One of the biggest stories of the session – which was closed to the public but open to the media – was the attendance.
After putting forth a questionable performance against the Redskins that ignited talk of a backup quarterback controversy,
“There are all different players in different physical situations, so I’m not going to get into all that. We’d be here all day,” Belichick said.
While Mallett was missing, New England had a trio of new tight ends on the field in full uniform. Having released undrafted rookie tight ends Justin Jones and Asa Watson, the team added veteran
Hartsock is a veteran blocking tight end with a 10-year NFL resume, while Maneri was a rookie free agent with the Patriots as a tackle who later moved to tight end and has spent time with the Chiefs, Bucs and Bears.
Miller is wearing No. 44, Maneri 86 and Hartsock 88.
Beyond Mallett missing time and the three tight end additions, here are one man’s blogservations from the strangely-quiet, crowd-free practice fields of Foxborough:
--There were 16 players who did not take part in Sunday’s workout. Those players not seen included Mallett,
Those players in shorts but not taking part included
Mallett, Anderson, Kanorris Davis and Wilson are new to the list of missing bodies.
Rookie defensive back
--The team also released rookie free agent running back Stephen Houston on Sunday.
--While the practice was going on, there was plenty of bustle and noise emanating from inside Gillette Stadium as final preparations were taking place for the Luke Bryan country concert to be held later in the night.
--During many of the drills, the first group of linemen included
--Solder took some reps as an extra tight end. He lined up next to Vollmer, who was at left tackle, on one rep. That’s a pretty massive mountain of man on one side of the line for the defense to deal with.
--Stork spent the bulk of the practice working out on an elliptical machine on the far end of the field. Wilson, Ja’ Gared Davis, Kanorris Davis and Gordon worked on the stepper for a while.
--There were some offensive sets behind Brady that utilized split backs in the practice. One grouping included
--When he was taking part in some early drills in the red zone in 7-on-7, Browner did take at least one rep in the slot on the left side, the same side Revis was on due to the offensive formation. There has been talk that Browner may only be an option at right cornerback, the position he played in Seattle and where he’s seen virtually every practice rep he’s taken this summer.
--Jemea Thomas ran some sprints by himself on one field while the bulk of his teammates were doing team drills on the other.
--The quarterbacks were hit with pads by assistant coach Steve Belichick before throwing to a ball carrier who had his back to a pair of defenders in one open-field tackling segment. --Kickoff returns were the special teams focus of the day.
--Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Revis continued to work together off to the side while the rest of the team did special teams work. Tight ends coach Brian Daboll and assistant to the coaching staff Mike Lombardi kept a close eye on the action with the three elite talents. Brady had a lot of reps throwing to Gronk on the day. After one throw in the end zone the big tight end then went up and did a nice finger roll over the cross bar. Of course in a game that would draw a penalty flag this season.
--Jimmy Garoppolo followed up his impressive second-half performance in the preseason opener against Washington with a sub-par workout that looked a lot like some of his other summer struggles on the practice field. He threw one interception to
--Brady took a break from throwing to Gronkowski at one point and held on a couple snaps for
--Maneri had a Garoppolo throw go off the side of his head in a team drill. On the next snap, Garoppolo failed to connect on a handoff. The very next play was a bad drop for Boyce. Not a very impressive three-play series for younger players.
--One random observation for Garoppolo – he doesn’t always say the word “Mike” after he points out the number of the Mike in his pre-snap read. Can’t remember Brady ever calling out just the number of the defender and not following it with “is the Mike.”
--Brady was quite upset when the final play of a hurry-up drill in 11-on-11 ended with an incompletion and without a touchdown. No. 12 threw his helmet to the ground in disgust.
--The entire team, save for punter
--Beyond Bill Belichick, those players meeting with the media after practice on the side of the field included Rob Gronkowski, Brian Tyms, Malcolm Butler,
--The Patriots will return to the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium on Monday afternoon 2:30 p.m. The session is open to the public.