This is going to be fairly limited since I’m stuck with an abbreviated late lunch break at workÂ on this Friday, but here are some interesting notes from this afternoon.
Albert Haynesworth, Mike Wright, and Brandon Spikes were the big names reportedly absent from practice on Friday afternoon.Â According to Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com, also missing was Shane Vereen, Ryan Wendell, Eric Kettani, Marcus Cannon, and Kevin Faulk.
Friday afternoon’s 2 1/2 hour session was reportedly fairly spirited, and included plenty ofÂ yelling by headÂ coach BillÂ Belichick, and Tom Brady reportedly acknowledging thatÂ they’re behind compared to recent years due to the late start,Â andÂ have a long way toÂ go during his press conference.
Brady talked to reporters on Friday, and in this piece from Mike Reiss posted a bit ago, talked about yesterday’s struggles by their receivers, including Chad Ochocinco, who after dropping some passesÂ yesterday still has plenty of support from his quarterback.
Brady admits that the offense is struggling, but there’s still plenty of time to work out the kinks before the start of this season. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
“It’s been fun,” Brady said. “The thing I love about him is that he’s very competitive and he wants to do the right thing. He’s been in one offense for a long time, so to try to come to a new offense and learn everything we do — formations, motions, details of our route tree — it’s challenging for anybody. To do it on such short notice is another thing. He’s working hard at it and we’re working hard to be on the same page. We’re making improvements and we still have quite a ways to go.”
Ochocinco has had a number of dropped passes, and Brady was asked if that learning curve could be a part of that.
“No, I think that’s just part of training camp,” Brady responded. “You just have good days and you have bad days. Like I said, the first game isn’t in a couple days. There is time to build toward that. No one wants to drop passes, miss blocks, throw interceptions, but we do it, we learn from it, and then hopefully you move forward with less of those the next day, and better days. The consistency is always what you’re looking for.”
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald reported that newÂ defensive endÂ Mark Anderson, who joined the team today, was out on the field with a shiny new No. 95.Â Â Rapoport expects that Anderson will fit in behind Eric Moore and Jermaine Cunningham. According to his report, Moore and Cunningham have not looked fantastic, and pointed out that OT Steve Maneri stuffed Moore on one rep.
Also not seeing action in pads yet was veteran Matt Light, who still hasn’t taken the field yet – which gave Nate Solder the reps today with the first team at left tackle.Â No reports have revealed any reasons for Light not being in pads.
Former Patriot Damien Woody will reportedly head to ESPN as a studio analyst.Â Woody recently retired from the NFL,Â and was New England’s first round selection back in 1999 (17th overall).
As if the rivalry between the BaltimoreÂ Ravens and the Patriots isn’t ugly enough,Â according to FoxSports.com they recently added former Kansas City Chief Bernard Pollard, whoÂ as we all remember knocked Brady out of that first game of the 2008 campaign with a knee injury and ended his season.Â These two teams won’t meet during the regular season, but it could potentially set up an interesting match-up in the event both clubs make the postseason.
Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports was in town this week, and has some interesting observations after spending a week in Foxboro.Â He also has some reservations on just how effective Ochocinco is going to be here in New England this season:
Writes Cole, “Unless you think Brady is going to throw 50 TD passes again, that doesnâ€™t leave many opportunities for Ochocinco. Furthermore, if you take the seven best seasons of Ochocincoâ€™s 10-year career, he has averaged eight TD catches and never had more than 10 in any season. While he has had seven 1,000-yard seasons, he has never been the kind of scorer of Mossâ€™ ilk.”
That’s it for now.Â I’ve got to get back, but we’ll have a full wrap up of today’s events later this evening.