Here’s a rundown on what went on at Patriots’ practice this afternoon:
– Physically unable to perform list: DL Ron Brace, DL Brandon Deaderick, RB Kevin Faulk, OT Matt Light.
– Non-football injury list: OL Marcus Cannon.
– Out but watching practice: WR Brandon Tate, CB Ras-I Dowling, S James Sanders, S Josh Barrett, RB Shane Vereen, S Ross Ventrone, DL Shaun Ellis.
– Out and not visible at practice: RB Eric Kettani, LB Brandon Spikes, OL Ryan Wendell, DL Albert Haynesworth, DL Mike Wright.
– Returned to practice: DE Andre Carter, DL Gerard Warren
– TE Rob Gronkowski left practice midway through with two medical staff members. He was having trouble up to that point — slow coming out of his breaks and had a few drops. He didn’t have an injury that was apparent. Just walked slow off the field. Could have been heat related.
– OL Chris Morris injured his left leg in one-on-ones and did not participate after that. Morris seemed to be making a push for second-team center over Rich Ohrnberger before the injury.
– RG Dan Connolly hurt his right elbow and did not participate after that.
– LG Logan Mankins was having a tough time at the end with the heat. He even stumbled around a little bit before taking a knee.
TOP OF THE NEWS
– Starters Albert Haynesworth, Brandon Spikes, and Mike Wright missed their third-straight practice.
– Some of the practice was played in heavy rain.
– In the first play of goal-line defense, DT Vince Wilfork tossed aside C Dan Koppen and just about swallowed RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis whole.
– LB Dane Fletcher had a huge hit that stopped RB Steven Ridley in his tracks in red zone.
– QB Brian Hoyer showed nice touch and patience from the 5-yard line when he waited a beat for WR Julian Edelman to come free in the end zone.
Undrafted rookie LB Jeff Tarpinian is making a very strong push for a place on the roster, if he doesn’t have one already. Not only is he getting looks on the top special teams, but he had a pass breakup and a tackle for loss in red-zone drills. Tarpinian was injury prone in college at Iowa and he’s dealing with a right leg injury (not that he’d admit it), but he’s toughing his way through it.
One practice after having their best performance, the offense as a whole had a poor one. The passing game was out of sync, there wasn’t much room to run the ball … it just wasn’t very sharp. The offensive line was back to having a rough time in team periods. Injuries definitely took at toll as injuries to Connolly and Morris thinned the ranks. Probably didn’t help that Gronkowski, the best blocking tight end, was also out.
– Dropped like it’s hot: WR Chad Ochocinco, RB Stevan Ridley (vs. air). Taylor Price, Gronkowski.
– Nice catch: Ochocinco (but out of bounds).
– Fumbling men: Tom Brady and Dan Koppen, Brian Hoyer and Chris Morris.
– Big hits: Dane Fletcher, Sergio Brown, Tarpinian.
LOVE ME SOME ONE-ON-ONES
Standouts–Offense: Rich Ohrnberger (2-0-0), Nate Solder (1-0-1), Logan Mankins (1-0-1), Jonathan Compas (1-0-0), Dan Koppen (0-0-2), Sebastian Vollmer (0-0-1). Defense: Myron Pryor (2-0-1), Jermaine Cunningham (1-0-1), Gerard Warren (1-0-0), Clay Nurse (1-0-0), Andre Carter (1-0-0).
Struggled a little bit–Offense: Thomas Austin (0-2-0). Defense: Landon Cohen (1-2-0).
Decided victories: Ohrnberger over Cohen.
Overall it was pretty even, with the defense winning, 7-5-7.
Ohrnberger has been much improved in this drill the past couple of days. He put Cohen on his back today.
Mankins seems to have shaken off the rust and is approaching midseason form.
Pryor continues to open eyes, both in this drill and in team. He has a nice blend of strength and quickness.
There was only one session of one-on-ones today. Normally there are two.
ODDS AND ENDS
– It was not a good session for the passing offense. Tom Brady was 7 of 17 in all team periods, Hoyer was 3 of 6, and Ryan Mallett was 2 of 4 with two sacks.
– Before he left, Gronkowski had four passes thrown to him in team and they were all incompletions. Before today, he was completely lights out.
– Jeremy Ross got some looks as a kickoff returner. Expect him to get a lot of action there Thursday night. He’s done a nice job overall to this point.
– RB Stevan Ridley and LB Marques Murrell got a shot on the top kickoff unit.
– In two of the first three plays of the 9-on-7 running drill, DE Eric Moore easily slipped by LT Nate Solder to make tackles in the backfield. Myron Pryor also had an outstanding performance in the drill with one tackle at the line.
– In the two-minute period, the offense made two first downs in nine plays. It was a struggle for them.
– CB Kyle Arrington showed some heads up when Brady tried to execute the fake clock-spike play. Arrington wasn’t fooled and was all over Ochocinco.
– Rookie running backs Ridley and Richard Medillin really struggled in the blitz pick-up drill. Ridley couldn’t contain Tarpinian or S Sergio Brown. Medillin just about got run over by S Patrick Chung.
– In a team period, TE Will Yeatman teed off on Moore, and Solder was right there as well. DT Kade Weston blew up Thomas Austin, who has struggled of late, and tackled BenJarvus Green-Ellis for a loss.
– Yeatman had a great block that sprung Green-Ellis for a big run.
– Leigh Bodden is just playing great coverage. Devin McCourty has largely been a non-factor for a few days. He’s not making bad plays, he’s just not in on many. Perhaps the quarterbacks are staying away from him.
– Patriots executed their little pick play to Woodhead to perfection for a red-zone touchdown.
– S Josh Barrett had a tackle for a loss against Ridley as Ohrnberger failed to execute a block.
– S Brandon Meriweather was involved in a blown coverage in 7-on-7.
– LB Jerod Mayo had a nice pass break-up.
– Retired RG Stephen Neal was at practice talking to Belichick.
Stephen Gostkowski made all six of his field-goal attempts, including one on the fly as the clock was running.
– Tommorow’s practice: 1:30-4 p.m.
– Wednesday’s practice: 10-11:15 a.m. (Open to the public. Please enter the Bank of America Gate located on the West Side of the Gillette Stadium)