Monday's Training Camp Notes 7/30
Another day in the sun for the Patriots. Whether it's hot and humid or raining with lightning, New England players are focused on improving themselves. Some focus on their technique while others – typically the rookies – talk about learning their play book.
Monday's afternoon practice began in the usual relaxed way with the players taking the field for some unit work. A few minutes later they moved to the far field, away from the crowd and fan accolades, to do their stretching.
As each practice segment changed, the players moved to different areas on the fields, some to the far corner away from the prying eyes and ears of the fans. One group, the offensive linemen, spend most of their time in the far corner, and for a good reason. The colorful language often heard from some members of the coaching staff would certainly not be fit for the family section.
Kyle Brady, Rashad Baker, Asante Samuel, Garrett Mills and Chad Scott were not seen on the field for today's session. The players on the PUP list were also not in attendance.
Kareem Brown made his return to practice after reportedly serving a three day suspension for violating team rules.
Getting His Kicks:
Stephen Goskowksi didn't practice his field goals with any competition this year and he says it doesn't bother him. "I still feel like I have to go out and prove myself every day," Gostkowski said. "I'm sure they have 10 guys on their phone list in case I'm hurt or whatever."
UConn football coach Randy Edsall walked the sidelines with his staff. At one point Patriots VP of Player Personnel, Scott Pioli, greeted Edsall with a big hug and a warm handshake. The two chatted as they watched the team practice. Some of Edsall's staff were also present.
Wrong way Charlie:
During team drills, Tom Brady and Randy Moss were on the wrong page. Brady checked to a call at the line with Moss spread out wide to his right. The receiver took a 15-20 yard route down the right sideline, then turned in toward the middle of the field. Brady apparently expected Moss to continue down the sideline.
The unfortunate result of an incomplete pass wasn't the worst of the play. Rookie defensive back Brandon Meriweather collided with Moss on the play sending both sprawling to ground flat on their backs. Both players were unhurt, but Moss was obviously displeased with the rookie. Moss walked back to the group and took a knee to watch as Meriweather continued in the drill.
Kevin Faulk continued to have a strong camp, showing solid speed hitting the hole. His ability to catch passes out of the backfield brought cheers from the crowd. Faulk was able to put a move on linebacker Tedy Bruschi in one pass play, easily outdistancing himself from the veteran linebacker. Faulk made it look effortless as he caught a beautifully arcing spiral over the top of Bruschi for a long gain.
second-year defensive back Gemara Williams had his inauspicious moment in the sun during team drills. In 11-on-11s, Williams moved from corner to safety and back to corner learning the responsibilities of multiple positions. At one point, Williams was assigned to cover Randy Moss. Williams is maybe 5-foot-8, while Moss is all of the 6-foot-4 he is listed at. What happened next was predictable.
Moss ran a deep sideline pattern covered one-on-one by Williams. To his credit, Williams played the coverage well, maintaining position in front of Moss. When the ball arrived, Williams had no chance as Moss easily out jumped him to make the catch for a long gain.
Williams got a pat on the helmet and words of encouragement from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
The Patriots have two sessions scheduled for Tuesday: 8:45am-10:45am and 5:30pm-7:30pm.
Jon Scott has covered the NFL since 1995. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long time contributor to the Scout.com network. A New England native, Scott has followed the Patriots for over two decades and covered the team since 2001. He can be reached in the Insider's Lounge under the handle JSinCT.