FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New England Patriots training camp:
Cornerback Brandon Browner is practicing with a physical edge, and at one point, his hands-on approach riled up receivers coach Chad O'Shea. Browner's physicality was the main topic players were asked about after practice. "That's part of intimidation," linebacker Dont'a Hightower said. "He had that in Seattle and before that. That's his style of play. When you're a receiver and watching film, and you see him rag-dolling guys around and choking guys out at the line of scrimmage, that's intimidation. That's definitely a trait he's had and he's definitely using it."
Third-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard met with reporters for the first time since coming off the physically unable to perform list (offseason shoulder surgery) and earlier serving a 35-day sentence in an adult detention center in Nebraska. Dennard deflected questions about his less-than-ideal offseason. "Moving forward," he said. "It’s all about football right now. I’m trying to provide for my family." Dennard, who is one of the top candidates to start at right cornerback when Brandon Browner is serving his season-opening four-game suspension, said he's "feeling better and better every day."
More progress for tight end Rob Gronkowski, who continues to push himself as he works his way back from a torn ACL. For the second straight day, Gronkowski was covered by cornerback Darrelle Revis as Tom Brady worked on red zone passing with him. Bill Belichick closely watched the three work while the rest of the team focused on special teams on the opposite field.
Some important developments are unfolding at center, as rookie Bryan Stork (fourth round, 105th overall) walked off the field with a member of the athletic training staff midway through Tuesday's practice and was absent for all of Wednesday's practice. It appears he's suffered some type of lower leg injury. Stork is expected to compete for a starting role, but in his absence, veteran Dan Connolly took the majority of reps Wednesday.
Nice to see former Patriots tight end Jermaine Wiggins, now working in the sports media, receive warm welcomes from Belichick and Brady, among others. Wiggins, who made big plays for the Patriots in the 2001 Super Bowl season, spent about 10 minutes speaking with Brady after practice, and the two shared an embrace at the end.