Well I finally got back to practice. It was hot, but a nice breeze kept most of the fans and players from keeling over. The players hydrated well, but I refuse to pay $3.50 for a bottle of water. I hoped to see one more full pads practice before the first Preseason game. A chance to see Burgess and Crable run live. Well didn't happen. As you know already it was just shells and shorts. However Practice was run at brisk pace, mostly getting ready for Philly. So instead of getting my observations, you'll have to settle for some of my impressions as I watched practice.
To the Edelman lovers. Good news. Perhaps the most interesting event of the day to me, was when Tom Brady grabbed Randy Moss and Edelman after a play, and moved back up field and for about 5 minutes it looked like BOTH Moss and Brady were showing Julian some fine points on a slant and out route. Both Moss AND Brady walked thru the steps. It was also interesting that Edelman was participating in the conversation. He wasn't just standing there nodding his head. No coaches were around. Another thing I thought was a little odd was that the discussion came right after a play that was no where near Edelman.
Welker missed practice, so it was Edelman that ran with the 1s when they were in 3 wide. So if you are one who thinks Edelman will make the final 53, then you have cause for hope. Clearly Brady wouldn't take an interest in just a JAG. Secondly, he's running with the ones...NOT Terrence Nunn. He also was the 2nd punt return man after Faulk.
But then again that's just for today, and today isn't in September.
Again it was just shells and shorts, but BOTH Crable and Burgess shows good quickness off the edge, and Crable is TALL.
For those of you who have talked about the Pats using a 4 man front more this year (and I poo hooed you), well in a defensive segment in preparation for Thursday, they were clearly in a four man front. One version I saw that TCB and Burgess as the DEs with Seymour and Vince at DT.
No Mike Wright and Pierre Woods, so I couldn't get a line of who will start at LB, but it was clear in the secondary. It was Sanders and Merriweather at S with Bodden and Wilhite at the Corners. Butler looked like the next CB, while Chung looked like the next S. Wheatly was playing on the inside in some of the Nickel packages.
My 2 biggest disappointments so far is not seeing both Springs and Bruschi on the field, at least once a day anyway. I saw Bruschi one day, and though he looked very good. Quicker and more energenic that recently. Then he never came out. I saw Springs twice, and saw his potential impact on this team in the second outing....and he's now seemed to disappear. Now if any 2 guys need preseason LESS, its Springs and Bruschi. And for SOME guys preseason is very over rated (see Randy Moss 2007). Still its a little disappointing.
Well if my reading of Body language means anything then I think Tank Williams is thinking he isn't going to make this team. Again this is JUST an impression.
The Pats spent a lot of time practicing sideline substitutions today in all phases of the game. Given how rarely teams stay in a static personel package, its really an important part of the game now. On offense there are several packages. On defense there are even more. Getting guy on and off the field in a timely fashion can be critical to success, and as a former coach, believe me its not an easy proposition, at least not as easy as it seems.
His mother might not like it, but Sebastion Volmer is officially "Seabass". As he dropped back into deep punt formation several OLmen were very vocal in their attempts to aid him, and they all clearly called him Seabass. It must have been a thrill of a lifetime when he caught it, and was mobbed by his team mates. Still "Seabass" is would not be MY choice of a nickname. Though it was a good way to end practice.
An interesting contrast....MAYBE. Over at Jetsinsider, a fan videoed some a Jets practice at their camp in upstate NY. It reminded a lot of Bryant College. You can get a lot closer to the team, and interact more with the players. The focus of the video was Derrick Keller getting the fans to call one of the players "Wallace", which they did. What I noticed. however, was that on the field the Jets were doing some team drills, and I couldn't help notice that in the time it took the Jets to run one rep, the Pats would do 2 or 3. Now this was just a 4 minutes sample, but since this post is all about impressions, not observations, I thought I'd add it.
That comment comes from my continuing admiration for the apparent efficient manner in which the Pats practice. They really get a lot done in what amounts to an hour of actual practice time. Given the chance, I would really like to get an honest answer from the new FAs about how these practices compare with what they've experienced elsewhere. Now for all I know, they could be run just as efficiently elsewhere....and probably are. I'd just kind of like to know how they differ here, since coaching is such a big part of the game of football.
OK that's it for now. There will be nothing to report on until the game. And even though you can't get a worse view to evaluate football players than from TV, I'll try to have some observations and opinions (for what their worth) for Fri. Did I mention it was HOT!