Postcards from Camp: Day 4


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.


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


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

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.


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.


"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.

Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame


Clayborn beats out Seymour, Vrabel to enter Patriots Hall of Fame

Raymond Clayborn has been voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame, beating out both Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour for the honor. The corner, who is tied for the franchise record for interceptions with Ty Law (36), will be the 26th person inducted to the Hall. 

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowler (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977, and chipped in both in the secondary and as a kick returner. As a rookie in the return game, he averaged 31 yards per return and brought back three for touchdowns. 

Clayborn reacted to the news on Twitter soon after the announcement was made. 

"I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond's entire Patriots career," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner.

"One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket."

Clayborn has been a finalist for each of the last four years but was not able to generate enough support in the annual online vote to beat out Ty Law (2014 inductee), Willie McGinest (2015) or Kevin Faulk (2016). Clayborn was eligible to be voted in by the senior committee since he's now been retired for 25 years, but he did not receive the requisite eight of 10 senior committee votes to be elected in that way. 

As it turns out, he didn't need to be. When Kraft called Clayborn with the news, he said Clayborn received over 40 percent of the vote to beat out the pair of three-time Super Bowl champs. 

Kyle Shanahan: One play I regret in Falcons' collapse vs. Patriots

Kyle Shanahan: One play I regret in Falcons' collapse vs. Patriots

Remember that Atlanta Falcons offensive game plan against the Patriots in the final five minutes of the Super Bowl?

Kyle Shanahan, then the Falcons offensive coordinator and now coach of the San Francisco 49ers won't forget it. If Atlanta had simply run the ball and kicked a field goal with an eight-point lead, the Falcons would have likely held off Tom Brady and the Pats' comeback from a 28-3 third-quarter deficit.

Shanahan told The Rich Eisen Show there's one play call he'd like to have back. 

"The second-and-10 that we got sacked on,” Shanahan said. “I wish I had dialed up something differently. And then the next play, we called an option to [Mohamed] Sanu, we got right back in field goal range, but we had a holding call on the play and it knocked us out some more, and an incompletion on the next one.”

Click here for the play: Patriots defensive lineman Trey Flowers sacked Matt Ryan for a 12-yard loss. 

"I go through every single play in the game, but when it comes down to it, the big one was the sack that we had on second-and-10,” Shanahan told Eisen. 

Shanahan probably won't see the Patriots again this season, unless it's in the Super Bowl. And with the 49ers rebuilding under him, that's not likely to happen.