Even for the most ardent of Patriots fans, watching the team go through a walkthrough in the midst of training camp isn't the most compelling way to spend a Monday morning. With the lack of pads and the intensity that generally goes with them, such practices are strictly instructional in nature and don't offer much of a glimpse of what can be expected during the season.
But for a group of adults and children watching the team go through the paces inside the Dana-Farber Field House, it had to be the experience of a lifetime.
As the 45-minute walkthrough came to a close, Bill Belichickbrought the team together for a few brief words and then led them en masse down the field toward the group situated in a small set of bleachers just behind the end zone. The people were from AccesSportAmerica, a national non-profit organization that inspires higher function and fitness for children and adults of all disabilities through high-challenge sports. And they were greeted by virtually every member of the Patriots, who spent some time taking pictures, signing autographs and shaking hands with their guests.
Tedy Bruschismiled as he spoke with one young boy wearing a No. 54 Patriots jersey, then stopped to take a picture with him. Heath Evans was all smiles as he offered some encouragement for a few others. Belichick explained his connection to the organization following the practice.
"They do sports for handicap kids. I have worked with them and their foundation," Belichick said. "Part of the proceeds of 'The Education of a Coach' went to them. It was good to see those kids out there and it certainly gives us an appreciation for some of the things we are fortunate to have."
Although it was just a walkthrough, it was interesting to see Wesley Brittlining up at left tackle as Nick Kaczurmoved back to his normal right tackle spot. The inside positions remained the same as they were for the Ravens game with Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen and Billy Yateslining up from left to right. Matt Light was on hand for the session, although he didn't take part. Russ Hochstein and Stephen Neal were not present.
Tampa on tap
Belichick said the team will continue correcting mistakes from the opener and working on aspects of their game before turning its attention to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where the Patriots will play Sunday night (8 p.m., NFL Network). The coach said the Bucs represent a "great game" for the Patriots because "what they do is a lot different than what we do offensively and defensively. It gives a look at a different scheme against a quality team and a great coaching staff with Coach [Jon] Gruden and their program down there."
Belichick talked about the loss of Tank Williams, who was placed on injured reserve Aug. 9 with a knee injury. "It's unfortunate. Tank worked hard and did a great job for us. Unfortunately he's going to be out so we'll have to move on. He's come back well from one of these already and I'm sure he'll work hard and be back from this one." … Another player who suffered what appeared to be a significant injury against the Ravens was Sam Aiken. The wide receiver/special teams stalwart went down with a knee injury in the first half and did not return. He was not present for the walkthrough as Larry Izzotook his place as the fullback (personal protector) on the punt team, a role that Izzo has filled the past several years. … Monday's evening practice is scheduled to take place inside the stadium (weather permitting) but is closed to the public. The final three days of camp all will be open to the public the next three days with each taking place from 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.