Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Bed check: Wrapping up Day 14
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Wrapping up the 14th day of training camp and the key storylines:
Brady, Patriots sharp in drills. After a Tuesday practice in which the execution wasn't up to its normal standard, Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense returned to form in a lower-tempo, shorts-and-shells practice. Brady was 9-of-9 in 7-on-7 drills inside the red zone.
Prepping for preseason opener. The practice featured a lot of situations and special teams, as the focus was on getting both teams ready for Thursday night's game. For example, both teams worked on onside kicks. Officials worked the practice for the third straight day.
Belichick locks in on safeties. In 7-on-7 drills between the Patriots and Saints, Bill Belichick spent time with the defense as rookie Tavon Wilson was inserted into the mix in place of Patrick Chung. It was some hands-on coaching from Belichick and also seemed to reflect how Belichick was testing Wilson.
Warren latest addition to ranks of missing. Veteran defensive lineman Gerard Warren missed his first practice of training camp, as he joined a growing list of players on the sidelines.
Offensive lineman Hill signed. The Patriots inked rookie free-agent Kyle Hill (Duke) to a contract, marking the sixth transaction involving an offensive lineman since training camp started July 26. The Patriots have been short on numbers up front, and Hill adds depth. The team also received a boost with rookie offensive tackle Darrion Weems returning to practice after missing two straight sessions.
Hernandez, Ridley and Hoyer hold court. Tight end Aaron Hernandez, running back Stevan Ridley and quarterback Brian Hoyer were among players holding court with reporters after the practice. Hoyer, who figures to see a lot of action in the preseason, has drawn a lot of attention this week. So has the state of the offensive line, which explains why Dan Connolly and Donald Thomas were others drawing media attention.
Star performer of the day. Brady. The quarterback was back in his rhythm.
Tough day at the office. None.
Storyline to monitor. How much does Brady play in the preseason opener?
Rookie watch. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower was in coverage against Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, who made a great leaping catch. ... Hightower, Jones and Wilson -- the team's top three draft picks -- haven't missed a practice.