Practice was held in a steady downpour that turned hot and steamy for a bit before clouding over again in relief. The bleachers and end-zone hill were pretty well filled for a rainy Thursday and the crowd was clapping and applauding the catches. Alge Crumpler was welcomed to New England and David Patten was welcomed back by some loud clapping and hollering.
Wes Welker was present on the far field in a plain red shirt, no numbers or identification, running and cutting up and down the sideline of the far field. Some bigger guys in blue were running and drilling with him and I couldn’t tell from that distance who they were – staff, trainers or other players.
Rob Gronkowski is to the tight ends as Sebastian Vollmer is to the O-line. Head and shoulders above everyone.
David Patten looked surprisingly good. He looked light on his feet, ran his routes fast, and just moved everywhere quickly. Torry Holt looked good but didn’t stand out to me in any special way. Alge Crumpler lost weight? He’s definitely solid and looked a bit slow but it was his first day of camp so…
Randy Moss was catching everything thrown to him, which was unfortunate for James Sanders trying to cover the guy and win a roster spot at the same time. I could watch Brady-to-Moss all day.
Brandon Spikes is a hard-hitter. All the rookies looked like rookies out there and had to be corrected after plays, but Cunningham, Spikes, Gronkowski, Price all looked good. I didn’t see much of McCourty or Hernandez.
It was great to see Tyrone McKenzie out there too. He made a couple of good plays that had me checking his number to see who number 44 was.
Brandon Tate was all over the place, running hard and making good catches. He dropped one biggie that would have been a touchdown. – Matthew Slater dropped three that I saw.
Vince Wilfork made a nice play during a red-zone drill with the first offense against the first defense, catching Sammy Morris by the ankle just enough to keep him from punching the ball into the end zone. Vince was a happy man after that.
Brady, needless to say, looked great. His passes were all crisp and right on the money. Every single one.
The professional assessments (links) after the jump:
Ian Rapoport checks out what happened on the first practice session of the season.
Shalise Manza Young offers some quick hits from camp, session 1.
Christopher Price posts his take on this morning's practice.
Bill Belichick Press Conference (14.34 min. video) Plus Transcript.