FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Student assistant Mike Rodak files some of his observations from Wednesday afternoon’s practice, the Patriots’ 13th of training camp, which was held in shorts and light shoulder pads and in warm, humid conditions:
Patrick Chung returns to practice. Second-year safety Patrick Chung, who missed Tuesday afternoon’s practice, returned for the Patriots’ lone practice on Wednesday. However, there were six players who remained out, rehabbing in shorts and t-shirts on the sidelines. Those players were defensive backs Jonathan Wilhite and Terrence Johnson; defensive linemen Myron Pryor, Ron Brace and Mike Wright; and running back Thomas Clayton. Meanwhile, defensive lineman Ty Warren, linebacker Gary Guyton, offensive lineman Nick Kaczur, safety Bret Lockett and wide receiver Matthew Slater were not seen on the practice field.
Continued focus on situations. Continuing a trend from the past several practices, the bulk of the team’s 11-on-11 work was based on actual game situations. There was less rotation of players on each side of the ball, giving a clearer picture of which personnel groupings may be seen in the preseason. During the two-minute drill, coach Bill Belichick twice called for a “measurement,” replicating game scenarios are much as possible.
Successful two-minute drills. After, in some cases, struggling to move the ball in past practices, the offense hit its stride on Wednesday afternoon. Tom Brady hit Randy Moss in the back of the end zone over both cornerbacks Devin McCourty and Darius Butler, to cap off one two-minute drill, while Torry Holt had a tough touchdown grab from Brian Hoyer with Kyle Arrington in tight coverage.
Barrel drill returns. For the second time in training camp, quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien had his two quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer, attempt to throw a ball in a large trash barrel from 40 yards away. Brady was more accurate than Hoyer, hitting the rim of the barrel for the second time this camp. Ever the competitor, Brady’s reaction to missing the barrel was tantamount to his reaction after throwing an interception in the playoffs. Owner Robert Kraft took in the final throws of the drill from close by; he had to hit the deck when player personnel director Nick Caserio’s one attempt at the drill almost hit Kraft. The two shared a laugh afterward.
Offense runs lap. For at least the second time this training camp, the entire offensive unit was required to run a lap late in practice. The defense has yet to do so in one week of practices.