Notes: Ochocinco catching on with Pats

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Notes: Ochocinco catching on with Pats

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn

FOXBORO For a while there, it seemed the only thing Chad Ochocinco could catch was flak for dropping so many passes in practice.

For any player new to a team like Ochocinco, there's a process involving learning the system, thinking through it and ultimately resulting in simply playing the game.

The learning curve for Ochocinco is still evident, but there's little doubt that one of the most prolific receivers in the NFL in recent years, is starting to get into a nice little groove.

That certainly was the case on Monday, as Ochocinco wowed the sometimes drenched, but always enthused Patriots crowd with a slew of acrobatic catches.

It was good to see, obviously.

But for Ochocinco as well as the rest of the Patriots, the first real measuring stick as far as where they are - and where they need to go - won't come until Thursday's preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"We certainly have a long way to go in terms of taking our plays and making them situation-friendly, being able to do them at the right time and with very specific situations and so forth," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. "It's a big week for us; we've got a lot to do here."

It's still early and there's a lot of kinks that still need to be ironed out, but that won't stop Tom Brady from wanting every play to work perfectly . . . NOW!

For most of Monday's practice, Brady made the receiver's job for the most part a three-part operation.

Get open. Look for the ball. Clasp the ball.

But on the few plays where Brady either added a few degrees of difficulty with a not-so-Brady-like throw, or just chucked it where it didn't need to go, he was visibly angry at himself.

Kevin Faulk, Brandon Spikes, Brandon Deaderick, Albert Haynesworth and Matt Light were among those out of practice on Monday.

Tackle Dan Connolly spent some time on the sideline on Monday with his right elbow heavily wrapped in ice.

Guard Logan Mankins was laboring a bit after taking a shot to the midsection.

Despite the heavy downpour on Monday, the Patriots fans - not to be confused with fair weather fans, mind you - literally weathered the storm with most of those in attendance prior to the heavy rain, remaining around after it stopped, only to start up again and eventually end shortly before practice ended.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

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Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

The Patriots had a busy day of gathering intel on Thursday. A very busy day. 

While Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia represented the Patriots at Ohio State and Notre Dame, respectively, the team had other representatives at high-profile pro days around the country including Stanford, Missouri and Utah. 

Here are a few of the players the Patriots were able to get a better look at . . . 

Stanford: The Patriots have shown plenty of interest in players coming from David Shaw's program in the past (Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards), and they'll undoubtedly appreciate the talents brought to the table by two of the school's projected first-rounders in Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Thomas is a powerful 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive lineman who can play just about anywhere up front. McCaffrey, meanwhile, is one of the most athletic running backs in this year's class. He worked out as a receiver on Thursday and could fill a multitude of roles as a pro, whether it's as a back, a slot receiver or a kick-returner. The Patriots would need to trade back into the first round to have a prayer at landing either player. 

Utah: The Utes have a handful of draftable offensive linemen and one who is expected to come off the board in the first round. Garrett Bolles, who lit up the combine, might be the top tackle available -- and there are those who believe he's just starting to tap into his potential. Isaac Asiata is a monster guard (6-3, 323, 34-inch arms) who put up more bench-press reps than any other offensive lineman at this year's combine, and center JJ Dielman is an intriguing later-round option. One of the quickest risers in the pre-draft process? Marcus Williams, who is an eye-popping athlete. He was top-five for those at his position at the combine in the vertical, broad jump and three-cone drill, and he looks like a ready-made NFL free safety. The Patriots are pretty well stocked at that spot, but if they're picking at the bottom of the first round and going with the best player available, they may very well think that's Williams. 

Missouri: Defensive players were in focus for scouts and coaches at the Tigers pro day, and Charles Harris was the headliner. One of the most impressive players within a very deep class of edge defenders, the 6-3, 253-pounder appears to have the quickness and burst to give NFL tackles fits. One of Harris' teammates up front, Josh Augusta, ran a pretty ridiculous 40-yard dash Thursday, clocking in just a shade under five seconds. Ridiculous, why? Because he's a defensive tackle who wighed 390 pounds during the season. That's moving. Augusta dropped down to 347 after being diagnosed with a thyroid issue in January and is looking to get to 335. Corner Aarion Penton can competes well for the football, but his size (5-9, 177) may scare teams off until late in the draft. 

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

Curran: Patriots, Darrelle Revis have not discussed deal

The Patriots and Darrelle Revis have not discussed a deal that would bring the cornerback back to New England, according to CSNNE's Tom Curran.

This comes after CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported multiple anonymous NFL executives were convinced Revis would return to the Patriots.

Revis spent one season with the Patriots in 2014 when New England won Super Bowl XLIX. However, the Patriots did not pick up Revis' second-year option in the following offseason, and he elected to sign with the New York Jets in free agency. He played 14 games in 2015 and 15 games in 2016. He finished last season with 53 tackles, five pass deflections and one interception

The 31-year-old cornerback declined significantly during the 2016 season. Even Tom Brady said he noticed Revis was struggling phyiscally in the Patriots' Week 12 win over the Jets.

"I know he's not feeling great," Brady said in November. "I could see after the game, he winced a few times getting up. It looked like his leg was bothering him a little bit. But he's still very close on a lot of those plays. Even though you're hitting them, he's still very competitive.

"He's been one of the great players in the league for a long time. He's given up more plays this year than in the past, but you've gotta have a lot of respect for his style and his game."