FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Quick-hit thoughts from the second full-pad Patriots practice of training camp:
1. Very enjoyable practice, in part because of the crowd. The crowds have been light compared to past years, but this was a packed house. That lifted the energy level and you could feel it from the moment Albert Haynesworth arrived on the field to cheers, and he then waved to the crowd.
2. A lot of drops from receivers, led by Chad Ochocinco and including Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien wasn't happy. I spent a lot of time watching Ochocinco. He doesn't dazzle with speed, but is a solid route-runner, and one can see this is the start of developing a trust level with Tom Brady. Brady, by the way, stayed late to run sprints. Ochocinco also stayed late.
3. Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork as a tandem at defensive tackle could be very impressive. Haynesworth seemed to appreciate the reception from the crowd and was laughing at one point of practice with his fellow defensive linemen, which led Ochocinco to come over to the d-line group and shake hands. Smiles all around.
4. Inside linebacker Brandon Spikes once again made his presence felt, lining up tight end Aaron Hernandez on a reverse with a sound read and good fundamentals in 11 on 11 work. It wasn't live tackling, but had it been, Spikes was there to deliver a striking blow. You could hear the sound of pads crunching there. Spikes also batted down a low Ryan Mallett pass later in practice.
5. Speaking of Hernandez, it caught the eye that while fellow tight ends worked on a blocking drill, he stayed with the receivers to catch passes.
6. The offensive line looks a little thin right now. It will help to get left guard Logan Mankins back on Aug. 4, but I still think they need left tackle Matt Light. Some have asked the question 'Who might the Patriots sign next?' and I think it should be Light if they can work out a deal. Light's old No. 72 has yet to be issued to another player.
7. Along those lines, if tight end Alge Crumpler returns to full health in the coming weeks, I also think he'd be a good re-signing. Fifth-round pick Lee Smith is getting a lot of reps alongside Rob Gronkowski, but I think this offense and locker room would benefit from Crumpler's powerful blocking and presence.
8. Bill Belichick was getting on players during the end-of-practice running drill. He wanted to make sure their hands were touching the ground and they didn't start running until the whistle blew, but he also created a distraction with a loud "Hut, hut!" Some players jumped early (e.g. Ochocinco). Belichick has talked in the past about how training camp is an opportunity to put stress on a team and build mental toughness. At the end of a tough practice, this looked to be what he was doing. Belichick is one of the all-time great coaches and watching him work is one of the enjoyable parts of camp.
9. Celtics guard Rajon Rondo took in the practice with little fanfare. He spent time chatting with Vince Wilfork and Bianca Wilfork afterwards. The Wilforks are big Celtics fans.
10. Cornerback Leigh Bodden looks like he's bounced back strong after missing the 2010 season with a torn rotator cuff. Playing opposite Devin McCourty, he's consistently been around the ball the last few days and had an interception today in which he had good coverage on tight end Rob Gronkowski. When Gronkowski tried to catch the ball over him, Bodden had textbook position and made the catch. When the two hit the ground, they wrestled for the ball and Bodden came away from it after some help from safety Patrick Chung, who made like Ed Hochuli to pull Gronkowski away from him. That drew a big cheer from the crowd.