Training camp for the Patriots officially kicked off on Thursday, with more of the rookies signing and showing up over the course of the weekend. We will give you Friday and Saturdays rundown in greater detail in our next camp installment.
Camp is held on the practice field behind Gillette Stadium. There are bleachers and a small hillside for the fans to view practice from, as well as enjoy the comforts of the concession stands. The team had a section of the parking lot cordoned off for activities for kids, including all forms of inflatable activity centers, for sliding, climbing bouncing and such.
Punt Pass and Kick tryouts where held for young aspiring atheletes at the front of the stadium. More details on outside activities can be found on the official team website. Kids could register at the event and tryout for future PPK events should they qualify.
Training camp is no charge (read FREE) for both parking and admission, something increasing rare in todays world of professional sports. If you plan on attending, though be sure to arrive early and check with the official update line to make sure events haven't been rescheduled: Training Camp Hotline: 508-549-0001
Players came out for practice in helmets, shoulderpads and shorts. Most of the sessions were individual position drills where players worked on individual technique, ran through formation alignments, and tuned up on such things as agility, footwork, or pass catching skills. There were a couple sessions of team practice with the first and second team switching our every other series in 7 on 7 or 11 on 11 drills.
Note: Rohan Davey looked the part wearing Jersey number 73. QBs in camp normally don red jerseys in order to distinquish them from the rest of the players and to avoid such things as unnecessary hits by overzealous defensive rookies trying to make an impression. Patriots fans will note that Jersey #73 used to belong to Hall of Fame lineman John Hannah as discussed later that day on local sports talk radio. Davey was assigned the #73 as a hint by coach Bill Belichick to the QB that he might want to look more like a QB than a lineman.
Paractice concluded with the teammaking full field wind sprints. Some of the players were anxious to set the pace, including LB Mike Vrabel and TE Daniel Graham. While others, moved at a slightly slower pace, such as the recently signed OL James "Big Cat" Williams.
Saturday's session was held in the afternoon under a beautiful sunny sky, which the fans enjoyed, but cause the players to wear down in the heat as practice progressed.
Players wore full pads for the session, a sure indicator of hitting to come.
In an unusual move, Ty Law, practiced in full sweats, while the rest of his uninjured teammates were in full game dress. The session was mostly held with individual unit drills again. RBs worked on route running as well as pass catching. WRs worked with the QBs on mostly short and intermediate routes. And the line units were on the far fields running drills.
The weather was the big factor rained and threatened to cut camp short for those spectators who ventured out to Foxboro to catch a glimpse of the players. As it turns out the weather broke enough for the players to take the field in the evening session.
Again, the team practiced in helmets, shoulderpads and shorts. Practice was light due to the previously expected inclement weather. More individual drills as well as team drills were the order for the session. Of note, some players who stayed late on Saturday, also put in some extra time on Sunday, most notable Kliff Kingsbury #16 and Chas Gessner #18.
Look for more updates and photos to be posted on PatriotsInsider.com soon.
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