The final day of the Foxborough portion of training camp came to a close with a morning practice on Friday. Head Coach Bill Belichick gave the players the afternoon off to let them get a jumpstart on tomorrow's move to the regular training camp site at Bryant College in Smithfield, R.I.
Belichick and his staff spent the morning working on substitutions and personnel changes both offensively and defensively. Neither unit handled the situations extremely well, as both were forced to do some running after failing to have the proper personnel on the field for specific drills.
The team will be busy in the next 13 days with 10 practices, two games and next Thursday's scrimmage against the Giants at UMass in Amherst. Belichick stressed that the Giants scrimmage will be an opportunity for an early gauge at this early point in camp.
"I talked to [Giants coach] Jim [Fassel] a couple of times and our feeling was to get as much work against each other as possible," Belichick said after the workout. "It will give us a chance to get some different matchups and break up the daily grind."
He indicated that the scrimmage would be more like a practice than an actual game. There will be some full-scale, 11-on-11 work, but there won't likely be any tackling. There also will be some individualized work and 7-on-7 drills as well.
CAMP NOTES: Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis put the offense through a makeshift blitz pickup drill which had quarterback Drew Bledsoe taking shot gun snaps from Damien Woody. The second-year center was much more accurate in that area than he was last season. … Receivers coach Ivan Fears had the wideouts and tight ends on the sidelines going over hand signals for different offensive packages. … The punt return team got some work in with Kevin Faulk handling the majority of the kicks. Long snapper Thad Sheldon had some trouble hooking up with punter Lee Johnson. … The injury list continues to grow by the day. Linebacker Chad Cascadden didn't suit up for the first time as he continues to rehab his ailing knee. Ted Johnson (hamstring), Brandon Mitchell (left calf) and the offensive line group of Todd Rucci, Bruce Armstrong, Grant Williams, Adrian Klemm and Lance Scott all remain out with knee injuries. Rookie wideout Matt Bumgardner was shaken up during a tackling drill on Wednesday and has been out ever since and tight end Dave Stachleski was out with an injury to his left foot. Newcomers to the walking wounded list include Henry Thomas (knee), who was not at practice, wide receiver Aaron Bailey (shoulder), punter Jimmy Kibble, and cornerback Mike Woods. Also, linebacker Tedy Bruschi was forced to the sideline momentarily with some back stiffness.