News and notes from Foxboro


Posted Aug 4, 2004


The team is coming to the end of it's first week of camp. With lots of competition battles happening, we bring you some injury reports and more insider perspectives.


NOTES, QUOTES

  • --LB Rosevelt Colvin and the rest of the injured Patriots are expected to return to practice during training camp and not expected to remain on the PUP list. Colvin fractured his hip in Week Two last season and is still rehabbing. "I think all the players will participate," coach Bill Belichick said. "I don't see anybody that is in a situation like (guard) Stephen Neal was last year when I thought it would be a long shot for him to be able to make it back and ultimately, he didn't. I don't think anyone's in that category."

  • --Belichick rewarded his club's exceptional work in the offseason program with a light, no pads walkthrough practice to open training camp. Most of the players didn't even wear their helmets during the opening session. "There were a lot of guys in various states of dress or undress as the case would be. Some guys aren't ready physically, and other guys, because of their participation and performance in the offseason program, were not dressed as a reward for their offseason performance."

  • With some of those players out, younger guys like Tully Banta-Cain and Dan Klecko, who are both making the transition from down lineman to linebacker are getting needed extra reps.

  • --DL Vince Wilfork, the first of the team's two first round draft picks, would not set expectations at the start of his first training camp because he knows he's being overloaded with information.

  • "It's a lot thrown at us with the plays and knowing the offensive formation and why we're in a certain defense," Wilfork said. "That's a huge difference between college and the pros. In college, the linebacker just called everything, while here I have to know what the guy next to me is doing and know different positions. I'm just learning. The one thing I can do is come out and practice hard and be effective in practice and do what the coaches ask me to. I don't have control over who plays and I don't care because we can all play. I just want to win."

  • --OL Wilbert Brown was excused for the start of training camp for personal reasons.

QUOTE TO NOTE:

"I don't focus on them, but I feed off them." - CB Ty Law on negative statements made or written about him.

 

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

EXPECTED BATTLES:

The left guard spot will be hotly contested between veteran Bob Hallen and young Russ Hochstein. The team was in pads for the first time on Friday and the two both took reps with the first group. Hochstein looked solid in one-on-one pass rushing drills.

The nose tackle spot is one to watch. On the first day of full contact work, Keith Traylor took reps with the first unit with rookie Vince Wilfork working with the twos. But Vince Wilfork looked solid in his first NFL contact work and could emerge if he grasps the defensive schemes.

At quarterback, Rohan Davey looks to be the frontrunner for the No. 2 job although Bill Belichick likes what Kurt Kittner brings. Also, Kliff Kingsbury was off to solid start to camp, making this a battle to watch closely.

The wide receiver group will have the toughest time earning roster spots. With Troy Brown, David Givens, Deion Branch and Bethel Johnson all but locks to make the team, P.K. Sam, J.J. Stokes, David Patten, Chas Gessner and speed demon Michael Jennings appear to be battling for one spot.

INJURY REPORT: Eight players began camp sidelined with pre-existing injuries with seven on active-PUP and one, quarterback Jim Miller, on NFI. The seven on the physically unable to perform list included Rosevelt Colvin, Matt Light, Matt Chatham, Lonie Paxton, DeVonte Peterson, Eric Alexander and Christian Fauria. Kevin Faulk also was sidelined early along with Willie McGinest. Belichick does not set timetables for injured players but said he expects all of them on the field before long.



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