The Patriots were without Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Spikes, Brandon Bolden and Julian Edelman for the second day of organized team activities. Tuesday marked the second consecutive day of OTAs and the first day of media access.
You can argue that all of those that were absent were expected to be absent. Gronkowski is a given, as he underwent surgery on his left forearm yesterday afternoon. Both Bolden and Edelman are dealing with foot issues while Spikes is reportedly skipping OTAs to work out on his own.
Among those players who were limited included Aaron Hernandez (shoulder), Josh Boyce (foot), Sebastian Vollmer (back) and Devin McCourty (shoulder). Hernandez and McCourty reportedly participated in light drills while Vollmer and Boyce worked primarily on the stationary bikes.
As for those players who fully participated, here's a few notable observations I've seen the beat writers corral:
- Tom Brady is starting to develop a chemistry with some of his new targets, specifically with Danny Amendola. The two were working very closely together, along with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Another player that Brady targeted often was Michael Jenkins, who hauled in some nice passes from Brady today. Both Jenkins and Amendola are looking to build chemistry with Brady.
- Aaron Dobson, Brady's other likely starting receiver, had a pretty solid day. He made some nice catches in traffic and showed off that athleticism and strength we all know he has. He did however have some trouble hanging on to some passes from Brady, but that kind of thing is certainly expected from a rookie.
- With Danny Woodhead now in San Diego, Stevan Ridley has taken charge as the leader of the running backs. He received the majority of the reps with Shane Vereen falling in right behind him. Smooth sailing on this front.
- Tight end Jake Ballard, who spent all of 2012 on IR with a torn ACL, participated in most of the drills today. Ballard got reps with the ones today and even got some one-on-one time with Brady.
- Marcus Cannon is seeing time on the inside now. After spending pretty much all of 2012 as the Patriots' backup tackle, Cannon got a lot of reps at right guard today, and could ultimately make the switch from tackle to guard in 2013, as speculated on this site.
- Leon Washington, who was signed by the team this offseason, was on the field as the primary kickoff returner on special teams drills. The Patriots signed Washington in hopes that he will be an upgrade over Matthew Slater and Devin McCourty on kickoff returns. New England was without their primary punt returner though, with Julian Edelman still recovering from his foot injury.