The teams were wearing full pads again this morning. Conditions were very hot and humid.
without randy Moss on the field, the crowd seemed to cheer the incompletions a little less. The hype factor surrounding moss had reached a level of the absurd in camp just two days ago, to the point where fans actually cheered an incomplete pass just because the ball was thrown in Moss' direction. Without Moss to available to take reps with the first unit, Jabar Gaffney, Wes Welker and Reche Caldwell spent time running routes with other players rotating in on occasion.
Without Moss in the mix, players were asked if it affected the offense. Tight end Ben Watson poked fun at one question when he was asked what it was like to lose a player with Moss' ability. "Lose him? Where'd he go?" Watson responded. When told he wasn't out there today, Watson feigned a brief survey of the field, poking fun at a question he had little intention of answering. "We're out here doing kickoff returns," Watson replied. "What do you want me to say? Ask Bill [Belichick]."
One thing is for certain, even if Watson isn't going to answer a question, he's going to avoid it with a bit of humor in the process. In stark contrast to that approach, head coach Bill Belichick was far less humorous in his response to a Moss question. When asked about the availability of Moss, Belichick gave his patented "He's day to day" response. Of course, Chad Scott was labeled as "day to day" by the coach the same day the team placed him on IR ending his season.
So when should fans expect Moss back on the field? Sooner or later would be a best guess. According to the coach, he's not about to venture one of his own. "My crystal ball is no clearer than yours," he said to the reporter asking the question.
No Rest For The Weary:
Matt Kranchick and Ben Watson were forced to carry the load at the tight end position without their teammates Garrett Mills and David Thomas. Starter Ben Watson understood that sometimes things like that happen, and he just has to bear with it. "It's an opportunity to get more reps, to get better," Watson said.
A quick look at the roster from 2006, reveals that injuries to the tight end position are nothing new. The Patriots signed players off the street just to field healthy bodies for practice. Some of the names were Chris Luzar and Walter Rasby who were signed during training camp, with Rodney Trafford, O.J. Santiago and Kranchick who were signed during the season. Mills spent the 2006 campaign on IR.
Gostkowski Kicking Well:
Stephen Gostkowski, the team's only place kicker in camp, has been finding a good measure of success during special teams drills at camp. Putting his early rookie struggles behind him, the former Memphis baseball player went 8-for-8 on his kicks during the 2006 playoffs. He showed confidence in his kicks during practice, striking the ball well. Gostkowski nailed each of his field goal attempts in the session from roughly 30, 35 and 40 yards out. The kicks were accurate and carried enough range to be good for at least an additional five to ten yards.
A pair of players, who are on the Patriots PUP List, were spotted on the lower practice area at Gillette Stadium near the conclusion of practice. Wide receivers Troy Brown and Chad Jackson practiced agility drills in an area sectioned off from the public. The players were put through the paces by a pair of team staff members.
Both Brown and Jackson are coming off knee surgeries after being injured during the season. Jackson missed much of his 2006 training camp with a lingering hamstring injury and battled the ailment throughout the season.
The Patriots practice on Firday has been moved to 10:30am
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 found in the Insider's Lounge under the handle JSinCT.
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