PHOTO: New England Patriot's
linebacker Chad Brown (98) calls a play as linebacker Monty Beisel (44) straps
up his helmet during the morning session of mini-camp at the teams practice facility
in Foxboro, Mass., Friday morning June 10, 2005. Both players are being considered
as replacement play callers if veteran linebacker Tedy Bruschi is unable to return
to play this season. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Patriots Minicamp: Day Two
The Patriots continued to install pieces of their offensive and defensive
system with players just trying to keep up. Lineup changes were the norm, with
individuals seeing time at a number of new positions. When head coach Bill Belichick
said it was a teaching camp more than a competitive one, the message was clear;
learning was the number one priority.
Chad Brown, who signed on with the Patriots as a free agent for 2005, looked better
his second day of camp. Brown knew that getting used to a new system after eight
seasons in Seattle would be a challenge, but it appeared to be more than he expected.
"I understood the terminology would be different but I thought some stuff
would carry over," Brown told reporters. "There's no carryover at all.
It's a whole new language."
Brown is working with fellow newcomer Monty
Beisel to learn the Patriots scheme, which is new for both of them. They study
together; learn from each other, and even get tips from some of the veterans like
Tedy Bruschi who tries to help them acclimate to their new surroundings.
who is known for his all out style of play, is not a complete stranger to Belichick.
Brown played for the Steelers when Belichick was a coach in Cleveland, and they
worked together during the '98 Pro Bowl. The attacking style of play Brown was
used to in Pittsburgh allowed him to rely more on instincts in a system focused
on blitzes to create pressure on the quarterback.
Unlike the Steelers,
the Patriots play more of a complete defense, where the players have greater responsibility
for knowing what's happening. This concept, although not unique, was new for Brown.
"They attempt to have an answer for everything an offense is going to do
to you," Brown said. "Sometimes in the past, we would just say hopefully
they won't run that or that's going to be a tough play for us. They don't say
that here. There's an answer for everything, and my job is to learn that answer,
so I can be prepared for everything."
Brown continues to work on learning
the system. His physical skills and style of play are just what the Patriots need
in case Bruschi decides to sit out 2005.
In somewhat of a surprise, with
the absence of Ted Johnson and Tedy Bruschi in the defensive huddle, defensive
coordinator Eric Mangini has been calling plays in from the sideline to former
Kansas City product, Monty Beisel. Beisel has been relaying the plays to the defense.
Bruschi and Johnson taking time off, the lineup fluctuated often. Willie McGinest,
Chad Brown, Beisel and Mike Vrabel all spent time in the mix. Rosevelt Colvin,
Tully Banta-Cain and Matt Chatham rotated in on occasion.
ace Larry Izzo ran the offense for the defenders and played a little quarterback.
Although Izzo is left-handed, he tried to do his best Brady imatation.
Are line changes in order? That remains to be determined, but
one thing was different on day two of camp, the lineup on the offensive line.
Logan Mankins, the Patriots first-round draft choice played some tackle and guard
his first two days of camp. Russ Hochstein, Stephen Neal and Tom Ashworth moved
into the rotation getting reps with the first unit.
Belichick told reporters not
to read too much into the lineup changes as the team will be trying a number of
configurations to get through the drills and let the players learn the system.
Versatility continues to be stressed in spite of a players draft status or salary.
The reserves have to be especially aware of this. "Somebody is doubling up
somewhere," Belichick said. "Either your starter has to go to another
position, or you have to have a backup that can play multiple spots, however it
Ricky Bryant, Cedric James, Tim Dwight, David Givens and Bethel Johnson sat out for the drills on the second day.
James ended the NFL Europe season with an injury, as did Bryant. Dwight continues
his rehab and according to reports, Johnson will be ready in time for training
camp in July.
David Terrell continues to work his way into the spotlight.
Terrell is going about his business learning the system and getting his timing
down with his old Michigan friend, Tom Brady. Belichick is pleased with the effort
Terrell is putting in. "He wants to know what to do, how to do it, works
very hard to do it right or do it the way the coaches ask him to do it,"
Whether Terrell can jump ahead of the other receivers remains
to be seen, but from a talent level and a work ethic standpoint, Terrell is making
all the right moves.
P.K. Sam continues to improve in his second season.
His rookie season left a lot of questions unanswered. If he wasn't injured, a
number of inside sources think he would have had done well if he kept his head
screwed on straight. Ending the season on the reserve suspended list wasn't a
Sam has managed to climb out of the doghouse, at least for now.
Belichick concurs with the assessment. "I think P.K. had a pretty good off-season."
Now if he can only continue to work at it.
We'll have more on minicamp,
including recaps and in-depth analysis after camp concludes. Be sure to check
back regularly as we update the site multiple times per day.
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