The New England Patriots returned to the practice field on this humid Wednesday for their fifth organized team activity of the offseason. The Patriots had a relatively full crowd, but had a few absences - tight end Rob Gronkowski, receiver Julian Edelman, linebacker Brandon Spikes, running back Brandon Bolden, and offensive linemen Will Svitek and Nick McDonald.
Some quick notes from around the web:
We wrote about it last week, and we saw it again today: Rookie receiver Aaron Dobson presented an intriguing mix of "flash" plays (in which he catches your attention for something good) and rookie mistakes. Dobson elevated over Alfonzo Dennard and Steve Gregory down the sideline for a terrific catch in a 7-on-7 drill, followed up by a concentration drop just a few plays later. He again made a catch down the sideline later in practice that impressed, but like any rookie, he's a work in progress. The size, speed and ability to make catches outside of his frame are evident.
Marcus Cannon again worked at right guard in Connolly's absence from team drills. It was telling that Cannon remained inside despite the absence of Vollmer and Svitek, who are the top-two right tackles on the depth chart. Of course, part of that could have been to get Markus Zusevics more time with the top unit, but this might signify a position change, or at the very least, a more concerted effort to increase Cannon's positional versatility.
Washington has shown impressive burst early in camp, on both returns and in work as a running back. For a guy who had just 23 rushes and four receptions last season as a running back in Seattle, Washington has gotten a lot of reps on offense in OTA action. While Shane Vereen is certainly the presumed replacement as the top third down/change of pace back after Danny Woodhead's departure, Washington looks like he could certainly still help out in that role based on two pad-less practices.
The Patriots will hold one more practice session tomorrow and will then hold their final pre-minicamp sessions on June 3rd and 4th.