Albert Breer wraps up a spirited day 2 of mandatory mini-camp.
We'll start today's "Coordinator Watch" with quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien, who was fired up early on during some teaching in the passing skeleton. His rookie tight ends had some trouble figuring where to line up, and O'Brien lit in to them pretty good, pulling them off the field for a couple plays to drive the message home. There's no question that O'Brien is in command of that offense, and his style is a bit Parcellsian.
On the other side of the ball, Matt Patricia was, again, signaling plays in from the sideline during 7-on-7s and, at the very least, is being broken into a leadership role. One interesting note here is that during those 7-on-7s, Bill Belichick stood behind the offense, and not the defense, indicating some level of autonomy given to Patricia. As of late, Belichick seems to be taking more of the "head coach" role he has in the past, rather than concentrating on one side of the ball or the other.
Ian Rapaport sums up what stood out from Wednesday's practice.
The most interesting part of the practice came in a spirited, trash-talk filled goal line segment that saw both sides make an imprint. The thing that stood out was that it was loud. Both sides communicating each check.
Another nice scene during goal line passing work. Randy Moss spotted WR Darnell Jenkins running his route wrong and called him over. Then Moss asked Tom Brady, who was also standing there, to pose as a defender while Moss showed Jenkins the proper technique.
Christopher Price offers some Patriots mini-camp notes from Wednesday.
Wide receiver Brandon Tate had an eventful practice. For most of the day on Wednesday, he spent a LOT of time running with what appeared to be a reasonable facsimile of the starting offense. He and Tom Brady (who was offering a lot of support for Tate several times during practice) just missed on a deep ball late in practice — it looked like Brandon Meriweather was the one with the pass breakup. But he drew a huge cheer from the rest of the offense after hauling in a touchdown pass when he was matched up against Darius Butler late in practice.
Andy Hart offers his Wednesday mini-camp observations.
- Paul Perillo sees TE Aaron Hernandez fitting in nicely on the field, showing smoothness in his route running and soft hands, particularly in traffic.
- Erik Scalavino reports that after missing OTAs, rookie WR Taylor Price is getting up to speed with New England's offense.
- The New England Patriots announced today the signing of fifth-round draft choice P Zoltan Mesko. He's the 5th member of the Pats' 2010 draft choices to sign with the team.
- Patriots Today - A look at Mini-camp Day 2. ( 1 minute video)
- Patriots Today - He's paying the Price at camp. (2.17 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Reactions from the rookies. (3.20 min. video)
- Albert Breer reports veterans Ty Warren and Kevin Faulk have noticed the air of entitlement has been replaced by a competitive attitude, with guys fighting for their jobs.
- Albert Breer notes TE Aaron Hernandez declined to talk about past off-field problems. He says that's all "in the past" and he's just focused on football right now.
- Ian Rapoport notes Aaron Hernandez has been with the offense when Tom Brady is under center, and while he’ll receive the occasional tongue-lashing from coaches, he’ll also make heads turn with a reception.
- Tom E. Curran notes Aaron Hernandez got an expletive-filled earful for lining up incorrectly, got into a spirited back-and-forth with Jerod Mayo after dropping a would-be TD pass, and managed to kick James Sanders in the stomach.
- Karen Guregian expected rookie WR Taylor Price to look a bit out of step, but instead saw he almost looks ahead of the curve.
- Tom E. Curran says Taylor Price is going to be an interesting player to watch in 2010. He has impressed so far.
- Mark Farinella writes rookie WR Taylor Price has been seen seeking out veteran receivers David Patten and Torry Holt at mini-camp, with the intention of picking their brains for practice tips.
- Mike Reiss notes that Brady's work with Price and Hernandez has stood out over the last two days of practice.
- Danny Picard reports Patriots CB Devin McCourty is still trying to memorize an expanded playbook that includes both defensive and special teams schemes.
- Jeff Howe says Darius Butler has clearly emerged as the starting cornerback on the left side, as he is earning a whole heaping of snaps opposite Leigh Bodden.
- Christopher Price says QB Brian Hoyer is having a great mini-camp with the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss says this year's 'sleeper' candidate is second year LB Thomas Williams.
- Shalise Manza Young says safeties coach Corwin Brown’s experience as an NFL player continues to command respect from the men he teaches.
- Albert Breer reports the start date of Patriots Training Camp is set for July 28th, with rookies reporting on July 25th. The first practice open to the public is July 29th.
Ian Rapoport reports Bill Belichick will be serving as the honorary chairperson and speaker at tonight’s 1st Annual Friends of Jaclyn Boston Gala at the InterContinental. This organization helps children with cancerous brain tumors be "adopted" by teams of all levels. Pretty cool.
- Aaron Wilson (Nat'l Football Post) Ray Lewis, Tom Brady concerned about expanded season.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Which quarterbacks qualify as elite?
- Doug Farrar (Yahoo! Sports) Twelve players left in limbo with unsigned tenders.
- Inside the playbook: the Miami wildcat. (Nat'l Football Post)
- Jarrett Bell (USA Today) Injuries, money factor in expanded NFL season.
- Lynn Zinser (NY Times) NFL brings expanded season proposal to union.
- Jonathan Dove (NFL Mocks) 2011 NFL Mock Draft. He guesses the Pats 1st round pick from Oakland will come at number 10, choosing OT Gabe Carmi (Wisconsin).