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New England Patriots Links 6/16/10 - Belichick on Mankins: It's Between the Player and the Club

Mike Reiss offers his observations from day 1 of the Patriots' mandatory mini-camp.

Terrence Wheatley shows up. Third-year cornerback Terrence Wheatley, who is vying for a backup role on the right side behind Leigh Bodden, made two plays that had his fellow defenders excited. On one, he ran stride for stride with David Patten down the middle of the field and had solid coverage on an incomplete pass. On another, he had tight coverage on Randy Moss on an out route, batting a Brian Hoyer pass away. Had the pass from Hoyer been more to the outside, it could have been completed, but Wheatley still got his hands on the ball.

Albert Breer spends time digesting the first practice of the team's three-day mandatory work.

WR Taylor Price returned to practice -- And was impressive. The way he catches the ball away from his torso, controls his body, and comes in and out of his breaks is impressive. Clearly, you can see what the Patriots saw in him physically when they spent the 90th pick in the draft on the kid. Mentally, coming from the Frank Solich offense he came from, Price has got an adjustment to make. But there's talent to work with. One ball Tom Brady rifled in his direction was high and to his inside, and Price shot his hands up and stretched out to get it, while keeping his feet. That drew praise from the quarterback. Price tweaked his ankle late and had to sit out the end of practice, but was back on his feet and getting extra work in after the session.

Christopher Price opens his mini-camp notebook and shares some thoughts from practice.

Other than Wheatley’s pass breakup on the ball meant for Moss, maybe the most impressive defensive display of the day was when linebacker Jerod Mayo was able to keep pace with Edelman on a pass meant for the wide receiver out of the backfield. Mayo was able to stick right in Edelman’s jersey as the ball sailed just out of their reach down the near sidelines.