Activity may seem slow to the casual observer, but the Patriots are still working to make 2001 a success. Currently the quarterbacks and centers are participating in a voluntary quarterback school to go over changes to the playbook.
Players at the two positions are working on the mental aspects of their jobs in preparation for the start of passing camp next Wednesday. It is common for teams to make changes to about 10-25 percent of the playbook, and the quarterbacks and centers need to understand the line calls, route adjustments and blitz protections that are being installed.
New England has five quarterbacks: Drew Bledsoe, Damon Huard, Michael Bishop, Tom Brady and Ben Leard. Bishop is over in Europe playing for the Frankfurt Galaxy. Players who have worked at center are Damien Woody, Grey Ruegamer, Mike Compton, Rob Gatrell and Drew Inzer. Compton has plenty of experience at center with Detroit, but his focus is expected to be at guard for the Patriots.
Passing camp, which starts May 16 and lasts several weeks, is designed to help the younger players on the roster catch up to the rest of the team. Though veterans will participate, having players with a solid working knowledge of terminology prior to training camp will help the entire team get off to a faster start to the season.