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Mayo MIA again and other Wednesday Patriots-Eagles blogservations

Posted Aug 13, 2014

Noteworthy observations from training camp.

New England hosted the Philadelphia Eagles for the second day of three joint practice sessions leading up to Friday’s preseason game between the two clubs at Gillette Stadium. Wednesday’s full-pads affair was supposed to be the final official day of Patriots training camp, but due to the intense rain and wind, the team closed the workout to the public.

Philly and New England will have walkthrough Thursday, but that was already closed to the public and will remain so. To make up for today’s washout, there will be a final camp practice next Monday to which all fans are invited. Check patriots.com for updated times.

Meanwhile, at today’s water-logged practice, the Patriots were once again without the services of linebacker Jerod Mayo, who has now missed two straight practices.

Other notable occurrences from Practice #15 on Wednesday:

…In addition to Mayo, absentees from practice Wednesday included rookie running back Tyler Gaffney (left knee), tight end D.J. Williams (right leg), rookie linebacker Cameron Gordon, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (leg), rookie OL Chris Martin (NFI/unknown), DL Chris Jones (left ankle) and DL Sealver Siliga (left hand).

…Rookie tight end Terrence Miller and defensive back Justin Green were also not seen. However, their absences might be due to the rumored trades New England pulled off overnight. Green was said to have been traded to Dallas for defensive lineman Ben Bass, while the Patriots also acquired d-lineman Jerel Worthy from Green Bay in exchange for a draft choice. To make room for Worthy, the Patriots would have needed to make room on the 90-man roster. Miller might’ve been the sacrificial move. Neither trade, however, has yet been announced by the Patriots.

…QB Ryan Mallett was seen wearing a white glove on his left (non-throwing) hand, as well as a white wrist band above it. It was noteworthy because he’s not done this before. Perhaps it was merely due to the weather conditions, but the fact that he missed a couple of days of practice for unknown reasons before the Eagles makes one wonder if his absence was injury related and if the left hand was the issue.

…Safety Tavon Wilson (unknown), safety Kanorris Davis (unknown), and linebackers James Anderson (unknown) and Ja’Gared Davis (leg) continue to attend practice in their jerseys but without pads, as they apparently need more time to recover from their various ailments. Ditto for rookie OL Bryan Stork (unknown). Rookie WR Jeremy Gallon (PUP/unknown) made a late on-field appearance, as usual, in shorts and t-shirts.

…Second-year linebacker Jamie Collins had a very good day during 7-on-7. He knocked down several passes by jumping in front of receivers and wasn’t flagged for his aggressiveness – something noteworthy on a day when the officials were calling fouls with regularity.

…Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who took part in limited 7-on-7 action the other day with a red (no-contact) jersey, has yet to do so against the Eagles.

…Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder) has increasingly taken more reps during 7-on-7 since the Eagles came to town. He’s been fairly competitive after having sat out much of the early days of camp.

…At one point in 11-on-11, rookie d-lineman Zach Moore, playing d-end, limped badly off the field. He managed to return a short time later, though, and lined up at nose tackle. Moore played through the rest of practice.

…Undrafted rookie corner Malcolm Butler continues to impress with playmaking against top-flight competition. Today, he knocked away a would-be touchdown in the back of the end zone with great recovery speed and a nicely timed leap after a pass went over his head and the receiver had beaten him in 11-on-11 action.

…Another undrafted rookie who’s quietly stepped up is defensive tackle L.T. Tuipulotu. He has been seeing more and more reps in place of Vince Wilfork at nose tackle during team period 11-on-11. He’s a player to watch, particularly as the depth at d-line continues to be thinned by injuries.

…The offensive line remains in flux, although it seems to be taking shape slowly. Dan Connolly seems to be getting the bulk of snaps at center for Tom Brady, with Logan Mankins next to him at left guard and Nate Solder at left tackle. Sebastian Vollmer is usually your right tackle, but the remaining question mark is right guard. Both Josh Kline and now Jordan Devey are seeing increased action at that spot. The competition seems to be an open one for the time being.

…Cornerback Darrelle Revis looks like he’s taken numerous plays “off” during this camp, and when asked about it this week, he conceded that he isn’t necessarily going all-out on every play. Which is fine, assuming he’s merely saving his energy for the regular season. He slowed up several times in 1-on-1 matchups with Eagles receivers after they made moves to get by him.

…On the final play of practice, Tom Brady and Julian Edelman made it a memorable one. The two teams were working a simulated game, with down-and-distance and time-on-the-clock announcements from the head coaches. The Patriots had the ball just outside the Eagles red zone when Brady dropped back to pass. Edelman ran a post route and beat his man coverage by just a step. Brady fired down the middle, and Edelman jumped, using his body to “box out” cornerback Roc Carmichael. Edelman made the catch over his left shoulder, with Carmichael draping him, and managed to keep both feet inbounds in the back of the end zone for the score. After he picked himself up off the ground, Edelman emphatically spiked the ball as his teammates came over to celebrate with him. Practice immediately ended.

…World Series winning manager Tony LaRussa, a longtime friend of Bill Belichick, paid a visit to camp Wednesday. He was joined by his former Oakland Athletics pitcher Dave Stewart.

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The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on the PFW Blog represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the New England Patriots organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Patriots officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

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