Devin McCourty says defensive back isn't so much a position as a mindset, and theirs is focused on being more aggressive this year.
Greg A. Bedard tells us what went on at Monday's practice.
CB Malcolm Williams got the crowd going when he took TE Alex Silvestro to the turf with power during a tackling drill.
CB Ras-I Dowling continues to make progress. Physically, he has been much-improved from where he was in the off-season practices, and now he has started making plays on the ball. On Sunday he had an interception, and on Monday he made a terrific break on a pass in the flat from Brady to Brandon Lloyd. Dowling jumped it like he knew it was coming – that’s an advantage vets use during camp because they can identify the route combinations – but after practice he said he broke so fast because he was reading Brady. Next progress point for Dowling: performing against the Saints.
The ball was on the ground too many times today for the passing offense. And it wasn’t the QBs being off, as it has been previously. There were four drops of passes that were right on the money, into a deep pass from Brady to Lloyd that should have been a touchdown.
Mike Petraglia details ten things we learned Monday at training camp.
TAKEDOWN: There were some good battles in one-on-one tackling drills, including a nice, clean shot by safety Malcolm Williams on newly-minted tight end Alex Silvestro, as Williams wrapped him up at the waist and drove him to the ground. Ross Ventrone stuck with the speedy Wes Welker on another good battle while Aaron Hernandez eluded Tavon Wilson.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: The defense continues to look a step ahead of the offense as they consistently displayed the ability to break up the offense’s rhythm in down-and-distance situations. Brady looked for Brandon Lloyd on a route near the far sideline and Ras-I Dowling stepped up and knocked down the pass on a third down situation. On another play, Brady looked deep for Julian Edelman on a post route, only to have Sergio Brown get his hand on it and knock it away.
DEFENSIVE GROUPINGS: The defense began to show a few more looks to the offense in Monday’s practice. With Brandon Spikes not at practice, Jerod Mayo was moved to the weakside linebacker spot while rookie Dont’a Hightower was moved from weak side to inside. Rob Ninkovich continued to man the outside while Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love worked on two-down schemes, with rookie defensive end Chandler Jones off his hands on the right side. The Patriots also featured some nickel packages for the first time as Devin McCourty and Ras-I Dowling get extensive looks on the corners and Kyle Arrington played the "star" or slot defensive back position.
- Darren Hartwell notes the New Orleans Saints will provide a tough but valuable test for Devin McCourty and the Patriots secondary.
- Paul Perillo reports situations were the name of the game on Monday, from hurry-up to down-and-distance to red area and goal line.
- Erik Scalavino shares his Monday notes from camp as New England readies for New Orleans.
- Press Conference Transcript: Nick Caserio.
- Patriots Today - The start of a big week. (2.16 min. video)
- Patriots Today - The Pats prepare for the Saints. (2.56 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Getting closer to game day. (2.23 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Brady, front and center. (2.52 min. video)
- Player Interviews: Ras-I Dowling (1.41 min.), Kyle Love (1.20 min.), Brian Hoyer (4.17 min.), Devin McCourty (9.29 min.) and Brandon Lloyd (6.10 min.)
- Training Camp Quotes - Monday media access.
- Julian Benbow notes the Patriots secondary is focused on staying aggressive.
- Field Yates gives us a sampling of the matchups he'll be keeping a close eye on today against the Saints.
- Greg A. Bedard runs down what went on at the Patriots' full-pads practice Monday morning. It was the annual soaking of the rookies event.
- Field Yates offers his observations from yesterday's camp. Patriots noticeably picked up the pace.
- Mike Reiss serves up some leftovers from camp, noting that Devin McCourty has exclusively lined up at cornerback so far.
- Tom E. Curran sends his latest postcard from camp: New wrinkle on Monday. The full pads practice was held in the morning; replacement refs present.
- CSNNE offers its report on what stood out from Monday's practice. Brady seemed extremely dialed-in and accurate.
- Mike Reiss wraps up the key storylines of Day 12 of Training Camp.
- Christopher Price looks at whether Devin McCourty can bounce back in 2012.
- Mike Reiss reports Brandon Spikes was a notable absence yesterday.
- Mark Farinella says Dont'a Hightower is totally serious and totally focused upon what he wants to accomplish on the football field.
- Dan Duggan discovers Dont'a Hightower has dominated wherever he lined up.
- Jeff Howe says Brandon Lloyd has provided many of the team's "wow" moments during OTAs and again in Training Camp.
- Shalise Manza Young reports Brandon Lloyd credits his track training for how he excels on the football field.
- Karen Guregian speculates on why Tom Brady's throwing coach, Tom House, was at Gillette Stadium yesterday.
- Tim Britton says this preseason is Brian Hoyer's time to shine.
- Mark Daniels reports Stephen Gostkowski is a lock for the kicking job, but that doesn't make him any less motivated to prove his worth.
- Mike Reiss evaluates UDFAs RB Brandon Bolden and DE Justin Francis through 10 practices.
- Karen Guregian notes undrafted rookies Justin Francis and Brandon Bolden are making people wonder how they slipped through the cracks.
- Christopher Price takes a look at ten guys who are on the hot seat when it comes to making the 53-man roster.
- Christopher Price talks about the injuries and uncertainty surrounding the Patriots O-line.
- Jeff Howe Patriots Notebook: Pats will go at it against the Saints for the next few days at practice; Bill Belichick will attend Garrett Reid's funeral today in Pennsylvania; Brady's new throwing coach Tom House was in the house yesterday, working with Brady and Hoyer. He and Brady got in some extra work after practice too; FB Kareem Huggins was released after Pats trainers weren't comfortable with the health of his knee.
- Tim Britton Patriots Notebook: Brandon Lloyd credits high-jumping past with improving his game; Patriots are prepping for New Orleans Thursday night; NFL replacement officials oversaw practice Monday; Deion Branch has been working on the sidelines rather than on them for the past few practices.
- Obnoxious Boston Fan asserts the 2012 Patriots are poised to over take the Red Sox in the hearts - if not minds - of Boston sports fandom. /Already happened brother.
- James Varney (Times-Picayune) New Orleans Saints arrive for days of practices, preseason game with Patriots. Tuesday's practice will be in full pads.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Brandon Lloyd obsesses over drops.
- James Walker (ESPN) Patriots' Nate Solder is soldiering on.
- James Walker & Mike Reiss (ESPN) Tom Brady is the difference in the AFC East. (4.43 min. video)
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Brian Waters still absent from Patriots camp.
- Gregg Rosenthal (NFL.com) Rookie report: Nine nuggets from around the NFL. Jones, Hightower get a mention.
- Will Brinson (CBS Sports) 2012 All-AFC East Division team. 8 out of 13 players picked from the Patriots.
- Clark Judge (CBS Sports) Offseason moves help Bills address needs on D to close gap on Patriots.
- Jeff Darlington (NFL.com) 'Hard Knocks' primer: Miami Dolphins storylines for HBO series, starting tonight.