Practice rundown #9

FOXBOROUGH — A rundown of what happened during Sunday’s practice:


Reserve/did not report: RG Brian Waters.

Reserve/left squad: FB Tony Fiammetta.

Physically unable to perform: LG Logan Mankins (knee), RT Sebastian Vollmer (back), OT Markus Zusevics (unknown), TE Daniel Fells (shoulder), TE Jake Ballard (knee), DT Myron Pryor (shoulder).

Red jerseys: WR Matthew Slater (shoulder), S James Ihedigbo (shoulder).

Returned to practice: WR Jeremy Ebert (no pads per CBA), WR Brandon Lloyd (full go).

Out: : CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), LB Tracy White (unknown), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (unknown), DT Jonathan Fanene (unknown), FB Spencer Larsen (unknown), OT Matt Kopa (leg), DT Ron Brace (unknown).


Not participating: WR Deion Branch, OG Derek Dennis, C/G Nick McDonald, S Derrick Martin.


DT Kyle Love as poked in the eye during one-on-ones by Dan Koppen and did not return..

OTs Darrion Weems and Kyle Hix (left arm) left with trainers and did not return.


Full pads


  1. RB Brandon Bolden made a spectacular leaping, back-shoulder grab of a Hoyer pass about 18 yards down the left sideline. Bolden had yet to show that type of receiving ability to date.
  2. CB Ras-I Dowling came up with his first interception of camp when QB Brian Hoyer was slow delivering the ball to TE Tyler Urban and also underthrew it.
  3. Tom Brady zipped in a touchdown pass to Hernandez while Dowling and Jerod Mayo failed to close down the hole quick enough.


The Patriots run a special teams drill where runners and tacklers go one-on-one. Pity the defenders who draw TE Aaron Hernandez or WR Julian Edelman, who are by far the most elusive Patriots in the drill. Hernandez made LBs Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower look bad, and Edelman nearly broke the ankles of S Josh Barrett.


The injury situation on the offensive line is starting to get ridiculous. The Patriots have been thin at guard for a while, but it was the tackle position that took a hit Sunday with Weems and Hix going down. That left just eight linemen to finish practice, and guys like Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon and Donald Thomas had to take double reps, which increases the chances of fatigue injuries exponentially.

Dropped passes: None.
Nice catch: Bolden, Brandon Lloyd.
Fumbled: None.
Interceptions: Dowling (of Hoyer).

One man’s opinion on how the offensive and defensive lines matched up in one-on-one drills (our favorite part of camp). Records shown indicate wins-losses-draws.


StandoutsOffense Donald Thomas (2-0-0), Dan Koppen (1-0-1), Kyle Hix (1-0-1). Defense: Vince Wilfork (1-0-1), Justin Francis (1-0-1), Jake Bequette (1-0-0), Rob Ninkovich (1-0-0)
StruggledOffense: Dustin Waldron (2-2-0) Defense: Marcus Fortson (0-1-1), Marcus Harrison (0-1-1)
Decided victories: Ninkovich (vs. Marcus Cannon), Bequette (vs. Solder), Francis (vs. Waldron).

  • First winning day for the offense (7-6-6).
  • Dan Koppen ended his nine-snap losing streak with a win over Love, who got poked in the eye at the end, and a draw with Fortson. Koppen moved much better and played with better strength.
  • Ninkovich really takes it to Cannon. This time Cannon just couldn’t handle the speed of Ninkovich’s inside spin move.
  • Bequette slapped Solder’s hands down, which got him off balance during an easy victory. Veteran move by the rookie end.
  • Francis continues to impress. He dusted Waldron with the push-pull-rip move. Francis, who has shown end/tackle versatility, is going to be hard to keep off the team if he stays healthy.


  • The passing game has not been sharp of late, and Brady’s frustration is palpable. He wasn’t happy with Thomas jumping off side, and Lloyd had a false start as well. They haven’t been terrible, just not crisp.
  • Brady was just 4 of 8 in his two-minute period. His final pass wasn’t really close to Hernandez, and both discussed the play for several minutes.
  • Hoyer was 4 of 8 as well. He just missed connecting on a touchdown to Edelman, who beaten both CB Marquice Cole and S Nate Ebner.
  • Ryan Mallett didn’t get a shot at the two-minute drill, and he did not have a good session. He still holds the ball too long on occasion.
  • You can tell the Patriots are trying to see what Ebner is made of in just his second practice. He was on the top kickoff return unit, and was inserted into the second-team defense with James Ihedigbo for a stretch.
  • Chandler Jones had a quarterback pressure during the two-minute drill.
  • Brandon Spikes ran over Koppen during a running play.
  • Games must be close because the Patriots are starting to spend more and more time on preparation, both with situations and also schematically. We saw for the first time the offense and defense both “working off cards” during team drills. That’s when one side of the ball is shown a play on a card and then performs that play to give the other side a look. The Patriots were likely getting a feel for what they’ll see from the Saints this week.
  • During the cards period, DE Rob Ninkovich got to play a little strong-side linebacker, something we have not seen him do in the Patriots’ scheme this camp.
  • RB Shane Vereen continues to look more comfortable, but it’s going to be hard for him to catch Stevan Ridley for the primary back role. Ridley had a terrific run where he juked a second-level defender. Bolden is really nifty with the ball in his hand.


Monday: 9-11 a.m.
Tuesday: 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (joint practice with New Orleans Saints)
Wednesday: 10 a.m. with Saints
Thursday: 7:30 p.m. game vs. Saints
Friday: No practice.

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