The extreme heat in Foxborough did little to slow down the Patriots as the team once again took the field in full pads for Monday afternoon's practice. With just one day of camp remaining, the team has now taken part in 25 practices in 19 days with 18 of those coming in full gear.
After some concerning moments on Sunday when the conditions forced Logan Mankinsand Rich Ohrnberger(who remained out of the lineup) off the field, there were no problems with the mid-90s temperatures on Monday and the Patriots turned in some decent work considering.
As is often the case in the afternoon, the focus was the passing game after a morning full of 9-on-7s and running game work. Tom Brady continued his encouraging work this summer with another effective workout, completing passes of all distances – and even showing off his punting leg on one failed play when no one was open and he kicked the ball away in disgust.
The defense had its moments as well, provided tight coverage with a nickel package that at times featured Shawn Springs, who returned to the practice fields for the first time since the morning of Aug. 2. Springs drew the unenviable task of coveringRandy Mosson a few occasions and, despite his long layoff, handled the assignment well. He later nearly had an interception but dropped Brady's pass across the middle intended for Greg Lewis.
The passing work continued right to the end of practice with some two-minute work. Neither Brady nor Kevin O'Connellcould muster up much offense as the coverage units did a nice job of forcing the quarterbacks to use the tight ends underneath. Neither drive wound up in points.
Overall, both units had their share of success on a day that was better suited for the beach than the grind of football.
Who's hot: Joey Galloway – The veteran continued his recent upswing with a strong afternoon of work. He appeared to be Brady's target throughout and he caught most everything in his direction, showcasing his top end speed. He did drop a would-be touchdown later during a two-minute drill.
Who's not: No one – With temps soaring into the 90s for the second straight day, everyone who suited up for practice made it through unscathed – no small feat after what transpired Sunday.
Play of the day:Brady and Galloway hooked up a number of times but one in particular was special. Galloway took off on a go route down the seam and Brady uncorked a bomb that the veteran caught in stride behindJamar Love.
The Patriots did quite a bit of one-on-one work with linebackers working against running backs and tight ends and wideout going against cornerbacks. The outside 'backers covered tight ends and had a tough time keeping up. Chris Bakerand David Thomaswere open on virtually every rep. At the same time, the inside guys took on the backs on the pass rush and Jerod Mayoremains a beast in this setting. Mayo overpowers everyone who tries to stop him and the second-year man generally winds up in the quarterback's face on each of his opportunities.
Two back, plenty out
While Springs made it back on the field, there were several players who suited up in the morning that weren't available for the afternoon. Tedy Bruschi, Stephen Neal, Vince Wilfork, Sebastian Vollmer, Alex Smith, Myron Pryor, Ty Warrenand Jarvis Greenall missed the second practice. On the flip side, Richard Seymour, Randy Mossand Shawn Crable were back in uniform after missing the first practice.
Vinny Ciurciu was shaken up early in practice and spent some time between the fields with the training staff but the linebacker remained on the field and completed the workout. … With punter Chris Hansonstill out of action, Stephen Gostkowskilined up in punt formation and took the snaps but the team used the JUGS machine to simulate the kicks. Julian Edelman, Kevin Faulkand Pat Chung each took reps as the return men. … Gary Guytonshowed his speed and athleticism on the first play of the offensive team period when he made a deep drop in coverage and got a hand on a Brady pass intended for Edelman on a crossing route. … Lewis made a terrific diving catch of a Brady pass during the one-on-one drills with the corners. … Tomorrow is the final day open to the public with the Patriots set to take the field for two practices, the first running from 9:30 a.m.-11:15 p.m. and the second from 3:45 p.m.-5:30 p.m. As always, check back with Patriots.com for any last-minute changes to the practice schedule.