New England Patriots Links 6/08/12 - OTAs Over, Mandatory Minicamp Starts Next Week

Donte Stallworth has been seeing plenty of reps as a return man in OTAs. He'll be getting even more with Ocho's release.

Andy Hart notes the overall theme of today's OTAs was the lack of execution and trouble substituting on offense.

Bill Belichick had the entire offense run punishment laps on multiple occasions, including a double-lap at one point. Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady also spent time vociferously expressing displeasure at the unit.

After working with the medical staff during last week’s practice, Joseph Addai was back on the practice field. Also, rookie Jeremy Ebert made his first appearance at OTAs, taking several reps at wideout after missing the previous workouts while waiting for his class to graduate at Northwestern.

Newly signed veteran tight end Bo Scaife, wearing the No. 49 formerly worn by recently cut defender Markell Carter, worked with the training staff early in practice. Scaife was then on the field and seemed to really be struggling with his conditioning, even when simply jogging the penalty laps with the rest of the offense.

With Hernandez not seen, Gronkowski still rehabbing his ankle, Fells having missed all of OTAs and Herman carted off, the Patriots depth at tight end is pretty poor at this early point in the process. Defensive end Alex Silvestro once again worked as a tight end throughout Thursday’s workout, as he’s done throughout OTAs. For what it’s worth, Silvestro struggles to catch the ball much like you would expect from a defensive lineman.

Whether it was offensive ineptitude or strong defense, the guys wearing gray jerseys were active on Thursday. The secondary was able to disrupt the timing on multiple occasions, particularly during some situational work that featured the two-minute drill and red area offense. The quarterbacks were often seen double-pumping and throwing later than they would have liked.

One interesting sign during the two-minute work was the presence of second-year running back Shane Vereen. He opened the drill as the lone setback and caught passes from Brady on each of the first two plays. He occupied the role normally filled by Danny Woodhead throughout the drill and did not look out of place.

The Patriots kickoff return unit got plenty of work with Donte’ Stallworth getting some reps as the return man. During his nine-year career Stallworth has seen very little time as a returner. He returned just eight kicks – all in 2003 with as a member of the Saints – and 18 punts, the most recent in 2005. Vereen, Woodhead, Julian Edelman and Stevan Ridley also handled kicks.

As Belichick often does, he tossed an occasional blocking pad in the direction of the quarterbacks as they were set to throw. On one play he flung it along the ground toward Brady’s feet, forcing the quarterback to jump over it before launching a deep ball toward Brandon Lloyd down the right sideline. Hoyer also was forced to avoid the coach’s torments periodically during the morning.




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