Patriots training camp notes: Day 2

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Patriots training camp notes: Day 2

By Tom E. Curran, Mary Paoletti and Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

FOXBORO -- Notes from Day 2 of camp:

Alfonzo Dennard appeared to suffer a hamstring injury. He left practice early and didn't return.

Matthew Slater had some kind of black brace, strapped over his shoulder and around his chest, hidden under his jersey. That's as specific a cause as I can find for that red 'No contact' jersey.

James Ihedigbo still had that 'Don't touch me' jersey on, too.

The offensive line did some mixing and matching today. Robert Gallery came in at RG and Dan Connolly went to LG. Same as Thursday, Koppen lined up at C, Solder at LT, and Cannon at RT.

Brady got picked off today. Wes Welker had space in the slot, but the pass was flat and Bobby Carpenter got his hands on it. The quarterback went 25-for-28 overall with one exceptionally pretty pass to Brandon Lloyd.

Probably not a coincidence: Carpenter continues to get reps as the starting Sam linebacker.

Receivers and cornerbacks went one-on-one at the start of camp. Good news for the defense: Malcolm Williams got good jam on Welker on one play. Good news for the offense: Julian Edelman burned Ras-I Dowling badly with a little jab in, and another out.

Rookie safety Tavon Wilson mixed in with the 1's during some of the 7-on-7 drills against the Nickel (5-defensive back) defense. Wilson was stepping in for Steve Gregory. Bobby Carpenter and Dane Fletcher both worked next to Mayo at inside linebacker in the Nickel.

The corners on the outside for the Nickel were Ras-I Dowling and Devin McCourty. Kyle Arrington kicked inside to play the "Star" position in the slot.

The week of the Super Bowl, the team's offensive staff emphasized the need to throw high over the outstretched arms of the Giants defensive line. On Friday, coaches stood with practice dummies raised above their heads -- probably reaching up to about 9 feet -- as the quarterbacks threw in 7-on-7 and 5-on-5.

With Daniel Fells still not practicing, second-year defensive end Alex Silvestro continues to take tight end reps. He isn't going to be Gronk 2.0 but he will at least give the Patriots depth at the spot given how many reps he's taken.

It was a good day for Julian Edelman. He got receiver work both inside and out, as well as plenty of return duty. Edelman looked sharp all around.

Not a good day for Marquice Cole, who struggled in coverage.

Brandon Bolden looks really, really fast. He threaded almost the entire length of the field on one return -- unscathed.

A fleet of receivers took reps fielding punts. Among them, two surprise entrants: Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez. It's unlikely that either one is a plausible option on the depth chart at that spot. The concentration during the drill was on coverage more than returns and it seemed a mish-mash of guys were being run through the spot.

Marcus Cannon looks like he's lost a good amount of weight. Ryan Mallett looks like he's firmed up. And Gerard Warren shaved his head because Big Money said he was getting too gray.

Ryan Mallett finished Friday's session 13 for 17 in combined 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

In 7-on-7, Mallett went 8 for 10. The two incompletions came in a Will Allen break-up over the middle, and a Mike Rivera drop on a ball that was thrown behind him. Out of the eight completions, three of those went to newly-signed tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. But the biggest play Mallett made all day came on a deep completion down the left sideline, right into the hands of Donte' Stallworth.

The Patriots will practice in pads tomorrow.

Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

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Collins, Hightower mum on contract talks

FOXBORO – A fleet of Patriots have expiring contracts after this season but Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins are the two most prominent on that list.

With the sport being the way it is – a nearly 100-percent casualty rate every season – it’s never comfortable for a player to enter a contract year without knowing his long-term future. And it’s especially uncomfortable for players whose first contracts are expiring because the second NFL contract is usually the bonanza.

Both Hightower and Collins can entertain thoughts of contracts worth more than $50M if good fortune sticks with them.

The question as it pertains to both of these players is whether they get contract extensions this summer or whether they go into the year with contract pressure bearing down and ultimately become free agents.

Neither player was very forthcoming after their OTA practice Thursday.

With Collins, that’s often the case. He’s never been expansive with media. It was very uncharacteristic for Hightower to be so clipped in his answers, though.

Every question posed to Hightower was met with a variation of, “I’m just trying to get better.”

Asked about his contract, Hightower replied, “I ain’t got nothing to do with none of that. I’m just out here trying to get better with my teammates.”

When it was pointed out that Hightower does indeed have say on his contract, he answered, “That might be. But there’s a time and place for everything and I’m just out here trying to get better.

“If I get better I feel like that’ll take care of everything else,” he added. “If I get better each and every day that’s all I can ask for.”

Asked whether he’s at all focused on his deal, Collins replied, “No, I come out here and I handle my business and I let the rest speak for itself … My first priority is me. So I’m gonna handle me."
 

Ravens forfeit one week of OTAs, fined by NFL

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Ravens forfeit one week of OTAs, fined by NFL

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The Baltimore Ravens have forfeited one week of offseason practices for violating the labor agreement on such workouts.

The NFL also fined the team an undisclosed amount Thursday.

When the Ravens had rookies and first-year players don pads at a minicamp, it was a violation of the CBA rules. The team acknowledged that on Thursday, saying: "We made a mistake and we are sorry for that. We accept the NFL discipline."

Baltimore's June 1-3 voluntary workouts have been scrapped. The team will have OTAs on June 6-9 and a mandatory minicamp June 14-16.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.