Saturday, August 13, 2011
Patriots practice 16 observations
By Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Observations from Saturday afternoon's practice, the Patriots' sixteenth of training camp, which was held in full pads and in mild conditions:
Price, Woodhead not present. Wide receiver Taylor Price, who was one of the top performers in Thursday night's preseason opener, was not spotted on the practice fields on Saturday. Price may have gotten dinged up on a punt return late in Thursday's game. In addition, running back Danny Woodhead missed his first practice of camp; teammate Sergio Brown sent Woodhead a message on Twitter after practice saying "congrats on the baby girl woody," so it appears as if Woodhead may have had a good reason to miss practice. Others not present were rookie cornerback Malcolm Williams and linebacker Christian Cox, who left Thursday's game after being injured on a kick return.
Edelman not in action. Wide receiver Julian Edelman was not in uniform for Saturday's session but was spotted in a t-shirt and shorts working with the strength and conditioning staff. Defensive tackle Mike Wright joined this group on Saturday, the first time he has been spotted since finishing practice on Aug. 4. Other players in shorts were running backs Kevin Faulk (active/PUP) and Shane Vereen; wide receiver Brandon Tate; defensive lineman Shaun Ellis (active/PUP); linebacker/safety Josh Barrett; cornerback Ras-I Dowling; and safety James Sanders.
Haynesworth, Spikes remain out. Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and linebacker Brandon Spikes remained out of practice on Saturday. Meanwhile, running back Eric Kettani; offensive linemen Marcus Cannon (active/NFI), Ryan Wendell, and Dan Connolly (right elbow); and defensive linemen Brandon Deaderick and Ron Brace (both active/PUP) were the other players not spotted for the session.
Roth carted off. Rookie offensive lineman Zach Roth, who signed earlier on Saturday, was carted off the field with an apparent injury about halfway through practice, and did not return. Roth, along with another recent signing, Mark Wetterer, did not look sharp during pass rush drills and had to run a lap. Defensive tackles Kyle Love and Myron Pryor looked impressive in that drill.
Light returns with limited participation. Offensive tackle Matt Light returned in uniform on Saturday, signaling his activation from the active/PUP list. He participated in individual and positional drills but did not take part in 11-on-11 work.
Brady sharp; Gronkowski doesn't miss a beat. After not playing in Thursday night's preseason opener, quarterback Tom Brady took charge in Saturday's practice. With his trademark poise and intensity, Brady delivered near-perfect throws to wide receiver Wes Welker three times early in 11-on-11 work, including two to Welker as he darted through traffic on crossing patterns. Meanwhile, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who missed Tuesday's practice and was in uniform but did not play in Thursday's game, returned in full pads on Saturday and made two touchdown grabs during red zone work.
Mallett sees increased reps. Rookie Ryan Mallett appeared to see more action in practice on Saturday than he has in the first two weeks of training camp, while third-year backup Brian Hoyer had his practice time dialed back. This is likely a case of the team giving Mallett as much development time as they can, rather an indictment of Hoyer. In 11-on-11 work on Saturday, Mallett had a pass intended for tight end Will Yeatman intercepted by safety Sergio Brown, but also delivered a downfield strike to wide receiver Buddy Farnham.
Tarpinian hobbled. Rookie linebacker Jeff Tarpinian appeared to be dinged up early in practice, coming off the field to have his right leg examined by trainers. His participation in the rest of practice was limited.