With the first day of training camp in the books, the Patriots turned the page and continued forwards with training camp. Some notes on this morning's action:
Who Wasn't There:
- Running back Thomas Clayton, receiver Matthew Slater, and defensive back Bret Lockett all missed today's practice after getting nicked up yesterday.
- Ron Brace, Wes Welker, and Darnell Jenkins also donned the t-shirt and shorts for the second straight day.
- Logan Mankins (hold-out) and Derrick Burgess (contemplating retirement) were not in attendance as well.
- Wide receiver Sam Aiken, who was out of action yesterday, took part in the team's practice today.
- Nick Kazcur got shaken up at one point in practice, with Dan Connolly taking his place at left guard.
- Defensive lineman Kyle Love and Ty Warren were also shaken up during practice, causing the team to be a little thin along the defensive line.
- Vince Wilfork, at one point during practice, got kicked out to end, with Gerard Warren sliding in to nose tackle. While it's still early, Gerard Warren has had a good start to camp thus far.
- Tom Brady looked really sharp again, particularly on the deep balls. He certainly is off to a better start than 2009 training camp.
- The Patriots' defense, for the second straight day, won the battle at the goal line. Tip of the cap to Tyrone McKenzie and Brandon Spikes, who both made big plays at the goal line. The offense was also forced to run a lap after failing to score. While some may point to the offense and it's goal line issues, I like what I've been hearing about the intensity on the defensive side of the ball. Belichick's "hands-on" work is definitely be showcased right now.
- A lot of attention was paid to Zoltan Mesko and the punting game. Mesko got mixed reviews, but one factor seems to be the most prominent: his inconsistency. So far, it seems that Mesko will boom two or three punts in a row, before having one shank. On the return side, Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, Buddy Farnham, and Taylor Price were fielding Mesko punts. Patrick Chung and Thomas Williams served as the gunners for Mesko.
- Rookie linebacker Dane Fletcher made a really nice play in coverage, deflecting a pass thrown by Brian Hoyer, intended for Julian Edelman. Fletcher read the quarterback, and made a sweet diving deflection.
- Laurence Maroney continues to look solid and decisive thus far.
- Linebacker Pierre Woods took the 1st team left outside linebacker spot today. He has a solid pair of practices yesterday, and he has looked good thus far. While he might not be a pass rushing phenom, he could be a solid 1st and 2nd down linebacker.
- Brandon Deaderick looks to be making some strides, getting some snaps with the second team defense.
- Second year player Myron Pryor has looked good thus far in training camp. Today, he shot the gap and stuffed Sammy Morris in the backfield during red zone work. With Gerard Warren playing well, this could mean trouble for Damione Lewis.
Play of the Practice:
During goal line work, running back Laurence Maroney carried the ball up the middle. Linebacker Tyrone McKenzie read the play, shot the gap, and absolutely cracked Maroney, showing beautiful form, with his helmet popping off in the process. The loud hit drew a big cheer from the crowd. McKenzie was a tackling machine in college, and appears to be showcasing that now in training camp.
Training Camp Links:
The team will finish off its second of seven straight two-a-days with a 3:45-5:30 practice.