Patriots deep WR corps using camp to adjust

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Patriots deep WR corps using camp to adjust

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn FOXBORO Much of the talk in the preseason has centered around the depth the Patriots have built up along the defensive line.

But when you look on the other side of the ball, the Pats have stockpiled quite a few receivers as well.

"We have good depth there," Belichick said. "We have 11 guys working. They're practicing hard."

The NFL strike may not have cost the league any games, but it hurt every team in limiting the amount of time players could work with each other. Not only does it raise the likelihood of a player getting hurt, but it also creates a sloppier atmosphere in training camp and, to some degree, makes it more challenging for teams to develop on-field chemistry.

That's why when you look back at the first few days of New England's training camp, dropped balls and missed assignments were seen everywhere.

This was especially noticeable at the wide receiver position, one that features newly acquired Chad Ochocinco.

"It's a new offense for Chad," Belichick said. "He's got that (challenge) compared to the guys that were here last year. But there's a number of players in that group that are also new."

In addition to trying to find a spot in the receiving rotation, there are those within the wideout group that will look to make their mark on special teams as well.

"It'll be interesting to see how things go when you take into account, special teams responsibilities and the competition overall as a receiving group," Belichick said. "We'll see how it goes. I'd say right now, it's deep and it's strong competition."

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

Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

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Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have added some receiver depth to their locker room by signing Da'Ron Brown to their practice squad. 

Brown, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015 and spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. At Northern Illinois, the 6-foot, 199-pounder caught 155 passes in four years, accumulating 2,295 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores in his career. As a senior in 2014, he caught 68 passes for 1,065 yards. 

With the signing, the Patriots have filled out their practice squad. The team has had an opening on its 10-man unit since the Colts signed away receiver Devin Street for their 53-man roster.

With just four receivers on the Patriots roster, not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, they've loaded up on receiver depth through their practice squad with Brown, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White.

Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday

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Brissett, Garoppolo both practicing for Patriots on Tuesday

FOXBORO -- The Patriots had both of their qurterbacks on the field and suited up for Tuesday's shells-and-sweats practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. 

Both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) are dealing with injuries, but both were present for the session, as were the rest of their teammates on the 53-man roster. 

Brissett was spotted in the Patriots locker room before practice with no brace or wrap of any kind on his thumb, but he did have his right thumb taped when out on the field. 

Patriots tight end AJ Derby was the lone player in a black practice jersey, indicating that he has been named practice player of the week. Running low on quarterbacks, Derby may have served as the scout-team quarterback as the Patriots defense prepared for the Texans. He played the position at Iowa and Arkansas before changing positions.

The Patriots have four practices scheduled this week, and the team will release injury reports, as usual, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.