Unlike Thursday's practice in which some players wore pants and even some padding during the non-contact workout, Friday's saw every player in shorts and shells. But that didn't prevent the competition from unfolding, particularly during the passing work that highlighted the day.
At times the defensive line had its way with the pass protectors and several plays would have resulted in sacks had they taken place under live conditions. In fairness, the absence of several starters, coupled with the lack of pads, made life difficult on the offensive line – and as a result – the quarterbacks.
But the offense managed to operate reasonably well, too, with
Brady also got the opportunity to uncork some deep balls, too, and completed a fair share of them. Veteran
"It's pretty much the same as far as the organization as the last time I was here, but me personally I know I've matured as a player, matured as a person," Stallworth said after practice. "I'm a lot smarter now than I was then. More so when I was here the first time at the age of 26 I was playing off of talent. Now I've developed into a smarter player, a better route runner and things like that."
His coach agreed. Speaking at his press conference before practice, Belichick was asked about Stallworth and any changes he's noticed from his one season in New England till now.
"I would say Donte' has really matured a lot since he was here in '07," Belichick said. "He's been a very positive example and influence with what he does on a daily basis but also some of things that he's done with other players on the team. He's shown a lot more leadership and he's a very professional athlete, he really takes his job seriously and acts in a very professional way.
"He's a great example for all of us on a daily basis. I would say that's definitely grown since he was here in '07. He's been through a lot but he handles himself very well and like I said, very professionally. He's a great example for all of us on a daily basis."
One of the ways Stallworth looks to help out now is with the younger players. During his first stint, he was one of the least experienced players on a team full of veterans and received lots of guidance. Now he's paying it forward.
"I just try to go out and help out the young guys as much as I can because I was once that guy," Stallworth said. "Anything I see that they might not notice I try to pull them to the side and help. Little things I've learned in my career here and there. Mainly I try to do things I learned in my career, when I was here in 2007 it was my fifth or sixth year in the league and I was still one of the youngest players on the team. Throughout my career I've picked up a lot of things and learned a lot from those guys. I try to help the way those guys helped me out along the way.
"Like Troy [Brown] told us yesterday after practice, if you're done playing after your first year it's too short and if you play 15 years it still seems too short. I can't believe I've been in the league 10 years already so I tell them to take advantage of the opportunities you're given because you never know when it's going to be over."
"Tom helps the whole team. He doesn't just help the quarterbacks and keep it secret from everybody else," Mallett said. "I've learned a little bit more and am starting to pick up my progress a little bit more, so I'm excited about that, but tomorrow I have to come out and have another good day. "You can't ever settle as a player. I feel like you have to refine your skills and [every] aspect of your game. You can't just focus on one thing and leave something to the side. You have to get better at everything."
Play of the day: Tom Brady and
Quote of the day: "He still got it. Even now he's 45 years old he's still making some good throws." – Donte' Stallworth on Brady
Belichick indicated the Patriots added tackle
Seven players are still on PUP: center
Rookie cornerback Alfonzo Dennard left practice with an apparent right leg injury and was tended to by trainer Jim Whalen. Dennard appeared to be enjoying a solid practice before getting caught up with fullback