Patriots training camp notes: Day 5

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Patriots training camp notes: Day 5

FOXBORO -- Guess who's back?! Nope, not telling you here. Start reading.
Visanthe Shiancoe wore just a t-shirt and shorts Tuesday -- official uniform of those not practicing. It's his first pissed practice. Same for Tony Fiammetta.
Alfonzo Dennard was again in shorts. He and Logan Mankins, Nick McDonald, Markus Zusevics, Myron Pryor, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Ebner, and Jeremy Ebert began the day on bikes or elliptical machines before moving to the lower field for stretching and other rehab work.
Jamey Richard was 100 absent. He suffered a concussion in Sunday's sesssion.
Asked if there was any update on absent-but-excused offensive lineman Brian Waters, Belichick answered..."Nope."Brandon Spikes saw his first real action since that February surgery. And man, was he amped. Spikes looked giddy to be able to hit people again, evident when he blew up Dan Connolly in his first 11-on-11 snap. He chest-bumped or high-fived somebody after almost every play.
Bill Belichick wet-ragged the conversation of Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd being the most unstoppable QB-Receiver duo of this century and future ones. "Yeah, we have a long way to go. I think its a little too early to get excited about anything. We have a lot of work to do ..."
Jesse Holley can't catch. Okay, he can catch, but he's not doing it much in training camp.
A few highlights from the first WR-DB 1-on-1s of training camp:
-Matthew Slater bested Sterling Moore.-Devin McCourty had a great pass break-up on Britt Davis in one corner of the end zone.-Ras-I Dowling also beat Davis.-Sergio Brown had no hope of getting a ball from Rob Gronkowski.-Patrick Chung got a pick off of Alex Silvestro (former DE who's having a rough go of it at TE; see next note).-Aaron Hernandez separately wrecked both James Ihedigbo and Patrick Chung with that sweet little cutback of his.-Tavon Wilson grabbed at Gronkowski's jersey but still couldn't get to him.
Silvestro is dangerous. He almost squished Julian Edelman when the two were running a crossing pattern at the same depth. And when he falls among the secondary players, he falls hard.
Steve Gregory got the better of Hernandez in an open field tackling drill.
Brandon Bolden had to run a lap after fumbling a Tom Brady ball during 11-on-11. He had to cradle the football as he ran. Makes sense.
Oh, Ryan Mallett. Despite Sunday being one of his better practices, the backup quarterback's backup didn't seem to do much quarterbacking on Tuesday. He went over snaps and signals with the offensive line at one point, also played some special teams. When he did throw, he had at least one interception.
Dan Koepplin did most of the booming on kick returns today. Danny Woodhead, Matt Slater, Donte' Stallworth did some of the receiving.
Nobody gets knocked around like Stevan Ridley gets knocked around. He told me the other day he doesn't mind getting banged to the ground during camp, even if the players are supposed to just wrap and release. Apparently, he's made that public in the locker room because he got jolted to the ground about a half-dozen times on Tuesday.
According to CSN reporter Mike Giardi, in offensive v. defensive line 1-on-1's: "Kyle Love beat on Dan Koppen, Chandler Jones fooled with Nate Solder, Robert Gallery man-upped Vince Wilfork, Darrion Weems put rookie Jake Bequette in the turf." Isn't Mike colorful?
Part of Patrick Chung's spiel on Tuesday was promoting the New Era training camp hats that are out. They are actually really good looking -- fitted white mesh.
Steve Dubin, half of the sports agency firm Yee and Dubin that represents Tom Brady and Julian Edelman, was in attendance on Tuesday.
Also in attendance was former Giants linebacker Carl Banks who played for the G-Men under Belichick. He was wearing a Patriots T-shirt and shorts. When news of his presence was tweeted out, a few Giants fans tweeted back their surprise, noting, "I just threw up in my mouth."
Ebner was the rookie who got stuck schlepping other guys' gear after practice. He carried at least four different sets of helmets and pads into the locker room. Builds character (unless you're Dez Bryant).
Tom Brady ran some sprints alone after practice.
Wednesday night, the team has its annual in-stadium practice for season-ticket holders and Foxboro residents. There's no public access to the event and no afternoon practice.

Tomlin apologizes for language, calls Brown's actions 'foolish' and 'selfish'

Tomlin apologizes for language, calls Brown's actions 'foolish' and 'selfish'

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that stunts like Antonio Brown’s Sunday night video are the kind that get good players shipped out of town.

“He's a great player, respected largely in the locker room but incidents such as this don't help him in that regard,” said Tomlin told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette and others at a Tuesday press conference in Pittsburgh. “That's often why you see great players move from team to team. Don't want that to happen to Antonio Brown.” 

Tomlin, who referred to the Patriots as “a--holes” after the Steelers beat Kansas City in a Divisional Playoff game, apologized for his profanity and the other off-color comments made in the 17-minute broadcast.

“Like to say the language on the video is regrettable, by me and by others,” Tomlin stated.” That's why we go to great lengths to preserve certain moments and interactions between us. As a parent, as a member of the community I take that very seriously. I issue an apology in that regard.”

Tomlin added that he has “absolutely no worries on the video's effect on the game, on the Patriots, on the Steelers. Game is too big.”

Returning to Brown – who has yet to address why he thought this was a great idea – Tomlin said, “It was foolish of him to do that, selfish and inconsiderate. It was violation of our policy, league policy. He has to grow from this. He works extremely hard, he's extremely talented and those things get minimized with incidents like this."
 

Where is Roger? Not in Foxboro . . . again

Where is Roger? Not in Foxboro . . . again

After speculation and “Do it; you won’t” cries from Patriots fans as to whether Roger Goodell would show his face at Gillette Stadium for the AFC Championship, we’ve now got our answer: When the Patriots and Steelers kick off Sunday in Foxboro, the commissioner will be 1,045 miles away. 

Goodell will reportedly attend the NFC Championship Sunday in Atlanta, continuing his absence from Patriots home games since the start of Deflategate. For those inclined to call it merely a coincidence, Goodell was in Atlanta last week for the Falcons and Seahawks. This will be two straight weeks of Atlanta -- with a trip to Kansas City for Chiefs-Steelers mixed in -- and still no New England. 

Tom Brady, whom Goodell suspended for four games over the ball-deflating scandal, was asked on WEEI Monday about the possibility of Goodell attending a game in New England. 

“He’s the commissioner, so obviously whatever he wants to do, he can do,” Brady said on Kirk and Callahan. “If he wants to come, that would be -- yeah, he can come.”

Asked if he wanted Goodell at the game, Brady replied, “He can go wherever he wants to go. Whoever is at the game is at the game.”

Equally popular as the will-Goodell-ever-go-back-to-Gillette discussion has been that of how Patriots fans would react. Last week, something of a light feud between Michael Felger and Barstool Sports’ Dave Portnoy took place over what kind of behavior towards the commissioner is acceptable. 

That all remains a moot point, however, as Goodell won’t need to worry about being berated, spit on or anything else. Any of that will continue to be put off for as long as he stays away from Gillette.