Third-round pick Guss Scott may have been, along with Cedric Cobbs and still-unsigned first-round pick Benjamin Watson, a rare rookie holdout in New England, but that doesn't mean the rookie out of Florida isn't approaching the start of his NFL career with open ears and an open mind. Now in pads and on the practice fields with the defending Super Bowl champs the 5-10, 205-pound rookie is a trying to be a sponge, attempting to take in everything there is know in the world of professional football.
The Jacksonville native believes one of the best educational tools available right now as he assimilates to the pro game is Patriots All-Pro safety Rodney Harrison. Scott says he observes what last year's defensive co-captain does in every aspect of the game, "from tackling to coverage to just being a leader."
"He goes everything great," Scott said Sunday. "That's why he's been playing for a while and more than likely will be in the Hall of Fame. You can learn a lot from him and that is what I am trying to do."
But having such an impressive mentor to work with doesn't mean Scott expects his transition to the highest level of football to be an easy one.
"You really don't realize it until you are in one defense and the [offense's] motion has you switch to another one and things like that," Scott said of intensity and pace of the NFL. "You can't really explain it, you just have to go out there and experience it and try to get better at it."
It doesn't hurt to be doing that alongside one of the best players at your position in the game today.
Sunday evening practice notes
Despite an early afternoon announcement that the practice would be moved to the indoor practice facility and closed to public, nearly 2,000 fans showed up for the afternoon session that ended up taking place under surprisingly sunny skies. … An assortment of the team's starters, returning veterans, and more experienced players had a light practice, working out in just shorts and jerseys, while the rest of the team wore helmets, shoulder pads and shorts. … Randall "Big Training Camp Play" Gay continues to make plays. Gay broke up what appeared to be a well-timed throw and catch from Rohan Davey to Chas Gessner on a deep crossing pattern over the middle during the evening session. … Kurt Kittner and J.J. Stokes hooked up on the play of the day when the veteran wide out made a lunging one-handed catch down the right sideline. Stokes also had the runner up for POD honors with a diving catch on a Kliff Kingsbury toss down the left sideline in a team passing drill. … During the early portion of practice the team broke up with what appeared to the starters and top of the depth chart offensive and defensive players going through a walk through on one field while the rest of the team, all those in pads, faced off in team drills on the other field. …. Michael Jennings and newly re-signed rookie free agent Ricky Bryant returned Cody Scates' punts during the special teams segment. … Wide receivers Troy Brown, Deion Branch, Bethel Johnson and David Patten took part in some tipped-ball drills on the veteran-based field. … The entire team did two three-quarter speed runs the length of the practice field before the close of the practice that lasted just more than hour. … Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and a few assistant coaches joined a group of defensive linemen in signing autographs for fans after practice. … Tom Brady also made his way down the line signing for a group of raucous fans. … Kingsbury and Gessner remained on the field together long after the conclusion of practice working on various pass routes. … The team will return to the field for a single practice session on Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.