As camp settles in there a kind of regimented "sameness" that begins to pervade the practices. Its like of like watching someone play poker. In other words its kind of boring. I don't have a lot to report. You can get the attendence and catches and big hits from a bunch of good sources, and since I talk too much to begin with, it will save time.
Camp tip - Unless you want to watch players go through walk throughs, and stretch, you really don't have to show up to the practice until about 45 after it officially starts.
Once again the highlight (for me at least) was the OL/RB vs DL/LBs right in front of the stands. And...once again I watched Ron Brace closely. Today he seemed less quick off the ball. It was like he was trying to read, or thinking about a technique he'd been taught. It also should be noted that he played DE exclusively and was solid. Never gave ground and rarely had his shoulders turned. Still he was more tentative, and probably for good reason. A lot of ***** going on in his head right now.
THe next best thing was a short scrimmage between the full O and D. It looked like it was full speed for the first 2 steps. The outside rushes looked to be full speed as well. Springs and Boddin were the first CBs, with Wheatley and Butler backing up. Sanders and Merriweather were the S's. In fact now that I think about it, I didn't notice Chung at all today. At any rate, Springs was much more crisp in his coverage and looked a lot more sure of himself. (what a difference a single practice can make) Boddin continued to look like the the Best coverage CB since Ty Law left (yeah I know its early, and we did have a guy named Samuel a while back, but what makes Samuel great is different than straight CB coverage, but thats discussion for later)
About half way through the scrimmage I decided to try something different. Instead of watching the play and players, I decided to watch BB watching the play and players. Strange huh?. I did it because I continued to marvel at his coaching style, and wanted to see if I could decipher some of the dynamics that goes on BETWEEN the various coaches and BB. I also want to see just how involved BB was with the offense, since we all assume he is the defacto OC.
First of all, its always not easy to find him. He purposely DOESN'T stand out or draw any attention to himself (take note Rex Ryan). He is at his most animated when coaching in individual drills (mostly with the Defense L). By the time the practice moves into group and team work, BB is almost invisible. Often you can see him doing his best Raymond Berry imititation, off to the side taking notes. But then you can see him quitely taking to Brace during the scrimmage that was focusing on the offense. Walking accross the field to point out something to blocker during a KO return drill.
The key thing I want to bring out is that he is constantly coaching indivual players, while completely allowing his assistants to run the various segments of the practices. Even when you could see him make a point, he doesn't seem to step on his assistant's toes. Very inobtrusive. No one could ever point him out and say, "now THAT's the guy in charge".
I don't know if that's interesting to anyone else, but it is to me....and this IS my post.
I hate to say it, but that Edelman kid can grow on you. He certainly manages to a couple of things that stand out in every practice. I still can't see him making the 53 man roster, but if he's with the right club, you can see him becoming an NFL WR/special teamer down the road. The comparisons are just too obvious when Wes Welker is so close
I can't help wondering if there are any repurcussions from the fact that these are 2 a days ONLY for some members of the team, while a favored few are getting the star treatment. I can't help thinking that intellectually I would understand the reasoning for limiting guys like Galloway, Moss, and Bruschi's time, but emotionally, I think I'd be a little pissed, if I was out there twice a day.
OK well thats it for today's look into my off center head. I'm not sure I will make it this afernoon, so I'll look forward to reading other blogs to get my Patriots fix.