A Welcome Return
CB Shawn Springs returned recently from the physically unable to perform list, which is a big boost as the Patriots continue to piece together their new-look secondary. Springs looks a bit winded at practice and may take a while to get up to speed. Once he's fully recovered from an illness that sidelined him at the start of camp, Springs is expected to land one of the two starting spots at cornerback.
No Contract, Not a Distraction
DT Vince Wilfork's supposed contract squabble hasn't been a distraction. After skipping the voluntary team workouts because he was unhappy with the lack of progress in contract talks, Wilfork has become a model citizen again with training camp kicking into high gear. Though part of his reasoning might've had something to do with the fact skipping mandatory practices results in a fine, Wilfork, to his credit, has been on the field each and every day since minicamp in June, so it appears, for now, the flames have been extinguished.What happens off the field regarding Wilfork's impending contract talks most likely won't affect what goes on between the lines.
"(The contract) will take care of itself when it's time to, but right now, I'm trying to put that to the side and trying to do what I'm here to do ? that's play football," Wilfork said. "I'm really not paying attention to it, nothing else but playing football right now."
|New England Patriots running back Fred Taylor at training camp July 31, 2009. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)|
Taylor-Made For Patriots
RB Fred Taylor is starting to understand what goes on behind closed doors. The biggest thrill has been playing alongside quarterback Tom Brady.
"Playing these guys a few times in the playoffs, you look over and say, 'We can beat that team. What do they do that we don't do? We can go and win this game,'" Taylor said, "but then you get here and you see his passion, you see the way he studies, you see how demanding he is of his players, the leadership. Right in front of you it just jumps out and you see why he's a proven winner."
Dazed But Not Confused
DB Herana-Daze Jones signed, perhaps as a replacement for Antwain Spann. Jones has been in the league for four years, though primarily as a special-teamer with the Bengals and Broncos. Daze could be a contributor in sub packages on defense.
DE Richard Seymour and other veterans have been getting time off during afternoon practices, though it doesn't appear the absences are injury-related.
DE Ty Warren was placed on the physically unable to perform list as well, limiting the defensive line as it enters 2009 with the pressure of carrying the defense. From an individual standpoint, Warren needs to have a bounce-back '09, and missing the first half of training camp doesn't help.
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