7/25/08 Mixing in the Mayo; Friday afternoon notes
By Andy Hart, Patriots Football Weekly
One day after signing and joining his teammates for practice action, Jerod Mayo and the rest of the Patriots moved workouts to the outdoor practice fields at Gillette Stadium for Friday afternoon’s single workout.
Who’s hot: Heath Evans. The veteran fullback and jack-of-all trades type dominated a one-on-one pass protection drill with the linebackers. He was pretty much the only running back to stand out for the positive in the group.
Who’s not:Kyle Eckel. The other jack-of-all trades fullback on the roster struggled in the pass pro drill that Evans dominated. He seemed lose the battle with each linebacker he went up against. Running backs coach Ivan Fears wasn’t happy.
(Near) Play of the Day: Tom Brady ran a play-action, fake end around to Jabar Gaffney in team work late in practice only to hold the ball on his hip before looking deep for Randy Moss. The fake worked to perfection as Moss blew by safety Mark Dillard down the middle of the field. Only one problem, much to the chagrin of the crowd Moss dropped Brady’s deep ball. The result wasn’t what you’re looking for, but the execution up to that point was pretty.
Rookie free agent running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis joined the practice action for the first time after spending the first day of camp on the PUP list.
The other 11 players who opened camp on PUP remained on the list for the second day of workouts. … For the second straight workout, Brady took normal reps throwing the ball. … Beyond the PUP list, those missing the hot afternoon practice included defensive linemen Richard Seymour and offensive lineman Gene Mruczkowski. … The music played during player stretching started with the theme to “Dukes of Hazzard.” … With Stephen Neal and Nick Kaczur on PUP, Billy Yates and Wesley Britt took reps with the first unit on the right side of the offensive line. … Jabar Gaffney took reps on both the outside and in the slot in practice, catching plenty of balls from Brady. … Much of the early part of the workout focused on the running game for both sides of the ball, with full pads action in group and team drills. … Maroney cut off one reporter who asked what the team goals were for New England coming off the 18-1 2007 campaign and if it was as simple as just 19-0. “Just 19-0? That’s a big goal,” Maroney said. … Veteran tackle Anthony Clement continued to have a tough time to start camp in his Patriots career, taking a penalty lap around the field during one drill. … During special teams work Chad Jackson and Morris served as the first kickoff returners followed by the duo of Matthew Slater and C.J. Jones and then Terrence Wheatley and Antwain Spann. … Owner Robert Kraft watched a portions of the afternoon practice. … Ryan O’Callaghan took reps with the second line at left tackle, although he seemed to be limping around quite a bit at the end of practice. … Sirius NFL Radio will be broadcasting live from Patriots training camp on Sunday. Former Bears defensive lineman Tim Ryan and former Jets executive Pat Kirwan will host “The End Zone from Noon to 4:00 pm ET at Gillette Stadium. … The Patriots are scheduled to practice twice on Saturday, although both sessions are closed to the public as the Country Music Festival takes over Gillette Stadium. New England will work out at 8:45 in the morning and again at 2:30. Be sure to check back to patriots.com for complete updates from both workouts, player interviews and coverage of Bill Belichick’s daily press conference.