The Patriots were in full pads for the second straight day and fifth time overall on Friday, and while the execution level wasn’t at its highest, it was probably the most physical practice of camp.
Unlike most days where there is little to no tackling of any sort, Friday featured a few instances where ball carriers were taken to the ground – whether by design or not. The 1-on-1 tackling drills saw their share of takedowns early while the day wound down with some solid goal line work that included live contact through the whistle.
On more than one occasion there were some instances that caught the eye. One came when
Anderson, who spent most of his five seasons with Chicago, is known as a pass rusher who has difficulty defending the run. That scouting report was accurate on this play as
During the goal line work,
Interestingly, the offensive line included rookie first-round pick
Overall, the execution level wasn’t great but added physicality made the work enjoyable to watch.
Special teams coach Scott O’Brien met with the media prior to practice and touched on a variety of subjects. One was
“We’re just taking Stephen day-to-day,” O’Brien said. “He’s like everybody else. He’s going out there; he’s working on his technique. He’s getting a feel for it, he’s evaluating himself and we’re evaluating him when he’s out there.”
Gostkowski began kicking some field goals earlier in the week and did so again on Friday, but has thus far yet to kick off – in front of the watchful eyes of the media at least.
“Not with team. He has not. He has done it on his own,” O’Brien said. “We’ll progress into that when his schedule allows him to do it and we should be fine. [We’re] starting him off with the field goals because we want to get him back in the timing, the operation of everything. When he goes to kick off it’s just him and the ball, and he’s got his rhythm. He can do that on his own. The priority was to get him back and evaluate where he is at, but [also] to give him with the timing, [to] get him back with the [long] snapper, get him back with the holder and start with that.”
Thus far the program has been similar to that of a pitcher in baseball working on a pitch count, but Gostkowski stopped short of making that comparison.
“I’m just trying to get healthy enough to be out on the field every day,” Gostkowski said. “You’re kind of on a [pitch count] every year, maybe a little tighter now because of the injury. We kick three times a week and then play a game. During camp you kick every day so you have to be careful. They have a set number they want you to do every year.
“Strength-wise I feel great; it’s more conditioning and making sure I don’t get tired and sore. It feels pretty ood right now but it’s a day-to-day thing. I don’t feel different doing it.”
Comings and goings
Anderson has had some success as a pass rusher during his five-year career, mostly when he had 12 sacks during his rookie year in 2006, but he’s managed only 13.5 in the four following seasons. He fell out of the Bears rotation last year and was released Oct. 5. He hooked on in Houston and played 11 games for the Texans with two starts. In 77 career games (20 starts) the 6-4, 255-pound Anderson has 25.5 sacks, 154 tackles and five forced fumbles. The team released defensive lineman Marlon Favorite to make room for Anderson on the roster.
O’Brien was asked about linebacker
“I think it’s [too] early to tell,” O’Brien said. “I think Rob does a great job for us. To me, he is worth his weight in gold. When you’re putting a team together you are looking for positional players that can do other things for you. When it becomes a skill like snapping the ball, it’s great. It has kind of worked out for him to snap this early this much, coming off of an injury. So he’s still working on his mechanics and techniques. [Long snapping] has really helped him but that evaluation would have to come down the road. Having him just on the team as a starter or as a backup is great.”
There were four notable additions to the list of those not practicing.
Who’s not: Brandon Tate – Some perceive Price and Tate to be battling for a roster spot. While Price continues to excel, Tate missed the workout for undisclosed reasons and hasn’t really done anything to distinguish himself when he’s been in uniform. In terms of pure wide receiver ability, Price has been the better player.
Play of the day – The play may not have involved any key players for the 2011 season but Hoyer’s bomb to