Mike Reiss cleans out the minicamp notebook with a few quick-hit thoughts.
3. Tried to watch the rookies a little closer than normal, but even if that wasn't the plan, it would have been hard to miss defensive end Jake Bequette surging off the defensive left side in 11-on-11 work to register a "sack" in the end zone that would have been a safety. He got there quickly, which was his reputation at Arkansas. Tough to put much stock in a non-contact drill like that, but if you're a rookie, anything to get noticed helps.
4. Cornerback Kyle Arrington played a solid Super Bowl XLVI, working in the slot against Victor Cruz, and it seems like he's the first option to play that spot this season in sub packages. It will be interesting to see how the competition for the outside cornerback spot in the base defense unfolds, with Arrington and Ras-I Dowling the top candidates. I watched Dowling nicely defend and out-and-up move along the left sideline by receiver Brandon Lloyd.
5. At one point in 7 on 7 work, a group with tight end Aaron Hernandez and receivers Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Deion Branch were joined by running back Shane Vereen. It's early, but a sign that bigger things are expected of Vereen this year.
7. Watched first-round draft choice Chandler Jones closely, and when he plays in a two-point stance at the end of the line, his length stands out as his presence can be disruptive to passing lanes. Can't think of another player in Bill Belichick's tenure like that.
Unlike previous offseasons, the NFL has mandated that mini-camps are conducted without the use of pads. And while that may restrict the number of drills that teams can turn to during their on-field work, it doesn’t limit their ability to work on technique. It appeared as though today was a day of technical emphasis for the Patriots. During the special teams period, players worked on proper form to block a punt, while the defensive line and linebackers appeared to talk and walk through a number of methods for taking on blocks.
Bill Belichick has often highlighted a couple of tasks that are imperative for his receivers to accomplish in order to be successful, and they are getting open and catching the football. Without the pads on, it’s hard to accurately gauge a receiver’s ability to separate, but Brandon Lloyd continues to display steady hands.
Rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard made another pass-breakup this afternoon, dislodging a pass thrown down the sideline for Jabar Gaffney. That’s the second consecutive on-field session that he’s flashed ball skills.
- Erik Scalavino notes the intensity level was noticeably raised a notch on the first day of minicamp. Only Brian Waters was absent.
- Patriots claim TE Jake Ballard off waivers; TE Brad Herman placed on IR.
- Erik Scalavino tackles the Ask PFW mailbag: Mini-camp edition.
- Patriots minicamp quotes.
- Press Conference: Bill Belichick transcript plus video (12.54 min.)
- Patriots Today - Recapping the start of minicamp. (3.03 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Welker talks minicamp. (2.20 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Can Vereen and Ridley lead the way? (2.29 min. video)
- Player Interviews: Rob Ninkovich (2.21 min.), Jesse Holley (8.24 min.), Stevan Ridley (4.07 min.), Joseph Addai (2.49 min.), Aaron Hernandez (2.08 min.), Kyle Arrington (1.57 min.), Shane Vereen (3.12 min.) and Wes Welker (3.24 min.)
- PFW in Progress - The PFW crew offers their analysis of Pats minicamp and discusses the recent transactions. (2 hour program).
- Greg A. Bedard shares his observations from Day 1 of minicamp: Tom Brady was sharp as the offensive line and some of the receivers struggled a little bit.
- Mike Rodak tells us what stood out to him after watching the 90-minute practice without pads. Patrick Chung took punt returns for the first time.
- Christopher Price shares his notes from Tuesday's practice: Some of the personnel groupings were interesting.
- Field Yates posts a rundown of how the team spent its time during practice.
- Karen Guregian wonders if Gronkowski and Hernandez can repeat their unprecedented dominance from last season, and whether they'll even need to.
- Jeff Howe reports RB Stevan Ridley’s main objective this offseason is not holding on to the fumbling issue that popped out at the end of his rookie year.
- Rich Thompson reports Jesse Holley flew back from Cancun, Mexico, right after landing, when he found out the Patriots were interested.
- Field Yates notes Donte' Stallworth is adjusting to the offense in New England and the new wrinkles installed by Josh McDaniels.
- Shalise Manza Young reports the Patriots have plenty of running back options to carry the load now that BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a Bengal.
- Mark Farinella reports Stevan Ridley unceremoniously spilled the beans on the status of Kevin Faulk yesterday.
- Zuri Berry evaluates the running backs on this year's roster.
- Mike Reiss reports that Joseph Addai's experience and veteran presence is already an asset for the young running backs.
- The AP reports Patriots RB Joseph Addai isn’t concerned about switching sides in one of the NFL’s fiercest rivalries.
- Field Yates notes the Patriots have a number of players dealing with injuries and takes a snapshot look at where each injured player stands.
- Field Yates highlights Rob Ninkovich's Q&A with the media Tuesday.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag: Hits, misses and knowing your role. Terrific insight as usual.
- Jeff Howe Patriots Notebook: Wes Welker isn't frustrated over Rob Gronkowski's huge contract extension and isn't worried about his own contract situation either; Brandon Spikes worked out to the side after participating in the early portion of practice yesterday; Logan Mankins & Sebastian Vollmer also worked out to the side but did not practice; Jonathan Fanene suffered a left leg injury and didn't finish practice; TE Daniel Graham was released by the Titans but would be interested if the Patriots wanted him back.
- Boston.com posts some pictures from the first day of minicamp.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Patriots claim Jake Ballard off waivers from Giants.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Giants' gamble on Ballard highlights risks of waiving injured players.
- Dan Hanzus (NFL.com) Wes Welker happy for Gronk, not hurt by Pats' decision.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) No-contact rules apply at minicamps, too.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday Edition: Ochocinco motivated to play for Dolphins, but questions remain.
- Rivers McCown (Football Outsiders) 2011 Play-action, offense.
- Mike Lupica (NY Daily News) Roger Goodell must crack down on league's drunk drivers.
- Greg Gabriel (Nat'l Football Post) Finding the best offensive linemen is no easy task.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Left tackle in the NFL is gradually become a less valued position.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Olympic football? There's work to do.