Here’s a rundown on what went on at Patriots’ practice this evening:
– Unsigned draft picks: OT Nate Solder.
– 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 Marcus Cannon.
– Out: LS Matt Katula, S Josh Barrett, OT Kyle Hix, RB Eric Kettani, G Ryan Wendell, CB Darius Butler, CB Ras-I Dowling, DE Alex Silvestro.
– RB Shane Vereen pulled up during a drill and did not return. It appeared to be a hamstring injury.
– S Patrick Chung and OL Corey Woods did not participate in sprints to finish practice.
Shells, shorts and helmets.
TOP OF THE NEWS
– Besides Vereen leaving practice early, the secondary was short a few players with Butler not on the field, and Dowling watching from the sidelines. Don’t know the reason for either player not participating. With Dowling’s injury, that means he and Vereen — who signed on Tuesday — both made it through one full practice.
– Before Vereen left, you could really see his quickness on the Gillette Stadium turf. Good hands too.
ODDS AND ENDS
Since this practice was in shells, there were hardly any competitive periods. So the report will be limited.
– This was, by far, the best practice of Chad Ochocinco‘s brief Patriots career. He seemed to be much more in sync with QB Tom Brady, but both still have a ways to go to get tuned up for the season.
– Chung and CB Leigh Bodden continue to have outstanding camps. Both are playing extremely tight coverage all over the field. Bodden has been a real pain to the receivers. He barely lets them breathe. Chung has been very tough on the tight ends.
– Hard not to notice that in the initial hurry-up offense period, Ochocinco was paired up with Wes Welker and not Deion Branch. But Branch was back later in the drill.
– Brady was 3-of-3 on his opening hurry up drive with completions to Ochocinco (2) and Rob Gronkowski. Danny Woodhead mixed in three solid runs.
– Brian Hoyer was 1-of-2. Taylor Price dropped a deep pass that got him turned around. Tough catch to make.
– Mallett nearly hooked up with Matthew Slater on a bomb down the right side, but Slater couldn’t haul it in. Mallett did connect with Darnell Jenkins on a 35-yard touchdown in the left corner of the end zone over Malcolm Williams.
– There were officials on the field for the first time in training camp, and among those drawing flags were CB Thad Turner (pass interference), Williams (pass interference) and Brandon Meriweather (holding).
– QB Ryan Mallett has made some progress with his footwork and shortening his release. He’s still a little inaccurate (mostly high) but he seems to be getting more comfortable.
– Players with new numbers: Stevan Ridley (22 from 37), Solder (when he gets here he’ll be 77 as opposed to 74. New players on the field: RB Richard Medlin (37), OL Jonathan Compas (74) and OL Chris Morris (66).
– There continued to be a lot of work done with the four-man line.
– Slater, LB Brandon Spikes and Mallett each stayed well over an hour after practice to sign for the season ticket holders in attendance.
– 18,334 fans turned out for the event, a five-year high.
– Team owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft watched from the sidelines. Daniel Kraft was also on hand.
– Thursday’s practice: 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Could be moved to 1:30 p.m. if the CBA is ratified tonight or early in the morning)
– Friday’s practice: 1:30-4 p.m.