Bed check: Pulling it all together

August, 5, 2013
8/05/13
10:00
PM ET
(Every day at training camp, we'll recap the day with a final blog post.)

Top storyline: The Patriots completed their ninth practice since the first official full-team workout of training camp on July 26. Of the nine practices, five were held in full pads and four in shorts/light shoulder pads. This practice was held in shorts/light shoulder pads as the Patriots went through a variety of "speciality" plays, such as the Hail Mary. In a sense, this practice seemed like the final chapter in a book, which tied everything together and reflected the end of the initial stretch of training camp.

Dowling, Cunningham, Cannon remain out: On the injury front, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham and offensive lineman Marcus Cannon didn't practice once again. Unlike some other banged-up players who still attended practice, they weren't spotted on the field at all, which seems to reflect they won't be joining the team in Philadelphia for joint practices with the Eagles.

Roster moves: For the fourth straight day, the Patriots were busy with transactions, most of which have focused on the back end of the roster. The club re-signed rookie center Matt Stankiewitch (Penn State) and long snapper Mike Zupancic (Eastern Michigan)

Down to fifth string at right guard: The Patriots have had to manage injuries at right guard, to the point that they were working with their fifth-stringer (Will Svitek, who projects as the swing tackle) with the top group. No reason to sound any alarms, but still something to monitor as starter Dan Connolly (shoulder), Cannon, Tyronne Green and Markus Zusevics have been either sidelined or limited. Every team has to juggle things at various spots and right guard is currently the trouble area for the Patriots.

Field-goal operation steps to fore: With the practice featuring many situations, kicker Stephen Gostkowski had some of his most extended work in camp. He came up short on one 50-yard field goal. The wind was cutting through the practice fields pretty strongly. Overall, Gostkowski seems to be striking the ball well.

Rookie report: Receiver Aaron Dobson made a notable catch in the back left-hand corner of the end zone on a long pass from Tom Brady. ... Fellow receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce continue to take a lot of top repetitions. ... Cornerback Logan Ryan has seen an increase in reps with Dowling out.

Quote of note: "I feel very confident with where we're at as a defense at this point in camp. I'm not saying we have all the answers. I'm not saying we are where we need to be. But at this point in camp, to be where we're at defensively, I'm very, very happy with that." -- defensive lineman Vince Wilfork.

Summing it up: Coaches and players were looking forward to joint practices with the Eagles. This was a clean-up, pull-it-all-together type of practice before the team flew to Philadelphia, arriving around 5 p.m. ET.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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