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Patriots mini-camp: Day 3

For the third straight day, linebacker Chris Slade (knee), defensive end Willie McGinest (groin), fullback Tony Carter (knee) and defensive end Chris Sullivan (back) did not practice. Linebacker Vernon Crawford, defensive end Greg Spires, fullback Chris Floyd and newly-signed defensive end Sterling Palmer stepped in to fill their spots.

Both Pete Carroll and Drew Bledsoe met with the media following Sunday's mini-camp practice. Among other things, Bledsoe touched on what the team accomplished and how his previously broken right index finger gave him no trouble. Meanwhile, Carroll addressed the team's running back situation as well as his thoughts on this year's rookie class.

Second-year cornerback Tebucky Jones was not present due to family obligations. Vice President of Player Personnel Bobby Grier said Jones was making his marriage official.

Although he can also play guard, rookie Derrick Fletcher lined up at right tackle with the second team offensive line throughout the mini-camp. Fletcher played tackle the past two seasons at Baylor.

In one drill designed for defensive linemen, a football was attached to a tackling dummy and the linemen had to shed a block before working on knocking the ball free. The ball was attached to a tackling dummy with Velcro.

After the mini-camp practice, Drew Bledsoe, Ted Johnson, Ty Law, Adam Vinatieri, Larry Whigham, Chad Eaton and Tedy Bruschi filmed some promotional video shoots for the NFL. The seven players toured the town of Foxborough and knocked on random doors to welcome fans back for the 1999 season. Last year, the NFL had players visit random houses and thank fans for their support.

When the team worked on kickoff returns, the first-team returners were Derrick Cullors and Lamont Warren. The second-teamers were Kevin Faulk and Tony Simmons and the third-team group was Michael Bishop and Kato Serwanga. Head Coach Pete Carroll said he wants Bishop to play special teams.

The team worked on the hurry-up offense at the end of practice. Drew Bledsoe led the first team in for a score, connecting on a beautiful sideline pass with Terry Glenn (Kato Serwanga was in coverage). The second-team offense, led by John Friesz, and the third-team offense, led by Michael Bishop, failed to score.

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