Evening session 7/30. Wanted to get a closer look at the DL, another look at Holt vs. Patten, and general sense where things are. First to field, a good 15 minutes before anyone was of course the Space Emperor working on his drop technique. Then surprisingly: BJGE who went straight to JUGS to work on his catching skills, starting 10 yards out, progressing closer and doing pivot drills where you stand facing away and jump around in time to catch a pass. Started off with Faulk, Tate, Chung, Farnham, Edelman on PR, doing coffin corner returns off JUGS, working on coffin corner ball security. Today was a return to fundamentals: blocking, jamming, blitz pickup.. everything to do with hands, stance, and proper techniques. Aiken is back and was working out in ST on jam technique against the 2 man rub. Lineman working on blitz pickup, containment, and blocking. DL working on their blocking as well. Then LBs worked on zone coverage drills. DL worked on exploding out of three point stance. Defense was working on run containment as far as I can tell (they always work on the field farthest away, and BB is always there). Always hard to tell what they are doing. Had a chance to watch the WR up close.. working on fundamentals, over the shoulder, net drills, quick ball, one hand drill, turn and up, scramble, and rabbit. Just very throughout fundamental workouts. Then we had some serious man coverage drill, one on one. As you have read elsewhere, Tate absolutely whipped Bodden and made a difficult over the shoulder catch. Patten caught a nice hitch despite Wheatley holding him. Edelman and Chung are always fun to watch because they always go 110% and get into it. There is no such thing as practice for players like those. I have to stay with my original assessment that Holt and Patten are neck to neck. They both still have the speed, hands, and optimal separation speed, but in terms of reps, they both are at the bottom of the pile. I had said elsewhere that Patten had an edge, but it may well be that both of them get cut. My guess is that if BB had to keep one, he may keep Holt because Patten would most likely go to shadow roster, whereas Holt would probably get picked up by another team. My thought on Patten having the edge is that obviously he has been in the system, and knows Brady.. but that is the extent of it. Scott Oâ€™Brien spent a great deal of time with Mesko. The guy has serious power in his leg. Working by himself, he was able to consistently generate kicks to around 50-55 yards, but when he is in a team drill or under fire, that number drops considerably. He will skank more often than not, but when he connects, he really connects. He will be good eventually, but this coming season, we will have to put up with aggravating inconsistency. But in about a year or two, he will be nailing the coffin corners to a T. He is too disciplined and focused not to get there eventually. One player that is standing out to me on the LB corp is Thomas Williams- he is raw, unrefined and is operating under brute power. Was watching him during the RB/LB blitz pickup drill and he was able to push back on a consistent basis, but would really benefit from learning the swim.. just wastes too much forward power. He has also been working out at DL, and at FB, and he was the FB on the last play of situational football where Taylor got stoned at the goal line on a great pull play that unfortunately the defense saw coming a mile away. Spikes is polished in individual techniques, he obviously has been well-coached. Example: he uses the swim and juked his way past the blocking RB, saving his energy, but in other ways, it is obvious that he has his plate very full with the two gap adaptation. BB was hovering over him all day long. Is it because he has high expectations for Spikes? We all know BB is always looking for Lawrence Taylor part two- so whether that is the case, it is hard to tell at this point. He is still the Mike and calls the defense, but is not working with first team. It is unusual for BB to spend much time in one on one coaching, but he was in serious hover mode on Spikes.. clearly he sees something that nobody else does. I continue to be underimpressed by Crumpler. I would even go as far as to call him a long shot. Rob Myers on the other hand is continually on the radar- he is the complete package. I am aware that Crumpler is in there chiefly as a blocker, but half of blocking is getting there, and Crumpler doesnâ€™t really have the speed any more, and is increasingly one dimensional. If I had to call roster for TE, I would say: Hernandez, Gronk, Myers. I think some cuts are coming soon. BB was very hands on today and was taking copious notes. I think Brace is on the bubble. It is now clear that he flunked his fitness test- and with Richards, Lewis, and G. Warren taking significant reps today, I think he is in trouble. Working mostly in the 4-3 today. Ample opportunity to see Deaderick.. he seems to be holding his own and is fundamentally sound. Defense looks to be communicating much better today. In the play where Holt fumbled after Mayo knocked the ball out.. this was great situational awareness. The defense grouped pretty fast and started blocking for Meriweather.. a very good sign I think.. However 2nd string DL was very sloppy today in formation drills.. kept lining up over the wrong gaps. You could see two linemen go weakside gap, and one went strong side.. forgot who it was but he got an earful. Situational football, end zone: Moss over McCourty. continuing to make it look so easy. Kept his eyes averted and hands down until the last minute. Welcome to the NFL, McCourty. Never take your eyes off the ball. Next play, fake run, 2 x 2 TE package, lateral to Maroney, 2 for 2 in red zone. 212 2 x 2, hit Hernandez, but Chung was there to tackle him. I think the 212 is going to be our workhorse package in the EZ. Next two plays were run. On the first, Woods shot the B gap on a pull and stopped Taylor, then end around play with Taylor that worked. And on the last play, the OL finally got their act together and did a great strong side pull, but the defense was literally waiting for it. They knew it was coming- and I donâ€™t think it had anything to do with reveal- I think they just knew the OC would call it again because they messed it up two plays ago, and practice is about getting it perfect. Guyton stoned Taylor at the goal line, and everyone on offense had their arms up, and everyone on defense was waving the play off. Verdict? Nobody really won, so everyone runs sprints! I want to end on a high note. Brady and Hernandez have great chemistry. They are already on the same page and having the same thought. I think this is the best thing that can happen to Welker. He has been overworked and now the heat is off of him in the underneath game. It will be very difficult to deal with Hernandez in motion and Welker in flex or off (this is legal, I believe) because then, for instance, you can stack right at the snap avoid jam (because you have space in flex or off) and rub off or under, and with two good threats, itâ€™s pick your poison, because if you cheat SS down, that leaves a cover 1 in the backfield. I am starting to form an opinion of just how good this offense has the potential to be, but will hold it until I can see a few more TCâ€™s and at least one exhibition game.