Five notes and thoughts from the Patriots' ninth training camp practice:
- The team toned it down a bit during practice. There wasn't as much team work, but there were a few more individual drills. The players were in full pads, however.
- With Gary Guyton out of practice, we saw the Jerod Mayo/Brandon Spikes combination get some work. It appears for now that Spikes may be ahead of Tyrone McKenzie on the depth chart for now, but McKenzie has looked quite good. Also, in a slightly unrelated note, outside linebacker Jermaine Cunningham continues to line up with the first team defense.
- The Patriots signed tight end Carson Butler and receiver Rod Owens this morning to bring their roster max up to 80 players. Both players made their debuts today, with Butler donning number 86, and Owens number 15.
- The players not in attendance due to injury were Matthew Slater, Bret Lockett, Gary Guyton, Nick Kaczur, and Ty Warren were not at practice.
- The Patriots ended practice with their usual mud slide tradition. The "drill" serves as a valuable "training technique" as Matt Light calls it. Tom Brady sprayed down the rookies, and Kade Weston was the first one to go sliding, followed by Devin McCourty, Brandon Spikes, and the rest of the rookie class. Even first year coach Corwin Brown and second year man Tyrone McKenzie (who was injured the first time around) got in on the action. Brandon Tate was sure to lay low.
The Patriots will conclude day five of training camp with an in-stadium practice at Gillette Stadium. As Bill Belichick explained, it should get the kickers and some of the young guys used to playing on the field's turf before the Patriots kick off their preseason against the Saints in 10 days.