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5 From Camp: Patriots Training Camp Practice 20 Notes

The Patriots had their first of three or four joint practices with the New Orleans Saints today.  The practice was heated and competitive, so lets go over a few things that went down.

  • The practice started off with each team doing its own positional, individual drills.  Then, the sides came together for some combined work, starting off with individual drills (LB's vs. RB's, WR's vs. DB's, OL vs. DL).  After that, the teams worked on special teams before finally finishing up with seven on seven's and a good amount of 11 on 11 work.  During one on one drills, Kevin Faulk really shined against the New Orleans' linebackers.
  • During the full-squad work, the Patriots passing game really seemed to gel, tearing up the Saints defensive backfield.  Wes Welker made a couple of nice catches and seems to be cutting as quick as ever, seemingly breaking Malcolm Jenkins' ankles on several occasions.  A couple of the youngsters also played real well.  Taylor Price made a few nice plays.  Brandon Tate dropped a couple of balls in one on one drills, but came back in full-team work and played really well, making a tough sideline catch and a few in traffic.
  • Brandon Spikes shined in team drills.  On a running play, he knocked over Saints guard Carl Nicks, and deflected another pass.  The way Spikes is playing, I'm not sure if Gary Guyton will get his starting job back once he returns from injury.  I really just cannot wait to see Spikes debut on Thursday.
  • The Saints passing offense also made the Patriots defensive backfield look bad.  Certainly not as bad as the Saints game last season, but there were a lot of catches by Saints receivers.  On a positive note, Brandon Meriweather made a great deflection on a Jeremy Shockey-intended pass in red zone work.  The play seemed like a sure touchdown.
  • The Patriots running game seemed to struggle during practice.  This may not have been a result of the runners, but of the offensive line.  Dan Connolly reportedly struggled.

The Patriots will take the field for another joint practice this afternoon.  While practice was heated this morning, it should be even more heated this afternoon, as attendance should be at a training camp high.  For more on this morning's session, check out