Field Yates notes the tough stretch ahead for the Pats, but Tom Brady says that's okay with him.
"This week's really felt like training camp, stringing these practices together, but you can never get enough work," he told reporters on Wednesday afternoon. "That's the thing about football: You can never practice enough. The more practice, the better the practices are, the better your team's ultimately going to be."
"It hasn't certainly been all perfect, and it's not going to be, but you've got to be mentally tough enough to push through this time of year and go out tomorrow and try not to make the same mistakes again."
Paul Perillo offers his Wednesday afternoon observations from camp.
-Hernandez spent some time with the running backs at the start of practice, taking handoffs and running short routes while the tight ends went through their routine elsewhere. Shortly thereafter he spent time with trainer Jim Whalen but he immediately returned to the action, perhaps after getting re-taped.
-The 1-on-1 drills once again consisted of defensive backs vs. wide receivers and offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen. Marquice Cole came up with a terrific play, deflecting an out pattern with a quick lunge. Other than that most passes were completed, particularly when Deion Branch and Wes Welker were involved. Both consistently broke free, particularly when running in-cuts across the middle.
-The defense once again enjoyed a strong day. Brandon Spikes was quite active throughout, both in terms of pass rushing and run stopping. Also, Chandler Jones continues to impress with his quickness. He blew in from the right side to stop Shane Vereen deep in the backfield on one early running play.
Brady was consistently forced to take the ball down and look for receivers throughout the afternoon, which is a sign that the coverage was tight. On more than a few occasions he was even forced to leave the pocket in an effort to buy extra time to wait for someone to come open. We should add that Sterling Moore appeared to share reps with Ras-I Dowling as the fifth defensive back. For the most part this summer it’s been Dowling entering as Kyle Arrington has moved inside to the slot. Today Moore received plenty of run.
-Later in the period Brady and Hernandez hooked up on a deep ball, taking advantage of a blown coverage. Tavon Wilson was the closest Patriot but clearly he was not the only one out of position on the play, as Hernandez caught the pass some 45 yards downfield with barely a blue shirt within 10 yards.
-During the punt return work, rookie Nate Ebner knocked over Tim Bulman with a shoulder that appeared to be from behind. Bulman did not like the hit and gestured toward Ebner after the play. The block almost certainly would have drawn a penalty in a game, and was probably a bit more physical than most in a practice setting. Ebner did appear to come up with another interception, this one during 7-on-7s, although it was tough to see through a maze of players.
- Press Conference: Bill Belichick (22.28 min. video).
- Player Interviews: Tom Brady (Transcript) - Wes Welker (2.52 min. plus Transcript) - Nate Ebner (2.33 min.)
- Patriots Today - Trio back in action. (1 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Tom Brady talks with the media. (10.05 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Welker stays steady through camp. (1.57 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Jumping into camps last stretch. (2.46 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Sterling Moore one-on-one. (2.14 min. video)
- Locker Room Uncut - Lloyd, Gaffney and more. (2.55 min. video)
- Training Camp-Cast - The PFW crew recaps all of Wednesday's camp action. (12.55 min. program)
- Mary Paoletti sends us a Postcard from Camp: Day 21. Safe to say the defense had a better day overall and loved every second of it.
- Greg A. Bedard gives us a rundown of Wednesday's camp: Probably the most competitive practice, in terms of drills, in a while.
- Mike Petraglia tells us ten things we learned Wednesday from practice. Logan Mankins was in full pads for the first time.
- Field Yates wraps up the key storylines from Day 21.
- Mark Farinella notes the Patriots will have a busy stretch with three preseason games in ten days and the workload will have to be managed.
- Julian Benbow finds that Tom Brady and his Patriots never get too successful to believe that they can’t learn from their mistakes in practice.
- Field Yates breaks down the WR competition as it currently stands.
- Karen Guregian focuses on Tom Brady's sessions with pitching/throwing coach Tom House and what he's still trying to learn.
- Jeff Howe notes that oddly enough, Brady sharpened up this week when three of his most important targets were nursing injuries on the sideline.
- Karen Guregian notes Bobby Carpenter carries the weight of being a first-round pick who was a big-time bust in Dallas, but maybe he's finally found his niche under Belichick.
- Julian Benbow notes the new sideline technology in the NFL doesn’t have Bill Belichick especially excited.
- Christopher Price runs the Patriots conditioning test and lives to tell the tale. Two sets of 10 40-yard dashes in six seconds or less, with 30 seconds in between.
- Paul Kenyon says a frustrated Tom Brady is still trying to work out the kinks during camp.
- Mark Farinella reports Nick McDonald credits Dante Scarnecchia for helping him learn all five positions along the O-line and see time at each one.
- Mike Petraglia says Steve Gregory is a different type of safety for the Patriots.
- Paul Kenyon Patriots Notebook: Belichick wants QBs to push the limit in practice; Logan Mankins briefly took part in one-on-one and two-on-two drills; Injury update: Gaffney tweaked his right leg, Arrington also limped off the field.
- Jeff Howe Patriots Notebook: Nate Solder is learning from his performance in the first preseason game and refining his technique to continue to get better; K Chris Koepplin has been at camp to help manage Gostkowski's workload; Jabar Gaffney injured his right thigh early in yesterday's practice (yeesh).
- Mike Reiss posts some quick-hits from Belichick's press conference.
- James Walker (ESPN) Belichick getting ready for Tebow, Wildcat.
- James Walker (ESPN) More thoughts on Patriots going 16-0.
- Marc Sessler (NFL.com) Brandon Lloyd catching 'everything thrown his way.'
- AP Report (ESPN) Patriots have high hopes for DB Gregory.
- Gregg Rosenthal (NFL.com) Offensive Power Rankings: Patriots, Packers soar.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL, NFLRA continue their public squabble.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Replacement ref blunder in Bills-Redskins game was inexcusable.
- Doug Farrar (Yahoo! Sports) Mike Pereira, leading critic of replacement officials, used to be a replacement official.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) The MVPs of Training Camp: NFL trainers and team doctors run a M*A*S*H unit in August.
- Albert Breer (NFL.com) New footballs cause concern among NFL quarterbacks.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League, union now squabbling over balls.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) With bounty rulings pending, Judge has clear concerns about league's process.