Postcards from Patriots Camp: Day 12

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Postcards from Patriots Camp: Day 12

So, before we start, you may notice that I put Day 12 in the headline. The last entry was Day 8. Time warp, right? Noooo. See, the Patriots reported July 25. Theyve had nine practices as of Sunday. But theyve been in camp almost two weeks. So calling Sunday Day 9 of camp isnt terribly accurate. Fascinating, no? I cant wait for a game so I can have more stuff to write about.

WEATHER

Tropical. Hot, humid and in the high 80s. No rain.

WHAT THEY WORE

Full pads. And Brandon Spikes appeared to be wearing a brace on his right knee. Not sure if thats a new addition or standard fare.

WHAT THEY DID

1:45-2:30: The same walkthrough, stretching, positional stretching, positional drills that they always do.

2:30: 11-on-11 Drills with a lot of situational stuff mixed in

2:45: Special teams (directional kickoffs and coverage)

2:55: 7 on-7

3:05: 1-on-1 tackling drill

3:10: Special teams, pass-blocking drills, quarterback fundamental drills

3:20:3:45: 11-on-11 situational work

WHAT WE SAW

A heckuva pick by Ras-I Dowling down the left sideline on a pass intended for Aaron Hernandez. The ball was thrown by Brian Hoyer.

Jerod Mayo with a stout tackle on Aaron Hernandez in 1-on-1 tackling. Also, Shane Vereen accelerating around Bobby Carpenter and Julian Edelman juking Josh Barrett to the ground.

Converted defensive player Alex Silvestro making a catch in 11-on-11s.

A nice catch by Jessie Holley, followed by my saying, Hes not bad. And my friend Mary Paoletti saying, Liar. Thats the first good play hes made.

Kyle Love down for a stretch and then being helped to the sidelines after what appeared to be an eye injury.

Tom Brady going 14-for-21 in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.

Tackle Darrion Weems leaving practice after an apparent leg injury.

A too-many-men-on-the-field penalty on a field-goal attempt by Stephen Gostkowski at the end of a hurry-up drive.
Several trick plays (were not allowed to divulge the nature of said plays. Sorry).

Gronk getting yelled at to get on the field for a kickoff drill.

Chandler Jones pursuit of a scrambling Brian Hoyer on a slow-developing screen.

Brandon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney standing in the end zone catching deep balls from all three quarterbacks. And Lloyd giving a little surreptitious wave to some kids who kept yelling his name.

Brady getting agitated at Donald Thomas during 11-on-11s.

James Ihedigbo and Matt Slater out of their red jerseys.

WHOS HOT

Shane Vereen. He appears to be coming around after a slow start to camp.

Devin McCourty. Hes been very good in press coverage when asked to do that a weak point in 2011.

Aaron Hernandez. Generally catching everything thrown to him.

WHOS NOT

Brandon Deaderick seems to take a lap every practice for some infraction.

WHAT THEY SAID

Weve got a long way to go. Weve got a long way to go. Weve got a lot of practices, a lot of meetings; weve got four preseason games. Weve got a lot of work ahead of us and were nowhere where we need to be here, but thats why were coming out and practicing every day. Like I said, were not taking anything for granted, were trying to come out and string practices together. We had a good one today and weve got to come out and have a good one tomorrow. Tom Brady on meshing with the offensive line.

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”