Paul Perillo offers some notes from Tuesday afternoon's full-pads practice.
--The next segment saw the defensive backs join in and the receivers had some struggles. Rob Gronkowski continues to impress in that area, easily beating Brandon McGowan for a touchdown. But Torry Holt had Leigh Bodden beat across the middle and had the pass bounce off his chest. On the next play, Randy Moss was stuffed by Darius Butler and never got into his route.
–The first team period featured a defense with Brandon Spikes at inside linebacker next to Jerod Mayo and Devin McCourty (left) and Butler (right) at corner. Jermaine Cunningham and Tully Banta-Cain were the outside linebackers. When Mayo left, Tyrone McKenzie stepped in next to Spikes.
Mike Reiss notes Jermaine Cunningham stayed after practice for some extra work Tuesday morning, being tutored by Gerard Warren on some finer points of the game.
The snapshot of that moment reflects how Cunningham has attacked his first NFL training camp. He’s been all-in, and given the Patriots’ shortage at outside linebacker/rush defensive end, he’s received quite a few repetitions. On Monday, Bill Belichick said that Cunningham has "picked up things very well" and that "each day you can definitely see him getting better, more confident, understanding things that happened the day before and being able to process that." Cunningham said that the Patriots’ playbook is about "10 times thicker" than the one he had at Florida, where he was primarily a defensive end in a 4-3 alignment. With the Patriots, he is making the switch to 3-4 outside linebacker.
Mike Rodak (student assistant to Mike Reiss) offers his observations of practice 12.
Spikes gets nod over McKenzie. With Gary Guyton missing his second full day of practice, one thing that has stood out is rookie Brandon Spikes getting the nod with the top unit over second-year Tyrone McKenzie at inside linebacker. This would not appear to be an indictment of McKenzie, but rather the poise and development of Spikes shining through. He continued to be the most aggressive member of the defense, working through blocks on his blitzes and batting down a pass in full-team work. In one-on-one pass rush drills, Spikes steamrolled guard Rich Ohrnberger, knocking Ohrnberger on his backside.
- Patriots Today - Fans celebrate Brady's birthday. (2.44 min. video)
- Paul Perillo offers his practice 11 walkthrough observations.
- Erik Scalavino presents some news and notes from the 12th practice.
- Andy Hart talks about Scott O'Brien's less than smooth 2009 special teams unit and what O'Brien hopes to see in 2010.
- PFW Blog: Training Camp questions answered.
- Ask PFW: Training Camp rush.
- Scott O'Brien's Press Conference (20.44 min. video) Plus transcript.
- Locker Room Uncut - Soundbites from special teams. (3.59 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport thinks Jermaine Cunningham could be on his way to being the first rookie starter of the 2010 draft class with a serious chance to contribute.
- Mike Reiss wraps up the Day 6 storylines.
- Danny Picard highlights the Tuesday afternoon practice.
- Ian Rapoport reports Sebastian Vollmer made the commitment to come to Gillette Stadium nearly every day during the offseason to prepare for 2010.
- Mike Rodak sees Zoltan Mesko adjusting to life with the Patriots.
- Karen Guregian notes instant cult hero Zoltan Mesko is lucky to have Stephen Gostkowski nearby to keep him grounded no matter how he's punting.
- Mike Reiss shines the spotlight on special teams.
- Monique Walker notes the rookies will be evaluated for their special teams contributions along with the positions they were drafted for.
- Shalise Manza Young writes Fred Taylor knows what it takes to get through the mental and physical grind of an NFL training camp.
- Karen Guregian reports Fred Taylor feels good and the ankle feels fine.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag with most questions about Training Camp and who looks good so far (or doesn't).
- Monique Walker notes the Patriots worked out three offensive linemen Tuesday.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Favre retirement would help AFC East.
- Don Banks (SI) The QB who cried wolf. (2.35 min. video)
- Michael Rosenberg (SI) Earth to Brett: Please, please let this retirement be for good.
- Peter King (SI) Is Favre really done this time? That answer may not come until October.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Troy Brown thinks the Jets are at fault for Revis 'blunder'.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Manning tries to shake Super hangover.