Patriots Camp: News and Notes

The first week of the New England Patriots training camp is well underway, much to the delight of the many football-starved fans in attendence. Troy Brown continues to hustle on the the field making plays. "I just want to make it difficult for them to make that decision [To cut him]," Brown told PI. Watching the veteran compete, he has little to worry about. Tim Dwight was at practice, and spent some time answering questions after the day's only session.

PHOTO: Tim Dwight speaks to reporters after practice about how his rehab has been going. Dwight suited up for the first time Sunday evening, and was at practice again on Monday.


--CBs Randall Gay and Asante Samuel, who started Super Bowl XXXIX, opened camp working with the first unit while veterans Tyrone Poole and Starks worked with the second group. Jarvis Green worked with the first unit on the defensive line in Seymour's place while second-year man Guss Scott filled in for Rodney Harrison when the veteran was given a practice session off. Rookie Logan Mankins is working with the ones at left guard while Tom Ashworth and Brandon Gorin have both taken snaps at right tackle with the first group. Dan Klecko is working on the nose with the twos behind projected starter Vince Wilfork.

--WR Troy Brown, who has worked only with the offense so far, made a very alert play that surely was replayed in the film room and recalled memories of a bonehead play made by the Broncos defense against the Colts in a 2003 playoff game. Brown caught a pass from Brady and slid to the turf where safeties James Sanders and Scott failed to touch him down. Brown then jumped up and ran before Scott recovered and ultimately punched the ball out of Brown's hands from behind.

--QB Tom Brady, discussing 42-year-old quarterback Doug Flutie, said, "P.K. Sam was born in 1983 and Doug (Flutie's) first year in the league was 1985. We were laughing about that today in the stretching line."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm anxious and I'm excited to get started. We've had a lot of meetings and already started the process. It's been a build up and hopefully it will build up to a higher level then it did out there (on the first day), certainly in terms of execution and performance. We have a long, long way to go. We're underway. We jumped off the side, we're in the water and we're starting to swim."

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Tom Ashworth vs. Brandon Gorin for starting ORT - Ashworth started the 2003 championship season and began 2004 in the same role before a back injury landed him on IR in favor of Gorin, who started most of last year's championship season. Gorin opened camp with the first unit, but lost some of those reps to Ashworth on Day 2. Ashworth is the favorite to reclaim the job.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: The fight for starting jobs and jobs in general will be intense on the corners. Asante Samuel and Randall Gay opened camp with the ones and had a solid start. But veterans like Duane Starks, Tyrone Poole and Chad Scott are accustomed to starting roles and will press the young guys for the job. Rookie Ellis Hobbs also will factor in the final roster decisions since he is almost sure to make the club.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: CB Randall Gay - the second-year corner who made the club as an undrafted rookie last year and then started in Super Bowl XXXIX had a quick start to camp in a bid to hold onto a starting job. He broke up Tom Brady passes intended for David Givens and Deion Branch, the top two Patriots wideouts and continued to show the nose for the ball that made him surprise last year.


--OL Logan Mankins worked with the first unit at left guard to open camp and looked solid in one-on-one pass rush work.

--CB Ellis Hobbs showed the speed and quickness that attracted him to the Pats and had his hands on a couple passes early in camp, including one in which he intercepted Doug Flutie during a two-minute situation. He was working with the third group at corner behind Gay, Samuel, Starks and Poole and alongside Scott.

--OL Nick Kaczur is working with the second unit at right tackle. He seemed to hold up OK in individual pass protection drills.

--S James Sanders has looked solid at the start of camp while working in the second group with Guss Scott behind Rodney Harrison and Eugene Wilson.

--QB Matt Cassel looked solid early in camp, showing a strong arm. While he doesn't yet know the system well enough to threaten an incumbent for a job, he could before camp ends. He threw the ball better than both Rohan Davey and Doug Flutie and threaded a needle on a rope between defenders to hit Ricky Bryant for a completion.

--TE Andy Stokes, may be a long shot, but Mr. Irrelevant showed his athleticism early in camp and demonstrated solid hands as well.

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