Notes from Patriots OTAs: Week 2

Notes from Patriots OTAs: Week 2
May 31, 2012, 6:19 pm
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FOXBORO -- Thursday, the Patriots had their second OTA session open to media. Here's a little bit of what went on. The team started with stretching, per usual. Defense was in grey, offense in white. Absent from today's session: Myron Pryor, Daniel Fells, Logan Mankins, Brian Waters, Jeremy Ebert, and Sebastian Vollmer. Ebert is still at Northwestern, awaiting his June 16 graduation. The rest could have shown up after media availability was over, but none of the other four were seen last Thursday, either. One guy I didn't see last week who was around this time: Tracy White. It was reported White has been recovering from hernia surgery and the team is treating the process cautiously. Today, he did some running on a side field, along with Rob Gronkowski, Joseph Addai, and Matthew Slater.
Addai also ran on a harness and ran some cone drills. Something to keep an eye on because he participated in position work last week. Brandon Spikes stretched with the team before retreating to the bubble. The offensive line has been worth keeping an eye on because of the musical chairs being played. Robert Gallery, who stood in for Mankins at left guard last week, took some snaps on the right this time. Marcus Cannon played some right tackle. Ryan Wendell played guard again in Waters' absence. A different look at center? Donald Thomas. I don't believe he saw a minute there last season. The drills check timing of the O-line against different fronts, different looks. OTAs are all about fundamentals and communication. Josh McDaniels got together with Brady, Brian Hoyer, Shane Vereen, and Danny Woodhead to study option routes. McDaniels would move his shoulders, imitating a middle linebacker. It was on the signal callers and backs to read the cues, adjust, and work with what was given. Brady is in mid-season form for screaming. He was at one point angry and pleading for urgency from his running backs. I won't give you his exact words -- and not just because I'm not allowed to. Both Julian Edelman and Danny Woodhead did some receiving on kickoff. Two others: Donte' Stallworth and Devin McCourty. McCourty was a go-to special teams player at Rutgers (14 returns for 356 yards and one touchdown in 2009), but hasn't reprised the role in New England. There was just no reason to risk injury with how well he played corner his rookie year. McCourty had one return for the Pats in 2011 for 24 yards. Stallworth has returned neither kick nor punt since 2005. When Stephen Gostkowski split off with Zoltan Mesko to practice field goals, he went though a routine similar to his pre-game. Kick, move back a few yards. Kick, move back. Kick, move back. Gostkowski had a nice boot from 51 yards out. A try from 56, however -- no good.