Cleaning out the minicamp notebook

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18
5:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Cleaning out the notebook from the first day of Patriots mandatory minicamp:

1. The stage is being set for what looks like it will be a solid competition along the offensive line in training camp. When factoring in the competition at center, first-year player Braxston Cave (Notre Dame), who spent 2013 on the team’s practice squad, hasn’t been mentioned much but he took quite a few reps at the position in Tuesday’s practice. Cave had originally signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2013, when current Patriots assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi was Cleveland’s general manager, before the Patriots claimed him on waivers.

2. Overall, regardless of who was lining up at the position, the shotgun snaps from center to quarterback seemed a bit erratic in this practice.

3. With veteran left guard Logan Mankins present but not participating in practice, second-year player Josh Kline stepped in at that spot.

4. Sixth-round draft choice Jon Halapio, who played solely right guard at the University of Florida, worked at left guard behind Kline in the practice. That’s likely the start of building some position flexibility. First-year player Chris Barker stepped in and took some reps at right guard in 11-on-11 drills in the spot where Halapio has mostly worked.

5. With punt protection a focus in the practice, safety Tavon Wilson, linebacker Chris White and defensive end Michael Buchanan had extensive work. They were part of that unit in 2013, so it makes sense they’d be big parts of it at this stage of the offseason.

6. Rookie running back James White made a play that had us taking note, beating linebacker Dont'a Hightower up the left sideline and making a nice catch. White’s pass-catching ability looks like a nice fit for the Patriots’ offense.

7. Fullback James Develin continues to work out with the tight ends and he caught a laser over the middle from quarterback Tom Brady for a touchdown. We don’t often see Develin running those types of routes, but he’s shown some reliable hands over the last few weeks when the ball is thrown in his direction.

8. Undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler (West Alabama) showed up with a pass deflection.

Wednesday’s schedule
11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m. -- Media availability at practice
1:15 p.m. -- Player interviews
1:15 p.m. -- Tom Brady news conference

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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