The workout lasted one hour and 45 minutes. It took place in rainy, wet, slippery, cool conditions. Players once again wore shorts/sweats and helmets, but no jerseys.
Once again, specific, hard-and-fast observations were rather difficult from a full practice field away in the wet conditions without the benefit of jersey numbers, but here are one man’s views from afar:
--A rough count found 81 players on the practice field during pre-practice stretching and form running. That was 40 players in blue/defense – and 41 in gray/offense. Guys not on the field last Friday who were seen on Thursday included
--Those players not spotted at all included
--Once again a group of players took part in stretching and running before leaving to work in the Dana-Farber Field House with the medical staff. That included
--Working with wet balls was clearly a big part of the day. Not surprising that Bill Belichick didn’t move the workout inside, as he rarely does. Obviously in New England the team needs to be well prepared for bad-weather conditions. That process began today. There were times when that seemed an issue, with quarterbacks’ passes airing wild or receivers struggling to haul in the tosses. The running backs worked out in front of the media early in practice and really struggled to catch the ball. Bolden was one of the worst offenders. A wheel route bounced off his hands/head and then a swing pass zipped right through his mitts. But he was by no means the only player with problems catching.
--Then entirety of the defense had to run a punishment lap around the practice field at one point late in practice. Belichick then called the unit together to apparently discuss his displeasure with the group before practice continued.
--Kickoff and kickoff return was the special teams area of focus. That saw
--Finch certainly stands out from the crowd. He’s the shortest guy on the field, but also has a pretty impressive physique that he shows off with cut-off sleeves. He’s very quick and athletic. As others have pointed out, whether he makes the team or not he’s the type of athlete who’ll likely put on a show and impress fans during preseason action.
--As was the case last week, every move, snap, throw and play by the quarterbacks was filmed by a close-up camera on the field.
--There was a lot of situational work in the practice, including red zone and two-minute.
--Brady threw an incompletion over and out the back of the end zone in the team action late. This drew pretty good celebration by the entirety of the defense as there was clearly some competitive fire despite the non-contact action taking place in pretty dismal weather.
--There were some ball security drills late in practice in which ball careers had to fend off would-be tacklers from behind trying to strip the ball free.
--As was the case last week, the workout concluded with conditioning sprints on the hill behind the far practice field as the team builds its fitness level heading toward training camp.
--Post-practice interviews were moved inside Gillette Stadium in the visitors’ locker room due to the rain. Those players taking part in the meeting with the media included Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman, Stevan Ridley,