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Revis missing time and more Patriots mini-camp blogservations

Posted Jun 18, 2014

New England's second day of mini-camp action brought plenty of intrigue, most notably the status of cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Another day of Patriots mini-camp action on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium brought questions about attendance for the workout. While Ryan Mallett missed action for the second-straight day while working with the group of rehabbing players, Wednesday saw cornerback Darrelle Revis join the list of those players not taking part in the practice.

Revis was reportedly seen very early on the field, but did not take part in bulk of the various drills and team action throughout the course of the two-hour workout that took place under bright, sunny skies and warm temperatures.

Bill Belichick spoke with the media as he walked off the practice field early in the afternoon and was asked about Revis’ absence, though he offered little information on the specific player.

“All the players that are out there practicing are practicing,” Belichick said. “And the ones that aren’t, aren’t."

With Revis absent Kyle Arrington took plenty of reps at left cornerback on the outside, as did Logan Ryan.

Other than the Revis absence, here are one man’s blogservations of a non-contact workout of players not wearing jersey numbers from a field away:

--Those players not spotted on the field included Dominque Easley, Logan Mankins, Alfonzo Dennard and Armond Armstead.

Players working with the rehab staff in the bubble and on the far side of the field included Mallett, Rob Gronkowski, Matthew Slater, Wilson Van Hooser, Cameron Gordon and others.

--When the rehab players were running conditioning hills just off the far field later in practice it appeared that Gronkowski and Slater were running together at a pretty intense rate.

--Stevan Ridley once again wore the same black and yellow cleats he had on the first day of mini-camp. Closer inspection shows that they actually display the Batman logo in yellow on the back of the shoe. Ridley previously wore Captain America cleats during OTA action.

--A very unofficial count came up with 85 players on the field for the pre-practice stretching and form running.

--Josh Boyce went to trainer Jim Whalen shortly after stretching to have an apparent leg/knee injury looked at. Boyce was given a variety of tests on the knee and then also looked at by a team doctor who was on hand. The second-year receiver then stayed on the field but was merely watching the receivers go through drills and practice action the rest of the day. Boyce’s health will certainly be something to keep an eye on at this point.

--There was a clear focus on the wide receivers putting the ball away after catches and the defensive backs trying to force it free throughout the day. Early receiver drills had the players catching passes before immediately being hit with pads by coach Chad O’Shea and others.

--Overall the defense, the pass defense in particular, seemed to have the upper hand most of the day. The coverage was tight, a lot of balls hit the defenders before the receivers and the quarterbacks had to pull the ball down without finding an open option on more than one occasion.

--Undrafted rookie receiver Reggie Dunn continues to show some promise. He’s taken plenty of reps at a returner. As both a return man and receiver he shows quite a bit of quickness, burst and athleticism. He will be a guy to certainly keep an eye on in preseason action.

--A variety of players continue to rotate through the offensive line in group and team drills. Today saw Nate Solder at left tackle, Jon Halapio at left guard, Ryan Wendell at center, Dan Connolly at right guard and Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle. Another group saw Marcus Cannon at left tackle and Cameron Fleming on the right side. Cannon had been taking a lot of reps opposite Solder at right tackle while Vollmer had seen a lot of snaps after Solder at left tackle in previous workouts. In between Cannon and Fleming in the group included Jordan Devey at left guard, Bryan Stork at center and Chris Barker at right guard.

--Some special teams group work was dedicated to blocking punts off the edge. --One of the most interesting, competitive plays of the day came on a Tom Brady touchdown throw to Kenbrell Thompkins in the back left corner of the end zone. The short fade in 11-on-11 action saw Thompkins out jump oversized cornerback Brandon Browner for the score, despite the fact that the defender had seemingly good positioning and the ideal, elite size for this type of play.

--Jimmy Garoppolo continued to get extra reps with Mallett still out of action and off working with the rehab group. But today saw the rookie take a step back. He threw a pair of interceptions to defensive back Daxton Swanson in the middle of the session, though one came off a deflected pass. Garoppolo had another pass batted down at the line and seemed to struggle to find open receivers much of the day.

--Garoppolo also had trouble getting snaps from Braxton Cave during one point. The duo had to run a penalty lap because of it. The two then stayed on the field late after practice working on snaps together.

--For the second straight day James Develin hauled in a touchdown throw, this time from Garoppolo. The fullback-turned-tight end already looks pretty competitive and comfortable at the position, at least in the non-contact work without pads.

--A couple monster trucks roared their engines at various points during practice. One truck even road loudly along the roadway behind the practice fields during practice action, drawing a reporter to joke with Belichick afterwards that maybe he’d hired the truck to make noise during the workout in lieu of the usual loud music.

--Rookie tight ends Asa Watson and Justin Jones each had pretty bad dropped passes during the workout.

--Stephen Gostkowski hit the right upright with more than enough distance on what was apparently an NFL-record distance field goal try on the field, at least based on the yells of the players and coaches in front of the media. The kicker, holder Ryan Allen and the long snappers were working together during the kicking work without a line or defense.

--Cameron Fleming had to take a penalty lap.

--Patriots owner Robert Kraft walked onto the practice field late in the session and watched the last bit of the workout.

--Brady stayed after practice to do some extra conditioning work on the side with large-armed strength coach Harold Nash. Brady ran a variety of sprints with Nash tethered to him to add resistance.

--Those players meeting with the media after practice included Tom Brady, Will Smith, Kenbrell Thompkins and others, as well as Belichick.

--The Patriots are scheduled to return to the practice fields on Thursday at 11 am for the final mini-camp session. That workout is closed to the public but open to the media. It is worth pointing out that the final mini-camp practice has been cancelled by the coaching staff at times in the past. Belichick was asked about that possibility and said, simply, “Whatever we decide to do tomorrow, we’ll figure it out tomorrow.”

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