Thomas Looking Ready
OLB Adalius Thomas is back on the field after breaking his arm last year and appears to be picking up right where he left off. Thomas has looked sharp in camp, which, as of now, looks like a mere extension of his tremendous '08 season. Thomas is a key component to this team's defense as arguably the most dependable linebacker outside of Tedy Bruschi, so the Patriots should be encouraged by what they've seen so far. The veteran pass-rusher blossomed last year after being moved back to his natural position and it appears the broken arm suffered in '08 won't be a problem in camp. Thomas' energy has been tremendous in every facet and he's making reads you'd expect from a veteran of his stature -- even at this early stage.
Upgrade In The Secondary?
DB Darius Butler has been getting some reps with the first-team secondary, which, for now, includes James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather. There's no telling what Butler's role will be, but expect the coaching staff to monitor him closely in terms of how he reacts with the veterans in defensive drills.
Adalius Thomas at training camp indoor walkthrough (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Sick, Injured or...?
DB Jonathan Wilhite missed three consecutive practices this week, which seemingly indicates he is suffering from an injury of some sorts.Whilite started camp as one of the team's starting cornerbacks. Veteran free agent acquisition Leigh Bodden has taken over one spot, while Shawn Springs is projected to assume the other.
WR Julian Edelman has looked sharp as a receiver thus far, showing a strong knack for picking up the playbook relatively quickly, and his hands have been tremendously reliable. Edelman has struggled handling the ball as a punt returner. The Kent State product played quarterback in college.
Don't Call Him Fragile
RB Laurence Maroney playfully addressed his durability issues last week in camp while simultaneously noting that his NFL career has been a bit rocky at times due to injury.
"I wouldn't care if you said (I'm injury-prone) because I'm still going to play my game at the end of the day," he said. "This is football. Injuries are going to happen. It's not like I go out here every day, saying 'Ooh I want to get hurt today; I want to miss this season.' It's just things happen. You have to play through them. You have to live with it."
Offensive Line Battles
OL Sebastian Vollmer vs. OG Ryan Wendell for a backup role on the offensive line -- This might not seem like much, but the rookie Vollmer took some snaps with the first-team offensive line alongside Wendell in camp. Wendell has a bit of position flexibility, but the Patriots invested a draft pick in Vollmer. Whether he's ready to contribute immediately depends on how he progresses in camp while lining up across from the veterans.