By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO --@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The Patriots took part in their first padded practicesession of training camp on Thursday afternoon. It was their second session ofthe day, but the first was nothing more than a walkthrough.
The players took the field for two-and-a-half hours inhelmets, shoulder pads, and shorts.
The session began with some light sideline-to-sidelinejogging, followed by a mix of drills for each unit.
It got exciting when the Pats began their 7-on-7 drills,pitting defensive backs up against the quarterbacks and their receivers. It wasin these 7-on-7 drills that fans were excited to see wide receivers TyreeBarnes, Taylor Price, and Brandon Tate each make nice sideline catches onsomewhat overthrown balls.
With special teams mixed in, the Patriots continued 7-on-7drills until they extended to a full out 11-on-11.
Kyle Arrington, Logan Mankins, Nick Kaczur, Alge Crumpler,BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Myron Pryor, Nate Solder, Ryan Mallett, Shane Vereen,Ras-I Dowling, and Marcus Cannon were all absent from the practice field.
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Must be Bills week.
After Rex Ryan's club put together an impressive win at home over the Cardinals, 33-18, it wasn't long before the Bills coach was yapping about the Patriots and their coach Bill Belichick.
Ryan was asked about the quarterback situation in New England since both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are dealing with injuries at the moment. Who might the Bills see when they visit Gillette Stadium?
"Look, I can sit back and say I don’t care who plays quarterback, cuz I know (Tom) Brady ain’t," he said. "I don’t care who plays quarterback; Steve Grogan can play quarterback. If Belichick’s playing quarterback, we’re coming after him. I promise you that."
There's no indication yet as to whether or not Garoppolo or Brissett will be unavailable for Week 4. When asked about his level of concern when it came to his quarterbacks, Belichick didn't say much during a conference call on Sunday.
Ryan, like the rest of us, will probably have to wait for the Patriots to release an injury report before he learns about the status of either young passer. And until then, he'll have to prepare for both.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens told reporters last week that spending time with Bill Belichick can make you "feel pretty inadequate as a coach."
But Belichick raved about Stevens during a conference call on Sunday. The two spent time together on Friday night for the Hall of Fame Huddle fundraiser to benefit Belichick's foundation, and the Patriots coach explained that he's learned a lot from the Celtics boss.
"Got to know Brad ove the last couple of years," Belichick said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for what he's done, taking a young team, a team that we barely knew some of the players on the team, and in a couple of years has built them into a strong team last year and played very competitively in the playoffs. Fun to go over there and watch them.
"Brad and I have talked about a lot of things that are just coaching-related. Obviously the sports are different. I don't know anything about basketball, and he says he doesn't know much about football. It's really not about Xs and Os and that kind of thing. It's more the other parts of coaching: Preparation, training, team work, team-building, confidence, communication, players and coaches relationships and so forth.
"Obviously we're in the same business in taking more people to training camp than we can keep on a roster, then managing a roster and dealing with things that happen during the year with that roster, whether it's bringing other guys onto the team, trades and so forth. We've chatted about a lot of those things. He's given me a lot of insight.
"I'd say some of the players they get are a little younger than the guys we get on average. Kids that are coming out of college after one year, we get them after three years or four. Just the trans from college to pro which he obviously has a lot of experience with. Coming to the New England area for most players, that's an adjustment, we don't get too many guys from this area. All of those things like that."