Day 1, first Patriots practice
Posted by Mike Reiss, Globe Staff
July 30, 2009 11:40 AM
FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots held their first practice of training camp this morning (9:30-10:45). The team was in full pads and worked on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. Heavy rain and lightning ended the session about a half-hour earlier than scheduled.
Here are a few observations that stood out from the session:
1) Defensive flexibility. Flexibility is one of the buzzwords of a Bill Belichick defense, and we saw the unit line up in a standard 3-4 but also work some four-man line. This has been commonplace, as the Patriots are a "multiple" defense. One of the first thoughts I had when I saw this was how the Patriots – now in Belichick’s 10th year – have a considerable head start over other NFL teams with new head coaches. This system has been in place, the veteran players know it, and it provides more opportunities to tweak schemes -- even on the first day of training camp. Rookie Ron Brace was right in the mix in the four-man line work.
A few minutes ago, the Patriots concluded their first practice of a seven-day, two-a-day schedule. And it rained like crazy. A freaking downpour, and the Patriots didn’t go inside. All coach Bill Belichick did was try to dry himself off with a towel. Didn’t work.
What did we learn?
– Quarterback Tom Brady sported a bulky brace on his surgically repaired left knee, the first such sighting of a brace. You know this from Twitter. He had worn pants during mini camps and what-not. He may have ran with a slight limp, but he looked pretty decent. Got a big cheer from the fans, though.
– Receiver Randy Moss was not on the field, though he’s apparently slated to work out this afternoon. Not sure why he didn’t do his thing, but we’ll see if we can learn in a few.
– Also not on the field were corner Shawn Springs, receiver Joey Galloway, and linemen Ty Warren and Shawn Crable. Not sure why, but Warren and Crable were PUPed.
– During some passing drills, Brandon Meriweather and Jonathan Wilhite both had nice picks. Running back Sammy Morris seemed to get a ton of carries when the drills began.
– As expected, nose tackle Vince Wilfork was in the house, declining to hold out.
The Patriots just concluded the opening practice of training camp Thursday morning on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. The story of the day – beyond attendance that included Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork on the field while the likes of Randy Moss, Shawn Springs and Joey Galloway were missing – was that the session was concluded by torrential downpours and a bit of lightning that sent players, coaches, media and fans literally running for cover.
News and notes from (rain-shortened) Patriots session #1
12:11 PM Thu, Jul 30, 2009
By Shalise Manza Young
This morning's attendance was given in a previous post, and it was a bit of a surprise not to see Randy Moss, Joey Galloway and Shawn Springs on the field. All participated in spring camps. Bill Belichick did not give any indication on whether or not those three players would be back on the field for this afternoon's session, though receiver Greg Lewis indicated that Moss and Galloway were given the morning off.
With the brief but intense thunder storm that made its way through Foxborough, normal media access wasn't possible, so a few agreeable players were brought up to the press box for podium interviews: so far, it was Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor and Lewis, though we have been told Wes Welker might be on his way shortly. Tom Brady and Moss are expected to chat tomorrow.
So as for on-field stuff:
* The NFL recently approved practice-jersey sponsorships, and today the team announced that Gillette is the company that will have its name on the Pats' jerseys, in addition to their having naming rights to the stadium.
* Brady is still wearing his black knee brace. He was warmly greeted by the fans as he and the other quarterbacks trotted to the middle of the field for medicine ball exercises, and he gave a wave.
07-30-2009 04:43 PM
Re: 7/30 AM SMY notes
Randy Moss, Joey Galloway, and Shawn Springs are OLD
Mike the Brit
07-30-2009 04:49 PM
Re: 7/30 AM Reiss notes
Hart, Rapoport, SMY, Reiss, Price -- and Pats1. We are truly blessed!
07-30-2009 05:09 PM
Re: 7/30 AM Reiss notes
Just a thought, but how about one thread per day or per practice session on all the columns by all the various reporters, rather than a dozen different threads that for the most part say the same thing? I truly appreciate all the links to these articles but now it's as if the top half of the first page only has one or two different topics for discussion.