Patriots back on the field today

June, 12, 2014
Jun 12
5:00
AM ET
The New England Patriots return to the practice field today for their ninth of 10 organized team activities, and the session (11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. ET) is open to reporters.

The final OTA is scheduled for Friday, and then the final part of this phase of the offseason program is set for next Tuesday-Thursday at mandatory minicamp.

A few thoughts on what we've seen in two previous practices, and a some areas we'll be watching for today:

Offensive tackle shuffle. It's just June, so there's still plenty of time before things truly count, but we've taken note that starting offensive tackles Nate Solder (left) and Sebastian Vollmer (right) are not fully cleared at this point. That has led to fourth-year tackle Marcus Cannon, who has mostly worked at right tackle and right guard in his pro career, to take most of the reps at left tackle. The Patriots have been exploring some free-agent options at the position and it should help that rookie Cameron Fleming (4th round, 140th overall), a right tackle, reported Tuesday and adds another player at the position.

Any signs of Armstead? Defensive tackle Armond Armstead, the highly-touted prospect from the Canadian Football League, was on the field in the first week of OTAs and was limited in his work. Last week, there was no sign of him. He's high on our list of players from an attendance perspective. He projects as a potential interior penetrator along with Tommy Kelly, Chris Jones and first-round pick Dominique Easley.

Justin Jones getting his reps. With a shortage of tight ends, undrafted free agent Justin Jones has been getting valuable reps and he stands out at 6-foot-8 and 277 pounds. He seems to have reliable hands. One thing Patriots coaches often stress is consistency with rookies and we've been watching Jones closely to see if he can string together good practices.

Revis and defensive backs. The Patriots' defensive backs have a new look with cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, and one thing that stands out with Revis is how he's seldom in bad position. We're interested to see if any of the quarterbacks challenge him a bit more than we've seen in the first two practices. Browner had a notable interception in the last practice open to reporters.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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