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, DE Shaun Ellis.
– Non-football injury list: OL Marcus Cannon.
– Out but watching practice: WR Julian Edelman, WR Brandon Tate, CB Ras-I Dowling, RB Shane Vereen, S Josh Barrett, S James Sanders.
– Out and not visible at practice: WR Taylor Price, DB Malcolm Williams, RB Eric Kettani, LB Brandon Spikes, OL Ryan Wendell, LB Christian Cox, DL Albert Haynesworth, DL Mike Wright, LB Jeff Tarpinian, DE Jermaine Cunningham.
– Returned to practice: OL Zach Roth.
– RB Stevan Ridley was not able to finish practice.
– CB Kyle Arrington was dinged up but kept practicing.
TOP OF THE NEWS
– Sergio Brown saw his reps with the first team dramatically increased at safety. Most of the time, it was Brandon Meriweather who watched from the sidelines as Brown and Patrick Chung got a majority of the first team reps.
– DE Jermaine Cunningham was not at practice. He did not take part in sprints yesterday at the conclusion of practice. Eric Moore filled in at left end, while Andre Carter was on the right side.
– Ridley going off is not good, especially with 21 players already out.
– Deion Branch had a beautiful high snag of a Tom Brady pass in the end zone.
– Chung slammed Aaron Hernandez to the turf after a pass.
– Rob Ninkovich stuffed RB Richard Medlin on 3-and-goal from the 1.
The defense, led by linebacker Jerod Mayo, was pumped to stuff the offense in a goal line situation. Chung broke up a pass in the right flat on first down. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was stopped at the 1 by Mayo, among others. And then Medlin – in for the injured Ridley — was stopped by Ninkovich and Dane Fletcher. The pads were a-popping as they like to say. Good stuff. For the defense.
The offense could not stack success – a favored cliché of coaches during training camp – for a third straight day. The passing offense was sloppy overall, as the three quarterbacks combined to go 21 of 34 in team periods. Most of the completions were of the checkdown variety. Brady was 9 of 13 with a sack. Brian Hoyer (8 of 14) resumed his second-team reps but threw an interception to Gary Guyton. Ryan Mallett was 4 of 7, including the session at the end of practice that includes mostly fringe players.
– Dropped like it’s hot: Chad Ochocinco, Rob Gronkowski.
– Nice catch: Wes Welker (1-handed), Deion Branch.
– Fumbling men: None.
– Big hits: Chung basically picked Hernandez up and slammed him to the ground after a reception. Even the players went, “Ooooh.”
LOVE ME SOME ONE-ON-ONES
Only had one abbreviated period indoors.
Standouts–Offense: Logan Mankins (1-0-0), Mark LeVoir (1-0-0). Defense: Mark Anderson (2-0-0), Myron Pryor (2-0-1).
Struggled a little bit–Offense: Thomas Austin (0-2-0). Defense: Kyle Love (0-2-0)
Decided victories: Pryor over Jonathan Compas; Rob Ninkovich over Steve Maneri.
The defense won the day 8-4-3.
Pryor had a nice bounce-back practice including one rep where Compas’ weight was too far forward and Pryor pulled him down to the ground.
Maneri barely laid a hand on Ninkovich as he blew past with speed.
Mark Anderson must be doing well because he really frustrated Matt Light with an outside-inside move. Light saw his team reps increased today.
ODDS AND ENDS
– With indoor practice, loved being close to the offensive line drills (but sadly not the 1-on-1s) and watching coach Dante Scarnecchia work. Don’t think there’s any doubt that Sebastian Vollmer has the best punch. Pretty sure he would split me in half. Logan Mankins second.
– The Patriots had their first extended “cards” session of camp. What that means if the defense looked up at a card held up by a coach, and performed that play to simulate the opponent. It appeared the offense was getting a glimpse at the Buccaneers’ defense in advance for Thursday’s game. Or it could have been a regular-season opponent.
– Bill Belichick, as he is apt to do, squirted the ball with water on a few occasions to give the offense something to deal with.
– Carter continued his strong play by having his way with Nate Solder in the 9-on-7 running period. Thomas Austin had a solid hook block on Guyton.
– Medlin nearly whiffed picking up a blitz by Tracy White in a one-on-one period. White also had a pass deflection in coverage.
– Green-Ellis had some very nice runs today. Set up his blockers well. Probably his best running day.
– Darius Butler would have been called for pass interference in the end zone if refs were on the field, but was praised a few times for his coverage.
– WR Chad Ochocinco dropped a pass in the end zone from Brady in 7-on-7.
– WR Matthew Slater had several catches today.
Chris Koepplin made all six of his field goals to end practice.
Long snapper Matt Katula worked for a while after the session.
– Tommorow’s practice: 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.