Aaron Schobel a pain in Brady's side.
Talk of veteran help on both offensive and defensive lines continue to be the hot topic in camp. A new face arrived on offense, and perhaps there's a new face in the future for the defense. Kisha Tapangan brings us the news from Foxborough in her Day 7 camp report.
With muscles beginning to ache and a preseason game against the Super Bowl Champions coming up, Bill Belichick has plenty planned for the next few days.
Luckily for the players, Wednesday’s practice was lighter than the others, as the team practiced in shorts and shells.
Some of the key observations for Wednesday included Bill Belichick’s praises of Brandon Spikes, Patriots welcome a new member and the possibility of adding a defensive threat.
Belichick’s Interest with Spikes
It’s one thing to be compared to an outstanding player, it’s another thing when your coach can’t seem to find a way to describe the way you play. This was the case for rookie inside linebacker Brandon Spikes. During Wednesday morning’s press conference, Belichick was asked as to whether or not Spikes’ playing style reminded him of anyone. The answer came slowly and it wasn’t much of an answer at all.
The Patriots coach merely confessed, “I’m not really sure what his style is.”
Bill Belichick explained, “For a tall player, I think he has more quickness than most guys, and probably a little more leverage than a lot of other tall players. He does a lot of things well...”
To stand at well over 6’2 and still be able to display a type of quickness on the field is hard to miss and Spikes’ has been performing well throughout camp.
The interest between Belichick and Spikes is not one-sided. Spikes revealed after practice, “He’s a great coach and I think everybody knows that...I feel like he’s more hands-on..his system works... I gotta be all ears and take it all in.”
If Spikes continues to show improvement at the level that he has been since the beginning of camp, than the Florida rookie will have plenty of opportunities to show off his unique style of play.
Patriots Welcome Eric Ghiaciuc
The center originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals was signed by the Patriots today while rookie OL John Wise was released.
Ghiaciuc's league experience, skills and flexibility in being able to play both guard and center positions are likely what caught the attention of the Patriots coaching staff. Standing a 6’4 and 303 lbs, the blocker is relatively quick on the snap and maneuvers well against opponents and has the ability to contain when engaged. All of these attributes will allow for Guiaciuc to be the much needed depth boost that the Patriots were searching for.
When asked about his new team, Ghiaciuc let out a sigh of relief and stated, “..I means a lot to me..I’m very excited.”
Bill Belichick has denied any correlation between Logan Mankins’ holdout, Nick Kaczur's absence and the Eric Guiaciuc signing.
Schobel, Possibly a Patriot?
There is a dire need in New England that has been a major focus in the preseason: Outside linebackers.
On day seven of training camp, the Patriots may have a chance at filling this need.
Aaron Schobel, a top pass rusher has been released by the Buffalo Bills and would be a viable prospect for the Patriots’ thinning defense.
Veteran Tully Banta-Cain was the only bright spot in the linebacker position last season with presence in the outside linebacker position. Last season, Banta-Cain collected 54 total tackles and two forced fumbles, not to mention an impressive 9.5 sacks.
The addition of Jermaine Cunningham has shown some promise, but having another player with experience in the position would be helpful in establishing a stronger outside containment unit.
The addition of Aaron Scoebel, who was often a major threat for Tome Brady, would give the Patriots that defensive threat that was immensely deflated last season.
The Houston Texans have also expressed great interest in the pass rusher.
Kisha Tapangan is a contributing writer for PatriotsInsider.com She also maintains her personal blog Necessary Roughness and can be found on Twitter @KishaT. Be sure to check in all camp long for regular updates by Kisha from Foxboro