
– Decided victories: Not even a hold by Maneri could keep Moore from going around him; Wendell put Wright on the ground, and Wilfork easily walked Connolly back to the quarterback.
ODDS AND ENDS
– WR Chad Ochocinco had two bad drops, jumped way too early for another pass, and couldn’t haul in a few poorly thrown balls. He also stopped running on a play that Brady tried to keep alive, which led to the ball going over Ochocinco’s head. After each error, he either looks at the quarterback or at the defender that was on him. Never really seen a receiver react like that in practice. Ochocinco stayed well after practice to catch extra passes. He’s certainly trying hard. He’ll continue to feel his way through the offense for a while.
– At one point between drills, Ochocinco was hanging with the defensive line and he had them all cracking up.
– Hernandez showed he’s still got plenty of room to improve his blocking when he barely made contact with Patrick Chung in a running drill.
– Moore continued to impress by busting through the line on one play. He wasn’t happy he couldn’t close on the ball carrier.
– In a run drill, LT Sebastian Vollmer put OLB Markell Carter on the ground. Steve Maneri whiffed on Spikes.
– We saw a lot of four-man line today for the first time. Both Jermaine Cunningham and Moore played with their hands on the ground on occastion. Cunningham had a tackle for a loss on a reverse to Buddy Farnham.
– Wilfork had a tackle at the line against Danny Woodhead.
– Brady had a few low throws and had a miscommunication with Gronkowski for the second-straight day. Wes Welker made a nice adjustment to catch a low pass from Brady before it hit the turf.
– ILB Jeff Tarpinian had a tackle for a loss.
– Dropped it like it’s hot: Ochocinco (2), Julian Edelman, Thomas Clayton, Wes Welker. Think there were a few more but I was watching other drills.
– Fumbling men: Ridley, Mallett, Danny Woodhead.
– Mallett had a very uneven day. He had the gorgeous pass to Price, but he also held the ball and telegraphed a pass that Spikes easily knocked down. Mallett also had a high throw to Ochocinco and dropped a snap. Mallett carried Brady’s pads off the field, which is the rookie custom.
– Celtics guard Rajon Rondo dropped by practice.
Zoltan Mesko had two booming punts, with 4.59 and 4.61 hangtimes, during his first punting period. His average on five punts was 4.32. He concluded his second session with a shank that stayed in the air 2.5 seconds. Mesko averaged 3.71 that period.
K Chris Koepplin got off to a poor start with a short field goal that didn’t come close wide right, and his second was blocked. He made his next four before missing his final two.
– Monday’s practice: No practice.