What to watch for at Patriots OTA Thursday

What to watch for at Patriots OTA Thursday
June 12, 2014, 7:00 am
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The Patriots will open Thursday's OTA session to reporters -- the third session available to the media this offseason -- so let's quickly take a look at some of the key story lines that will garner attention.

Code red
The Patriots spent a good deal of last week's OTA focused on red zone work, which gave us a chance to see how newly acquired 6-foot-2 receiver Brandon LaFell looked using his size in that area of the field. Expect more of the same on Thursday as well as plenty of hurry-up and two-minute work. 

Roll call
Those not present at last week's OTA included Alfonzo Dennard, Aaron Dobson, Dominique Easley, Armond Armstead, Jeremy Gallon and Cameron Fleming. Dobson and Easley figure to be recovering from injuries (foot and knee, respectively). Armstead was present at the open OTA two weeks ago, while Dennard was not. 

Not a busy corner
Will anyone throw at Darrelle Revis? From what we've seen, he hasn't been picked on just yet by Patriots quarterbacks. Revis should be used to it. It's the treatment he got for long stretches of his career as the most dominant corner in football. It's still early, and the media has only been allowed to see two of eight OTAs to this point, but it would still be interesting to see Tom Brady go after his old AFC East rival in a 7-on-7 drill, wouldn't it? Brady tried to pick on Brandon Browner at the end of last week's open OTA and was intercepted.

Take it to the limit
Rob Gronkowski, Nate Solder and Matthew Slater highlighted a crew of Patriots who were limited in their work last week. Separated from their healthier teammates, they did a few drills as a group and then headed inside the Dana Farber Field House for the remainder of the session. Will Smith later joined them inside. If any of those players see a larger workload on Thursday, we'll be on top of it. 

New guys in town 
We'll see new Patriots signing Kyle Auffray -- a product of the University of New Hampshire -- give the Patriots some added depth at the tight end group at Thursday's session. Might he punt, too? He did it in college. Thursday may also be our first glimpse of fourth-round pick Cameron Fleming. The offensive tackle out of Stanford reported to the Patriots this week, according to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss. Fleming hadn't been allowed to join the team's OTAs because of an NFL rule that keeps players from reporting until they've completed finals or their schools have held graduation. Standford's graduation is this weekend.

Boyce's time to shine?
With a few pieces of the receiving corps missing from last week's open session to the media, second-year receiver Josh Boyce seemed to take advantage of his repetitions. His fluidity and quickness stood out not only in his route-running but also in his kick-return opportunities. As a rookie, Boyce began the season injured and never really found a consistent role in the New England offense. The team did deem him worth of a fourth-round pick last year, however, and his athleticism turned heads as he came out of college. If healthy, Boyce could see his sophomore season as a fresh start.