Mike Reiss wraps up Day 22 of Training Camp:
Edelman & Koutouvides ejected from practice. In a scene not often seen, Patriots coach Bill Belichick kicked both receiver/returner Julian Edelman and linebacker Niko Koutouvides out of practice. The two were engaged with each other at the end of a punt return and the emotions were spilling over. It broke up quickly -- not like the few earlier scraps in camp -- but Belichick seemed to be operating on a zero-tolerance policy. He sent both players off the field ... and back to the locker room. It was a rare sight as Edelman walked off first, and Koutouvides followed about 20-25 yards behind, both heading to the same place with about 30 minutes of practice remaining.
Ridley & Wilson knocked out. Running back Stevan Ridley and safety Tavon Wilson both didn't finish the practice because of lower-body injuries. As part of being evaluated by head athletic trainer Jim Whalen, Ridley stood on one foot and squatted slightly, which could have indicated that he was testing his knee. To the layman, it didn't seem too serious and Ridley did watch the remainder of the practice from the sideline, and later walked off the field on his own. Wilson had ice on his left ankle/foot and watched the remainder of practice sitting down between the two practice fields.
Mankins ups his workload. Starting left guard Logan Mankins has gradually been eased into the mix since coming off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday, and on Thursday, he took another step by participating in team drills for the first time. If Mankins keeps progressing from offseason surgery to repair a torn ACL, he should be on the field for the season opener Sept. 9 in Tennessee.
Gaffney held out of practice. Receiver Jabar Gaffney, who pulled up in practice Wednesday with what appeared to be a right quad/hamstring injury, did not participate in Thursday's on-field workout. That left more work for Deion Branch, Donte' Stallworth and Julian Edelman (pre-ejection) in the competition at receiver behind Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.
Quote of the day. "I don't like heights." -- Bill Belichick, when asked if he could envision himself living on a space station for six months.
Star performer. Safety Nate Ebner. The sixth-round draft choice is getting more quality defensive reps and showing up in a positive way. He had a pass-breakup that displayed his solid athleticism (he broke very quickly to the ball) and also nicely defended a reverse. He moves well back there.
Tough day at the office. Receiver Wes Welker. Uncharacteristic day, as he dropped a pass and also took a lap for a false-start penalty.
- Erik Scalavino writes about Thursday's high-energy session that got physical between players.
- Press Conference: Bill Belichick (12:55 min. video)
- Patriots Training Camp quotes.
- Patriots Today - Recapping an eventful Thursday. (3.11 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Player profile: Nate Ebner. (2 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Branch takes camp in stride. (2.33 min. video)
- Locker Room Uncut - Players open up after practice. (2.45 min. video)
- Player Interviews: Rob Ninkovich (4.39 min. video), Deion Branch (7.42 min. video) and Rob Gronkowski (2.20 min. video)
- Training Camp-Cast - A recap of all the action from Thursday's camp session. (16.59 min. program)
- PFW in Progress - The PFW crew discusses recent practices and the latest news around the NFL. (2 hour program.)
- Mike Reiss reports Bill Belichick had enough and quickly booted Julian Edelman and Niko Koutouvides after a pushing match at practice.
- Mike Petraglia tells us ten things we learned form Thursday's camp. The offense still looks rough.
- Field Yates reports from Day 22 of camp, with players in full pads for the fourth straight session.
- Jeff Howe sees Rob Gronkowski has shaken his slow start.
- Michael Whitmer notes Steve Gregory gives the Patriots stability in the secondary.
- Mike Reiss reports that after a tough rookie season, Shane Vereen is healthy and excited.
- Field Yates notes Rob Ninkovich's role is coming into focus.
- Dan Duggan reports DT Tim Bulman is glad to be back home.
- Mike Reiss offers a few quick-hit thoughts on where things stand with the O-line.
- Michael Whitmer Patriots Notebook: Rob Gronkowski is pleased by his progress and feels he has improved since the first day of camp; Rob Ninkovich has spent more time at DE than at LB in camp; The kick return game still needs a lot of work; Belichick on Jabar Gaffney's leg injury: "Day-to-day. I don't think this is life-threatening."
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
- Ron Borges focuses on Logan Mankins' toughness. As Nate Solder says, "He's one of those guys who sweats leadership."
- Phil Perry sends us another Postcard from Camp: Devin McCourty continues to show excellent man coverage skills.
- Jeff Howe tells us what happened at Thursday's practice. Chandler Jones continues to blow up plays in the running and passing game.
- Christopher Price takes a look at what's behind the increased feistiness at camp this year.
- Jeff Howe sees an opportunity for Shane Vereen, with Stevan Ridley's knee injury, and spotlights the rest of the backs on the roster.
- Christopher Price explains why it won't matter who rounds out the Patriots' receiving corps.
- Jeff Howe notes the Patriots are still more focused on themselves at camp, than on prepping for the Eagles.
- Mike Reiss explores the possibility of Donte' Stallworth as the primary kickoff returner.
- Obnoxious Boston Fan tells us Tom Brady is now officially "America's Alpha Dog,' at least according to the upcoming issue of VMAN Magazine.
- Jim Donaldson writes about the glaring contrast between the Sox and the Pats.
- Gary Tanguay, Andy Hart and Steve Buckley talk over/unders for the Pats this season. (4.24 min. video)
- Marc Sessler (NFL.com) Chandler Jones nicknamed 'The Closer' by Patriots' Jerod Mayo.
- James Walker (ESPN) Updating Patriots' competition at receiver.
- Kevin Fishbain (Pro Football Weekly) Francis, Forston playing well in Pats camp.
- Adam Schein (NFL.com) Green Bay Packers will win Super Bowl XLVII in February.
- John Clayton (ESPN) Teams find it's time to man up.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Preseason injuries make 18-and-2 split more reasonable.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) With hearing looming, NFL responds to collusion claim.