Quick hits from today's OTA

May, 24, 2012
5/24/12
12:17
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few initial quick hits from today's organized team activity:

Who's not here. Players not spotted at this voluntary session -- which could be for a variety of reasons -- included: WR Anthony Gonzalez, WR Matthew Slater, G Brian Waters, LB Tracy White, G Logan Mankins, OT Sebastian Vollmer, WR Jeremy Ebert, TE Daniel Fells and DL Myron Pryor. Mankins is recovering from ACL surgery earlier this year. Ebert, the seventh-round pick out of Northwestern, can not participate until Northwestern graduates. Other reporters spotted Slater and Pryor working off to the side.

Players who are limited. The following players were present but limited: TE Rob Gronkowski (ankle surgery), LB Brandon Spikes (knee surgery), DB Nate Ebner, and OL Markus Zusevics (torn pectoral muscle at combine).

A quick feel for practice. Players were not in practice jerseys, so identifying them was a challenge (looking at numbers on helmets instead). The offense wore blue, the defense gray. It is a beautiful day in New England, and the team worked outside on the upper practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

Offensive line a storyline to monitor. It is only late May, and this voluntary, which is crucial context to keep in mind. With that backdrop, the Patriots' offensive line would be one storyline I would focus on at this point. No Vollmer. No Waters. Add that the team had three offensive linemen in for tryouts this week, as reported by ESPNBoston's Mike Rodak, and one gets the sense that Bill Belichick and the coaching staff have some moving parts and uncertainty at this point.

Youkilis in the house. Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox took in the session. At one point, he watched side by side with Bill Belichick. Tom Brady's sister is married to Youkilis. With the Red Sox enjoying their first off day after playing 20 straight days, the timing worked out well for Youk.

Much more to come a bit later ...

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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