The veterans returned to practice action Monday night as the team continued to focus on situational work in preparation for the preseason opener. Two veterans, guard Joe Andruzzi and linebacker Willie McGinest, also made their first appearances in practice action in the full-pads, two hour affair that had to be moved to the team's FieldTurf artificial practice field thanks to torrential downpours that had intermittently drenched the area for much of the afternoon.
Unlike the morning practice that focused on work for the backups and many of the second and third team players, the evening session saw plenty of work for all the groups, including the ones, against scout teams running the looks of the New York Giants. Both Andruzzi and McGinest took part in positional drills and group work, although Andruzzi appeared to see less action in team work with the line than McGinest did on the other side of the ball.
The team will hold a single practice session on Tuesday, from 2:30-4:30 in the afternoon. Tomorrow's session will be the final open practice for the team prior to Thursday night's home preseason opener against the Giants at 8 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.
New wide receiver Thabiti Davis is wearing number 17 in white. … Tully Banta-Cain, Antwoine Womack, Gene Mruczkowski, Kenyatta Jones, Deion Branch, Otis Smith, Chas Gessner, Kerry Watkins and J.R. Redmond did not practice. … The quarterbacks and centers worked on shotgun snaps before the start of practice, with Damien Woody snapping to Tom Brady. … Kevin Faulk broke off a number of very impressive runs with the first offense against the Giants scout defense. … New guard Brenden Stai committed a false start working with the first offensive unit at right guard and was then replaced by Russ Hochstein while he did his customary penalty lap. … Both Ken Walter and Daniel Pope unleashed some impressive kicks in punt work. During the segment Tyrone Poole, Faulk and Dedric Ward worked as the returners. … The session had what has become a somewhat traditional flyover for training camp, as a flock of geese flew at a low altitude over the practice field. … Both sides put forth a number of good pops in a segment on the goal line. … Guard Mike Compton came up a bit lame on a running play by Faulk in one segment and was helped off the field by the trainers. Compton sat out the remainder of the practice and was replaced by Hochstein at left guard with the first unit. … Aric Morris had the hit of the day on a short dump pass to fullback Michael Malan. Morris quickly came into the backfield and knocked Malan off his feet with a clean, strong hit. … Fans are urged to check Patriots.com or call the training camp info hotline at 508-543-1776 before heading to Gillette Stadium for tomorrow's single session to check for any last minute schedule changes.