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.
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.
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.
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.