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Cleaning out the Patriots notebook

8/8/2011

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cleaning out the Patriots' notebook:

1. Receivers coach Chad O'Shea cited strong route-running skills as one of the main strengths that Chad Ochocinco has brought to the receiver corps. The Patriots have 11 receivers in camp and O'Shea likes the mix, calling it a "very competitive situation."

2. Second-year receiver Taylor Price has shown more confidence on the field and has taken on added responsibility as a backup punt returner (behind Julian Julian Edelman). With Chad Ochocinco, Wes Welker and Deion Branch atop the receiver depth chart, the competition for spots 4, 5 and possibly 6 with Price, Brandon Tate and Edelman is one of the good battles in camp. "Making major strides," Price said when asked about his comfort level and rapport with quarterback Tom Brady. "It's being able to come out here and play fast. Just relax, take a deep breath, take it all in, and just go out there and play football."

3. It's been a clinic whenever Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Danny Woodhead have the ball in tackling drills. All three players' quickness, and ability to make sharp cuts and accelerate quickly, has made them the toughest players to tackle.

4. Third-year defensive lineman Myron Pryor was one of the Patriots' top interior sub rushers last year, his signature play coming in a win over the Vikings when he beat left guard Steve Hutchinson and put a big hit on quarterback Brett Favre. But after starting at nose tackle the following week in Cleveland, Pryor was sidelined with a back injury for seven games, before returning in the season finale. It might have been too early, though, as Pryor wasn't ready to suit up in the playoff loss to the Jets. On Saturday, Pryor returned to the practice field for the first time and said there were "no limitations." Pryor, a 2009 sixth-round pick, could be battling for a job with some of the team's recent additions. Possibly helping his cause is that the defense the team has been running (more traditional four-man line) is closer to what he played at Kentucky.