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New England Patriots Links 6/17/10 - Mini-Camp Shows Competition Replacing Entitlement

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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.