Postcards from Camp: Day 4

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Postcards from Camp: Day 4

Day 4 of Patriots Training Camp. It was the second day in full pads. The team holds a morning walkthrough each day in the stadium before the practice in the afternoon that's open to public. It was another fat crowd on hand, more than 14,000 according to Patriots media relations.

WEATHER

It was a player-friendly day in terms of weather. Full cloud cover and temperatures in the low 70s.

WHAT THEY WORE

Full pads. And James Ihedigbo and Matt Slater still cruising around in red "Leave Me ALONE!!" jerseys.

WHAT THEY DID
1:45: The warmup period that included half-speed walkthroughs of some running plays, a few special teams reps and then team stretching and running before the team broke into positions and stretched and did drills.

2:15: Everyone but the offensive linemen took part in a strip drill, jogging across the width of the field while a teammate tugged at the ball. The teammates would switch and run back to the original spot. DBs and WRs again worked on setting the edge on running plays and funneling ball-carriers inside to the help. On one play, James Ihedigbo - despite the red shirt - got toppled by Britt Davis, a wide receiver. Assistant coach Steve Belichick was working as the quarterback during the run-force session. He needs to work on his tosses.

2:30: The linebackers and running backs engaged in a heated blitz pickup session. Tight end Spencer Larsen irritated linebacker Jeff Taripinian when he took Tarpinian down hard. Jerod Mayo finished his rush against Stevan Ridley with a high elbow near the helmet of the second-year back. Dane Fletcher beat Ridley badly on a blitz. Dont'a Hightower was a beast, running through Eric Kettani then pitching Kettani into running backs coach Ivan Fears. Fears hit the deck on contact. On Saturday, Hightower threw Danny Woodhead into assistant coach Pepper Johnson.

2:50: The team again ran half-line running plays giving the interior lines a chance to work on their reps from Saturday. The defense again continued to get good penetration against the makeshift offensive line group.

3:00-4:00: The team broke into 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. There were some goal line reps at the end. The defense held on two of the four plays run down there, one of the holds was a drop by Rob Gronkowski who had two drops on Sunday. One of the touchdowns came after Brandon Bolden toppled in after being hit in the backfield.

WHO'S HOT

Stevan Ridley continues to look fast and decisive and really comfortable in the offense.

Kicker Chris Koepplin drilled each of his field goal attempts, drilling about seven and moving all the way back to the 50-yard range before he was done.

Brian Hoyer continues to shine with his accuracy. His ability to gauge speed and anticipate openings on crossing routes is remarkable.

WHO'S NOT

Still not seeing much from Shane Vereen.

Same goes for Robert Gallery.

Brandon Spikes. Haven't seen him do too much as he works back from offseason knee surgery. He's not been a fast healer in the past and that seems to be holding.

WHAT WE SAW

Jabar Gaffney and Deion Branch were flipped in taking reps today. Branch ran with the 1s; Gaffney ran with the 2s with few exceptions.

Rookie Justin Francis blasted Danny Woodhead to the ground in 11-on-11.

After a number of running plays in 11-on-11, Tom Brady went play action and found Brandon Lloyd way behind the defense. Either Patrick Chung or Steve Gregory was the safety that blew the coverage. It was hard to tell because both men had their jerseys rolled up and they were at the far end of the field then obscured as they came back to the huddle.

Aaron Hernandez had cheek kisses for Jonathan Kraft.

Offensive lineman Jamey Richard wobbled off with a concussion.

WHAT THEY SAID

"To see three big linemen in front of you trying to get downfield on some DBs, it's a chance to make a big play. To me, it's a present, almost." - Stevan Ridley on the Patriots' screen game which has been cropping up quite a bit in early work.

Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass. 

Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

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Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

Tom Brady wasn't always the most famous person in his family. Growing up, his sisters were the accomplished athletes in the household. 

For his latest Throwback Thursday style Facebook post, Brady published a pair of photos of an old high school essay that he wrote in the fall of his senior year in 1994. It was titled "The way my sisters influenced me."

I found an essay I wrote in 1994... I love my big sisters! #tbt. Thanks for the good grade Mr Stark!

Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, June 23, 2016

In it, he discusses some of the difficulties of growing up with three older sisters and no brothers. Because Maureen, Julie and Nancy Brady had achieved so much in softball, basketball and soccer, Brady -- or "Tommy," as he signed his paper -- had trouble getting noticed. 

Of course, it wouldn't be long before Brady was headed from San Mateo, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to play football for the Wolverines. He probably had no trouble garnering attention by then. Still, it's funny to read about how he felt overlooked in his youth. 

He closed the essay explaining that he knew his sisters would always provide him support throughout his life, adding, "hopefully, just maybe, one day people will walk up to them and say, 'Aren't you Tommy's sister?' or 'Hey where is your brother?' Maybe . . . "

If the Brady sisters didn't get those kinds of comments by the time the baby of the family was given an 'A' for his English assignment, it probably didn't take long before they did. About seven years later, he took over as the starting quarterback of the Patriots.