FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots held their first public practice of training camp Thursday morning, and it was a light walkthrough. Players wore shorts and jerseys, and there were no pads.
In a way, this looked like a Football 101 class, the coaches focusing on lining players up in the right spots and working at a slow pace.
A few things of note from this perspective:
1. I was curious how the Patriots would view the left tackle spot at this point, with first-round pick Nate Solder unsigned and veteran Matt Light on the free-agent market (but the door open for his return). Third-year player Sebastian Vollmer flipped from the right side to the left side, with Mark LeVoir filling in at right tackle. Not major news, and something that could change in a day or two, but it reflected to me how the coaches would operate if this was the personnel situation they were faced.
2. In this post-lockout environment, it was notable that every Patriots player signed autographs after practice.
3. On the injury front, I thought it was significant that cornerback Leigh Bodden was on the field. He missed all of 2010 with a torn rotator cuff. That was a sign that he passed his physical and conditioning test. On the flip side, I thought it was significant that offensive tackle Nick Kaczur, who missed all of 2010 with a back injury, was not present. That tells me his future with the club is a question mark.
Otherwise, I'd hesitate to read too much into this session based on the tempo and the incomplete picture of having seven of nine draft picks not present, as well as others like Logan Mankins and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who can't sign contract tenders until Friday.