Dime coverage and multi-receiver sets were the focus of the afternoon session Friday.
As Head Coach Bill Belichick said he would do during his press conference, the passing game was drilled in the helmet-and-shoulder pads workout. While the wide receivers and some tight ends worked against the cornerbacks and safeties, the fullbacks, running backs and the rest of the tight ends competed with the linebackers. The linemen on both sides of the ball worked on individual drills during this time.
The main event was with the wide receivers and defensive backs, where the offense looked impressive. Damon Huard hit rookie Ronney Daniels deep down the right sideline past the defense of Antwan Harris. Bert Emanuel, David Patten, Torrance Small and Jermaine Wiggins all caught balls in succession before Shockmain Davis has the nicest grab of the drill.
Running long down the left sideline, Davis was well covered by Kato Serwanga, who actually appeared well positioned for the interception. The ball went through Serwanga's hands and Davis caught it in stride.
After a couple incompletions, cornerback Terrell Buckley finally got one for the defense. He stepped in a picked a pass by Drew Bledsoe intended for Davis, who was not in the location of the throw. It was the second pick of the day for Buckley, who had one in the morning too.
Before the drill ended, Patten had an impressive catch on the right sideline despite tight coverage from Leonard Myers. Patten, who came from Cleveland during the offseason, made several catches throughout the day, showing the ability to get himself open thus far.
After the passing drills, the special teams units did some work on downing punts inside the red zone. Davis was able to stop a Lee Johnson pooch inside the 5-yard line.
The practice ended with work in the two-minute drill. The first-team defense was able to stop the first offense, but not before Charles Johnson made a nice catch coming back on a short pass from Drew Bledsoe. The defense nearly came up with a turnover when Wiggins bobbled a pass from Bledsoe. Ty Law had the deflection in his hands, but the ball fell. Wiggins nearly wound up with it while he was lying on the ground, but it fell incomplete.
Results were better for Huard and the second offense. A few plays into the drive Huard hit Small over the middle. The 6-3 Small leaped for the high pass and came down with it. Patten was the next target on a sharp route along the right sideline. He then capped the drive by catching a pass down the sideline from Huard, beating Myers for the score.
Lapping it up
Discipline is definitely a focus in camp this year. Players who make mistakes on individual plays are being sent for laps around the two practice fields. The culprits in the afternoon session were Bledsoe and Damien Woody. The duo fumbled a snap exchange, and without hesitation turned and ran for the nearest goalpost after the play.
Several others have gone for the lonely run in the first three practices. Among those making the jog were offensive linemen Adam Davis, Mike Compton and Kenyatta Jones, and defensive lineman Jace Sayler.
McGinest gets run in
Also lapping the field during practice was defensive end Willie McGinest, who is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list because he is recovering from back surgery. The progress McGinest has shown to be able to do the running could be an encouraging sign in his rehabilitation work.