The Patriots returned to the practice field for a single session at Bryant College Monday afternoon. The team practiced for the first time since Saturday night's 16-15 preseason win over the Eagles at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The session lasted the usual two hours with the team dressed in helmets, shorts and small, foam shoulder pads in the 90 -degree heat.
Making his way onto the field for the first time in training camp was offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi. Andruzzi has missed three weeks of training camp fighting a virus that has caused fluid build up in his joints throughout most of the offseason. Most recently the virus had affected his left knee and he had precautionary arthroscopic surgery on the joint just a week before training camp began.
During the session Andruzzi seemed to take part in normal work with the offensive linemen. During team and group work he was back with the first unit at the right guard position where he started all 16 regular season games and three postseason games in 2001. He did not appear to be hindered by the knee and looked at least as good as can be expected for someone who missed a significant portion of the offseason conditioning program and the beginning of training camp with the strange virus. According to Head Coach Bill Belichick in his morning press conference, Andruzzi had passed the mandatory team conditioning test early Monday morning.
To go along with Andruzzi's return to practice action, a number of players either did not practice or were restricted by a contact limiting red jersey. Among those in red jerseys were linebacker Ted Johnson, who had worn the red early last week but returned to normal action later in the week. Johnson did not play in the Eagles game. Damien Woody also wore the red jersey for the second time in camp after re-aggravating a left shoulder that he originally hurt earlier in camp. Woody played in the first half against the Eagles, but came back from halftime dressed in street clothes after injuring the shoulder.
Another member of the red shirt club for the second time is wide receiver Donald Hayes. Hayes participated in drills during practice and in other limited action. In fact, during one drill with the quarterbacks he caught two touchdowns from Tom Brady on corner patterns, the same route he ran when Brady under threw him and had his pass intercepted in the Eagles game on Saturday night.
A noticeable absence from the practice fields was rookie third-string quarterback Rohan Davey. Davey was excused from the session for personal reasons. Thanks to his absence, Patriots ball boy Zach DeOssie took a few snaps with the offense during a 7-on-7 drill. DeOssie is a high school quarterback and son of former Patriots linebacker and long snapper Steve DeOssie
With the return of Andruzzi and the red-shirt status of Woody, the first offensive line consisted of Mike Compton at center, Adrian Klemm at left guard, Matt Light at left tackle, Andruzzi at right guard and Kenyatta Jones at right tackle. With the two tackles seemingly solidified to this point in camp, the only question remaining is who the odd man out will be on the inside when Klemm, Compton, Andruzzi and Woody are all healthy?
One of the most interesting portions of practice came when the team worked the first and second units in the two-minute drill. The drill begins on the offenses 40-yard line with 1:30 on the clock. The first offense worked its way down inside the 10-yard line thanks in part to four Brady to Troy Brown completions. They had a chance to go for the end zone with just six seconds on the clock, but Brady's pass into the end zone was knocked away and the first team failed to score. A defensive note in drill, cornerback Ben Kelly worked with the first dime unit. Kelly is coming off some solid physical play at corner against the Eagles.
The second offensive team also moved the ball reasonably well in the drill. They too ran into problems though and a Damon Huard Pass apparently intended from wide receiver Jimmy Farris was intercepted by safety Victor Green. Prior to the drive-killing interception Huard had completed passes to Farris, T.C. Taylor and Freddie "Boom Boom" Coleman.
Players who did not participate at all during the session included the usual faces of Brock Williams, Antwoine Womack, Tom Knight, Leonard Myers and David Nugent. J.R. Redmond, who didn't play against the Eagles after he, according to Belichick "tightened up" in pregame warm-ups, did not practice on Monday. Roman Phifer also did not practice with an undisclosed injury. Rob Kelly did not play Saturday night and missed Monday's session. Kelly had a leg injury earlier in camp, but Monday had his right arm in a sling, although information on the injury was not available. … The team ran two sprints following practice, although they appeared to simply be for conditioning and not a form of punishment. … Grey Ruegamer worked as the backside tight end in a three tight end set in the goal line segment. … The punt team got some work during the special teams segment. During the drill Tebucky Jones and Je'Rod Cherry worked as the gunners on the first unit.