Patriots Training Camp Notes 8/8

Foxborough, Mass – One day closer to their first preseason game, the Patriots continued a double session of training camp practices. Both practice sessions had a number of positive performances, as well as negatives. Insider notes on how players fared.

Tuesday Camp Notes from Gillette Stadium:

-- ESPN's Sal Paolantonio was present in the media tent for practice. On a camp tour around the league, Paolantonio spent time conversing with members of the local media during the morning session.

-- RB Laurence Maroney spent time working on kick return duties along with WR Bam Childress. The team continues to look for players capable of improving the return game. Others in the mix include Vernell Brown, Hank Poteat, Kevin Faulk and Troy Brown. Faulk and Brown worked on the punt return unit almost exclusively.

-- DL Dan Klecko continued his playful camp attitude when he tried to slap the ball away from RB Corey Dillon on a team running drill. Klecko mentioned previously that he knows it will be tough to make the roster, but he doesn't let it bother him. He said that he intends to work hard and have fun in camp. He appaears to be doing both as evidenced by the ongoing competition for the ball with Dillon.

-- Rookie OT Ryan O'Callaghan's time working with the first unit at the right tackle position has slowly increased. O'Callaghan, Wesley Britt and Brandon Gorin have rotated on a regular basis at the RT position. The rookie has had his fair share of mental mistakes, one of which led to him taking a lap in the afternoon practice session.

-- The team blared music at the second practice session to simulate crowd noise. An eclectic mix of rock music, the song choice was certainly influenced by Belichick's musical tastes. Two songs played early were Bon Jovi's "Dead or alive" and "You're your hands on me". Other songs in the mix were from Bruce Springstein live, Rush's "Tom Sawyer", "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N Roses and a couple of Rolling Stones tunes.

-- CB Ellis Hobbs' inconsistent camp continued. In coverage drills, Hobbs slipped on the grass at least three times, which allowed the receiver to make uncontested receptions including a touchdown by Reche Caldwell. Later in the same session Hobbs broke up one pass and intercepted another – both poor throws by the quarterback. Hobbs has moved around on the field lining up at a number of positions, mostly with the first unit at cornerback, but has played some across from the slot receiver.

-- DL Johnathan Sullivan continues his struggles to break into the lineup. Sullivan, who reportedly failed his first conditioning test, passed the second one earlier in the week and joined the team at practice. Working against the first unit offense, Sullivan occasionally showed flashes of talent but most of his practice time went without incident. He did manage to bat down a pass.

-- QB Tom Brady managed to lead the team down the field during the two minute drill. Brady worked the sidelines and the center of the field to bring the offense into field goal range. Taking an extra snap to move the ball to the center of the field, Brady was pumped at the success of the drill.

-- Not as successful with the second unit was Matt Cassel. In a drive that sputtered and stalled, Cassel fought against solid coverage and a dropped ball to finish his drive well short of scoring range.

-- FB Garrett Mills managed to attend his first practice since being activated from the PUP list on Monday. Mills did not fully participate in drills, but was suited up for practice. Not on the field for practice were WRs John Stone (knee/leg), Chad Jackson (hamstring), LBs Tedy Bruschi (Wrist) and Chad Brown (Wrist/hand), DLs Jarvis Green and Marquise Hill (leg).

-- OL Nick Kaczur (shoulder) and RB Patrick Pass (leg) remain on the PUP list. DB Ray Ventrone, RB Earl Charles and WR Zuriel Smith have not been seen at camp; all are reportedly recovering from injuries and are on the exempt/NFLE list.

-- WR Kelvin Kight had a solid morning practice, outleaping defenders for a pass in one instance, while catching a deep ball in coverage on another. Kight has been a pleasant surprise as a late camp addition. With the continued holdout by No. 1 receiver Deion Branch, the importance of a positive performance by free agents like Kight intensifies.

-- WR Eddie Berlin had an average first day. He ran a few out patterns and a deep pattern during practice. The deep pass was a throw into double coverage which fell to the ground five yards out in front of the players. Berlin doesn't appear to possess the type of speed the team covets, but is big enough to be a decent slot / possession receiver.

-- DBs Chad Scott and Hank Poteat both managed to snare an errant throw by the second and third units. Scott spent much of the day at the FS position, while Poteat lined up across from the slot as a nickel and/or dime back.

-- S James Sanders played up on the run coverage drills. He continues to see time with multiple units at the safety position. In his second year, it's important for Sanders to step up until Rodney Harrison is back on the field. Sanders is in a roster battle with Tebucky Jones and Artrell Hawkins.

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