By: Ian Logue
It was another interesting session on Friday, but the bad news appears to be that the number of players who didn’t participate grew to 17 yesterday, with Andy Hart of Patriots.com revealing that Brandon Tate, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Kevin Faulk, James Sanders, Eric Kettani, Josh Barrett, Brandon Spikes, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell, Brandon Deaderick, Kyle Hix, Matt Light, Myron Pryor, Albert Haynesworth, Ron Brace and Mike Wright all sitting out of yesterday’s practice.
Training Camp Notebooks from yesterday:
Hart of Patriots.com has a detailed recap from Friday’s session, and writes that rookie quarterback Ryan Mallett continues to be inconsistent and struggled to find the open man on Friday.
Christopher Price of WEEI.com has a detailed entry from practice yesterday, and writes that second-year wide receiver Taylor Price has looked solid across the board so far through camp.
Mike Rodak of ESPNBoston.com has 11 Observations from yesterday’s practice, and writes that newly signed Mark Anderson made his debut on the defensive line on Friday.
Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe has his practice notes from yesterday, and writes that the top play from yesterday came during the red zone drill, where Tom Brady waited for Chad Ochocinco to come open on the backline and two hooked up on a very nice touchdown.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has a quick entry from yesterday, and writes that Rob Gronkowski has looked like a man among boys during camp thus far.
Paul Perillo of Patriots.com has a great entry with detailed notes from yesterday’s session, and writes that Nate Solder had some good moments during his first practice with the team on Friday.
Moving on to today’s top stories:
Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has a good article on Steven Ridley and the LSU connection between he and Kevin Faulk.
Monique Walker has a notebook from yesterday, and writes that Stephen Gostkowksi has been slow and steady working his way back after having surgery to repair a right torn quadriceps in his kicking leg, which caused him to end up on injured reserve last season.
“From where I was seven or eight months ago to where I am now, it felt like a long time, but now it feels like a short time,’’ Gostkowski said. “It’s good to be back.’’
Matt Kalman of the Boston Herald also has a piece on Gronkowski, and writes that the veteran kicker is feeling fine and is trying to be cautious and not do too much, while also making sure he communicates how he’s feeling with the coaches and staff each day.
“It’s whatever they tell me to do,” he admitted. “They kind of just ask me how I feel and I tell them, and they just tell me ‘hey, a couple more.’ I don’t think it’s like they have one of those pitch counters out there, it’s just whatever they tell me to do I’m going to do.”
Mike Szostak of the Providence Journal also has an article on Gostkowski, who special teams coach Scott O’Brien told reporters yesterday “has no limitations”.
“He has no limitations,” special teams coach Scott O’Brien said Friday. “He’s going through his schedule. He’s going out every day. There’s a certain number of kicks that he would normally do as a specialist. Every specialist tries to get a number of quality kicks after they warm up, which requires a lot of other kicks just to get ready to perform, and he’s had his numbers, and he’s increasing that like he would any time.”
O’Brien apparently met with the media yesterday and held a full press conference, which you can read the transcript of here.
Shalise Manza Young has an article this morning on Tom Brady, who she writes is trying to shake out the rust, and says that the learning curve is extremely fast because the team only has so many practices before the season begins.
“I think we have to understand the learning curve has to be so fast,’’ said Brady. “You can’t come out here and have a bad practice because, look, you don’t have many of them. We’re out on the field for 2 1/2, three hours, but it goes fast out here.
“Finally, we’re getting into the goal-line [packages]. In the springtime, in a normal year, next year, a whole goal-line package will be installed, and just now guys are hearing it for the first time.
“It takes a lot. Guys are going to have to do a lot of extra work, seeing the tape and listening to the coaches, spending extra time in here studying, understanding what they have to do.’’
If you’d like to hear more from Brady, NESN.com posted a video report from last night’s “NESN Daily” with more from the Patriots signal caller.
Patriots.com also has the full interview transcript here.
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com writes that Brady sounds a little more concerned this year than in recent years, with this training camp feeling a bit different after having had no minicamps or OTA’s.
Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald also has an article on Brady, and writes that the clock is ticking as everyone in the offense continues to try and get on the same page.
The Globe has an article on Brady without a byline (it appears to be an Associated Press piece), with the veteran quarterback ready to stop talking, and start playing.
Danny Picard of CSNNE.com spotlights Brady and Ochocinco, who are continuing to work on trying to get on the same page.
Rapoport also has a great article on Sammy Morris, who is telling the rookies to stop apologizing for asking questions, and has been eager to help out so far this training camp.
“There were a couple times they were apologizing for asking too many questions,” said Morris, who signed for $910,000. “I was like, ‘You can’t ask too many questions.’ I don’t mind. Text me, call me during the day, during the night, whatever, I’m here to help.”
NESN.com takes a closer look at the Patriots team and wonders what has been the best offseason move they’ve made is so far?
Matt Kalman of the Boston Herald spotlights Julian Edelman this morning, who is in his third training camp and looking to make the most of his opportunities this season.
“If you produce and you do your job, you’re going to get opportunities and you’ve got to take advantage of those opportunities,” he said. “There’s been competition every year I’ve been here. I’ve seen a lot of crazy things here. I’ve only been in the league a couple years here and I’ve seen guys come and go. If you’re not doing your job, you’re going to probably leave. So I don’t think it’s any different than any other year.”
Jeff Howe of NESN.com notes that BenJarvus Green-Ellis inked only a 1-year deal after re-signing with the team this week, which means he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He also notes that Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco have yet to restructure their deals.
Mike Reiss also follows up on Green-Ellis’ signing, which was for $1.83 million for this season.
The Florida Sun-Sentinal has a quick entry on the fact the Patriots worked out Channing Crowder, and about the only thing we didn’t already know was the fact that after bringing him in, New England didn’t offer him a contract.
I mentioned this in yesterday’s afternoon notes but thought I’d add it again for anyone who missed it. Yahoo! Sports Jason Cole was apparently in town recently, and he has his report from his visit in Foxboro this past week.
And finally for anyone wondering about the recently departed Ty Warren, the Broncos official site has an article on the former Patriot, who made his practice debut Thursday night – and this piece has some quotes from him.
That’s it for this morning. Be sure to check back throughout the day for updates, and we’ll have more later on.