Just in from today’s second practice of the day and this one brought less humidity and guys in full pads. Here are the quickies for tonight:
* Zebras were once again at practice and as expected they focused closely on the drills to watch for any violations. At one point a ref flagged Tory James who was not quite sure what he did. The ref explained it to the incredulous DB.
* The next of the Belichick generation could be seen at his 3rd practice in row. Can’t miss those flowing blond locks. Meanwhile, Kraft and Pioli were chatting it up on the sidelines tonight.
* Missing once again were Kyle Brady, Garrett Mills, Rashad Baker, AS, and all of the puppies.
* Ben Watson had a standout practice tonight making several impressive catches. On one in particular he made a diving catch across the middle averting good coverage by Adalius Thomas. After the play, Rodney was keeping him on his toes by knocking the ball out of his hands. He jumped up to recover it then playfully threw it at Rodney. (Remember this same special treatment that he gave Dillon at his first camp?!)
* In a speak of the devil moment, Big Al had just commented to me “You know who has been quiet so far this camp? Reche Cal—” Before he could even finish his last name he made the catch of the night by leaping up between Tory James and James Sanders to snag it and fell to the ground. Untouched, he got up, and took it in for a TD. BB had a little chat with TJ after that play.
* The now familiar match up of 54 vs. 44 during drills continued tonight. (That’s Bruschi and Evans, btw)
* Izzo still moves like a kid.
* During 7 on 7’s, all of the Big Units (OL and DL) worked together in the other field while Lonie snapped as center. Cassel was much improved today (both practices actually) hitting Watson and Gaffney and others. (Of course with no pass rush to contend with he took of his dancing shoes.)
* Matt Light jumped offsides, was flagged and took a lap during full squad work with refs. Big Al saw a 60-something in Blue also taking one… possibly Kenney Smith (60) or Rashad Moore (63).
* Ellis Hobbs did a bit of celebrating after covering Moss perfectly and preventing a TD in a clean play with no flag and also leveled Wes Welker in the biggest hit of the day. Welker caught the ball and got knocked right to the ground like he hit a brick wall.
* Willie Andrews picked off a poorly thrown pass by Matt Gutierrez and also deflected a pass right after that.
* I’ll say it again…. Moss makes it look so easy…. (Of course, his ability is not in question, it’s the willingness to not always be “the guy” and how he deals with it will be the true indication of his success here.)
* In response to an inquiry, I noted the DL rotation of Warren, Wilfork, Green (1st unit) with Mike Wright (99), Le Kevin Smith (90) and Santonio Thomas (92) as the second tonight.
* During one of the drills, the offense scored two successive TD’s and Rodney was pissed. He later took Meriweather aside and was talking to him.
* Practice ended with 2 minute drills with the starters on one field and the back-up players on the other. Brady’s drive moved the ball down the field with the second to the last play a completion to Moss, only to come up short with an incomplete pass to Gaffney to end the drive. He was clearly not happy and left the field talking to BB at the end of practice.
* Restarting at the top of the rotation, Defensive Backs signed tonight. There didn’t appear to be any extras. Although Jake’s not really an autograph type he did head down to the ropes tonight to get Brandon Meriweather on a football.
And now, I’m in need of food and my back is acting up so I’m glad that tomorrow is a single. (Besides that, Cinderella’s got lots to do that’s got nothing at all to do with Patriots football!)
As always, pictures and podcast to follow.