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Relaying what media saw at practice

5/11/2012

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots kicked off their rookie minicamp this afternoon at the Dana-Farber Fieldhouse, and media was granted access to view the opening portion of practice.

The 20 players involved (full practice roster available here) wore t-shirts and shorts, but no practice jerseys.

The practice kicked off at roughly 1:30 p. m. ET with an active warmup led by the team’s strength and conditioning staff. After about 10 minutes worth of stretching, the group headed over to a pair of painted speed ladders on the far side of the practice field from the media viewing area.

For five minutes, players continued the warmup process on the ladder, including one noteworthy drill in which they were tasked with moving through the ladder laterally and quickly calling out the number of fingers that one of the strength and conditioning coaches held in the air.

From the ladders, the rookies and first-year players split up into smaller groups for the last drill during media availability. One group, which was led by new safeties coach Brian Flores and new assistant special teams coach Joe Judge, included first-round picks Chandler Jones and Dont’a Hightower, as well as third-round pick Jake Bequette.

This group worked on form tackling on a one-man sled, with coaches Judge and Flores focusing in on fundamentals. Given that Judge (assistant special teams) and Flores (safeties) took the lead with this group, it’s possible that the period was an emphasis on special teams.

Not far from that group, four offensive linemen worked on footwork with offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

For the first day of professional work for most of these players, the session seemed to have a good tempo and energy level from all involved.