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.

Brady remains undefeated against Father Time

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Brady remains undefeated against Father Time

The Old Man got the last laugh. Tom Brady has outlived his replacement.

Remember when Jimmy Garoppolo was selected out of that football powerhouse, Eastern Illinois in the second round, 30th overall, in the 2014 draft? That was the beginning of the end for Tom Brady, remember?

Then Brady and the Patriots got off to that horrible start in '04 when they went 2-2, culminating with that butt whipping by the Chiefs in Kansas City.Good thing that the Hooded Genius was thinking ahead by drafting his boy Jimmy G., eh? Garoppolo would learn from the wise master (Brady) and then be ready to go in a couple of years when father time would finally catch up with TB12.

Well, Father Time is still in Brady’s rear-view mirror and Garoppolo saw his replacement drafted on Friday night: Jacoby Brissett out of North Carolina State. With Brady still playing at a high level and Jimmy G.’s contract up after the 2017 season -- two years before Tom’s new deal expires -- Garoppolo's days here are numbered. He's on the market . . . and that might be a good thing for him. Replacing a legend like Brady isn't easy. Garoppolo may leave here with three years of Belichick and Brady University under his belt, headed for a less pressurized situation.

Since, the Pats picked Brady’s understudy in 2014 Brady went on to win his fourth Super Bowl and could have won his fifth if his offensive line hadn’t wilted down the stretch and his head coach had not brain camped in the Eagle and Dolphin games.

I'm surprised. Brady is the greatest quarterback off all time but even the greatest has to make way for the future. That will happen eventually to Brady.

 I think.

Patriots OL coach Scarnecchia feels refreshed after two-year retirement

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Patriots OL coach Scarnecchia feels refreshed after two-year retirement

FOXBORO -- Dante Scarnecchia wasn't looking to get back into coaching. He wasn't sitting at home for the last two years, living and dying with each Patriots offensive snap as though he was still the team's offensive line coach. 

He was spending time with his wife and his grandchildren. He was traveling. He was going to bed early. He was retired, and he was loving it. 

But he got a call over the winter, soon after the Patriots lost the AFC title game to the Broncos, asking if he would return to his old job at One Patriot Place. He discussed it with his wife for more than a week before coming to the conclusion that he'd make his return. 

The team announced that Scarnecchia had been re-hired, replacing Dave DeGuglielmo, in March.

"It is a tough decision because you become very used to a very nice lifestyle," he said on Monday. "I like retirement, now. Retirement was great. A lot of fun. We saw things we hadn't seen ever. Took trips, spent a lot of time with our grandkids. All that was great. To a degree, it's very, very hard to give up.

"We talked about it, my wife and I, and we decided this would be a good thing on a lot of different levels, as far as the grandkids being able to come to the games for free and just be a part of it all. And I like coaching football. I love coaching football. I didn't retire because I didn't like coaching football. I retired because I got tired of the lifestyle. Two years off, I'm OK."

Scarnecchia was clear: He wasn't getting back into it if any other team came calling. 

"I think the No. 1 thing is, if you decide to go back into coaching, you're kind of at the mercy of the business. That is to say, who's going to hire you and where are you going to go? What makes it unique here is everything is the same. That really makes it easy.

"Honestly, I probably would not have gotten back into coaching had I had to go somewhere else. Because I was going by myself. [My wife] ain't going. Let's get that straight. I can't leave my kids and my grandkids. I'm not doing that."

Though he feels good, feels refreshed, Scarnecchia has been reminded very quickly of what the job entails. During one of his first days back on the job, the Patriots held a 14-hour personnel meeting. 

That part of the yearly routine, he did not miss. 

"It wasn't like I was sitting at home thinking, 'Boy, I wish I was there and I wish I could do this.' It wasn't any of that," Scarnecchia said. "I know what the job entails. Yeah it's fun being out on the field, it's fun being in the meeting rooms, it's fun being a part of the whole situation, but you know, the hours are long, the days are long. It's a tough business, it's a really tough business, and I was willing to step back into it despite all that."

Scarnecchia will have a few familiar faces in the offensive line meetings that take place during Phase Two of the offseason program, including Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer and Josh Kline. Most of the others, though, have been added to the team since Scarnecchia retired following the 2013 season. Centers Bryan Stork and David Andrews, as well as guards Tre' Jackson and Shaq Mason will all have to adapt to a new voice. 

Scarnecchia explained, however, that the system is still the same as it ever was under DeGuglielmo. And even though he's been gone for two years, the game itself -- and offensive line play in particular -- is as it always was.

"The game's pretty much the same," he said. "Get off the ball. Hit him. Do a great job of setting. Put yourself between the launch point and them, with inside out leverage . . . . We ain't building rockets."