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New England Patriots Links 6/08/12 - OTAs Over, Mandatory Minicamp Starts Next Week

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<em>Donte Stallworth has been seeing plenty of reps as a return man in OTAs.  He'll be getting even more with Ocho's release</em>.
Donte Stallworth has been seeing plenty of reps as a return man in OTAs. He'll be getting even more with Ocho's release.

Andy Hart notes the overall theme of today's OTAs was the lack of execution and trouble substituting on offense.

Bill Belichick had the entire offense run punishment laps on multiple occasions, including a double-lap at one point. Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady also spent time vociferously expressing displeasure at the unit.

After working with the medical staff during last week’s practice, Joseph Addai was back on the practice field. Also, rookie Jeremy Ebert made his first appearance at OTAs, taking several reps at wideout after missing the previous workouts while waiting for his class to graduate at Northwestern.

Newly signed veteran tight end Bo Scaife, wearing the No. 49 formerly worn by recently cut defender Markell Carter, worked with the training staff early in practice. Scaife was then on the field and seemed to really be struggling with his conditioning, even when simply jogging the penalty laps with the rest of the offense.

With Hernandez not seen, Gronkowski still rehabbing his ankle, Fells having missed all of OTAs and Herman carted off, the Patriots depth at tight end is pretty poor at this early point in the process. Defensive end Alex Silvestro once again worked as a tight end throughout Thursday’s workout, as he’s done throughout OTAs. For what it’s worth, Silvestro struggles to catch the ball much like you would expect from a defensive lineman.

Whether it was offensive ineptitude or strong defense, the guys wearing gray jerseys were active on Thursday. The secondary was able to disrupt the timing on multiple occasions, particularly during some situational work that featured the two-minute drill and red area offense. The quarterbacks were often seen double-pumping and throwing later than they would have liked.

One interesting sign during the two-minute work was the presence of second-year running back Shane Vereen. He opened the drill as the lone setback and caught passes from Brady on each of the first two plays. He occupied the role normally filled by Danny Woodhead throughout the drill and did not look out of place.

The Patriots kickoff return unit got plenty of work with Donte’ Stallworth getting some reps as the return man. During his nine-year career Stallworth has seen very little time as a returner. He returned just eight kicks – all in 2003 with as a member of the Saints – and 18 punts, the most recent in 2005. Vereen, Woodhead, Julian Edelman and Stevan Ridley also handled kicks.

As Belichick often does, he tossed an occasional blocking pad in the direction of the quarterbacks as they were set to throw. On one play he flung it along the ground toward Brady’s feet, forcing the quarterback to jump over it before launching a deep ball toward Brandon Lloyd down the right sideline. Hoyer also was forced to avoid the coach’s torments periodically during the morning.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Field Yates posts a rundown from Thursday's OTA schedule at Gillette.
  • Field Yates follows up with another handful of observations from the final media-accessible OTA of the 2012 offseason.
  • Greg A. Bedard serves up some nuggets from observing the final practice open to the media. Interesting bits of info here.
  • Christopher Price shares his notes from yesterday's practice.
  • Mike Rodak wraps up all we need to know from a busy Thursday at Gillette.
  • Mike Rodak offers his initial reaction to Chad Ochocinco's release by the Patriots.
  • Tom E. Curran offers his opinion on the end of the line for Ochocinco.
  • Christopher Price takes a closer look at the Pats decision to release Chad Ochocinco.
  • Greg A. Bedard tells us why the Ochocinco experiment failed: The team overestimated his football IQ and he never got the offense; Josh McDaniels' new wrinkles only made things worse.
  • Shalise Manza Young believes Chad Ochocinco still has the physical tools and speed, but had trouble grasping the playbook.
  • Mike Rodak notes Jabar Gaffney was shocked by his release from the Redskins last month, but says New England is where he wanted to be.
  • Mike Rodak sees the receiver position coming into focus.
  • Tom E. Curran reports Jerod Mayo likes the vibe he's getting from the young rookies and new-to-the-team veteran defenders who were brought in this offseason.
  • Field Yates notes Dan Connolly is poised for a bigger role in 2012.
  • Jeff Howe Patriots Notebook: Andre Carter has been a regular at Gillette Stadium this offseason to work with the team's medical staff, and his rehab is ahead of schedule; The lines of communication between Carter and the team remain open; Gerard Warren had no interest in signing with anyone other than the Patriots; Sebastian Vollmer & Logan Mankins have been working out to the side of the practice fields, but neither was seen wearing a brace yesterday.
  • Julian Benbow Patriots Notebook: Jabar Gaffney was thrilled to get the call inviting him back to New England; Dan Connolly says he's treating the center spot like an open competition with Dan Koppen; Having both O-linemen back on the team gives the Patriots flexibility; Jerod Mayo is entering the first season of the new five-year deal he signed back in December; Mayo has spent time with rookie LB Dont'a Hightower studying film.
  • Field Yates posts some highlights from Gerard Warren's Q&A with the media yesterday.

NATIONAL NEWS