View a collection of the best images from a special in-stadium Patriots Training Camp practice for Season Ticket Members inside Gillette Stadium on Monday, August 1, 2016.
After two intense day of contact work in full pads the Patriots dialed things back a bit during their annual in-stadium practice in front of season-ticket holders inside Gillette Stadium. The players were in shorts and shells and did extensive special teams work, including a variety of situations involving the kicking game.
"It's good. It's good for the team," Malcolm Butler said of the atmosphere inside the stadium, which included nearly 25,000 fans. "We come out here to get a feel for the field, check out the turf, get used to the environment. There's a couple rookies here, they can get a look around for the play clock and things like that. It's a good idea."
Butler's reference to the field was in reference to the new surface installed this offseason. Monday night's practice was the team's first opportunity to work out since the change was made.
"It's a good chance to do some special teams work and get acclimated to the stadium," Bill Belichick before practice. "It changes up the routine a bit. It's a chance to build in some more team things. By the end of the week we'll have a pretty high percentage of the playbook in all three phases - offense, defense and special teams - pretty much in."
The offensive line had a different look Monday night as Josh Kline received his first reps with a group that included Nate Solder at left tackle, Joe Thuney at left guard, David Andrews at center and Marcus Cannon at right tackle.
Ted Karras, who had been getting the reps since Jonathan Cooper left Saturday's practice with an apparent foot injury, replaced Kline during the second 11-on-11 period midway through practice. They continued to rotate throughout the evening.
Shaq Mason, who has been on the field throughout camp but hasn't seen much if any action, was the lone reserve offensive lineman with the group during both sessions.
The Patriots receiving corps has been missing a couple of integral parts in the early days of camp with Julian Edelman (foot) and Danny Amendola (knee, ankle) both currently on PUP. Their absence has offered additional opportunities for others thus far, and Belichick believes that has been a positive development.
"I think our competition at receiver is probably as good as it's been since I've been here," Belichick said Monday on Sirius XM NFL Radio's "Movin' the Chains" program with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller.
"All those guys are capable at whatever it is. They have different styles and different positions -- slot guys, outside guys. But whatever it is, they're very competitive and capable players that have a lot to offer. Obviously we can't keep all of them, but it should be a good battle because they all have skill."
While Aaron Dobson has received the lion's share of attention in the early going, undrafted rookie free agent DeAndre Carter may be the wideout who's flashed the most. At 5-8, 190 pounds, Carter is an undersized slot guy out of Sacramento State and will fight long odds considering the guys ahead of him on the depth chart. But his ability to get open and make plays has been quite noticeable dating back to the spring.
Belichick was asked about Dobson after practice and explained how the wideout has been productive in the past but unable to maintain consistency.
"Aaron's had a good camp," Belichick began. "I think we've seen that before but for whatever reason he hasn't always been out there. Hopefully he can stay on the field and improve. Hopefully he keeps climbing in that direction."
Buy: Malcolm Mitchell -The rookie receiver had a solid night catching the ball, grabbing several throws from Jacoby Brissett as the group worked at the far end of the field. Mitchell's best effort came on a deep pattern when he got behind Brock Vereen down the right sideline and caught a perfect spiral from Brissett for a big gain. Mitchell had a solid day on Sunday after missing Saturday's practice and appears to be making strides.
Sell: Anyone Covering Gronk -It may be a copout but Rob Gronkowski simply can't be covered at this point in camp. The tight end is catching touchdowns on a regular basis and it doesn't matter who's covering him. Whether it's Patrick Chung, Jordan Richards, Devin McCourty or Jamie Collins - or a combination of all of them - the defenders simply have no chance.
Play of the Day: It wasn't all bad for Vereen as he came up with a very athletic interception later in practice. Brissett tried to hook up with Mitchell yet again but this time the throw was a bit behind the rookie and wound up getting deflected in the air. Vereen had to change directions and reached back with his left hand kept the ball in the air. He deflected the pass at least two additional times before securing it as he fell to the turf.
There was a notable addition to the list of players missing from practice as Chris Hogan was not spotted on the field. The wideout appeared to injure his shoulder during blocking drills on Sunday and evidently was unable to suit up. Linebacker Jonathan Freeny was also missing for the first time during camp. Keshawn Martin, Jonathan Cooper (foot) and Bryan Stork all missed the practice as well.
The PUP list remained unchanged with Julian Edelman (foot), Danny Amendola (knee, ankle), Sebastian Vollmer (ankle), Dion Lewis (knee), Tre' Jackson (knee) and Clay Harbor all not spotted while Alan Branch (NFI/reported hip) was on the field without his helmet. Also, Nate Washington was present but not participate.
Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon continue to wear their red, non-contact jerseys but do not appear to be hindered in any way.
Members of the training staff spent some time with Donald Brown, who appeared to tweak his left hamstring during some team work. Brown remained on the field and didn't seem to be in much pain but didn't do much the rest of the night.
The Patriots will enjoy their first off day of camp on Tuesday and will be back at Wednesday starting at 9:40 a.m. As always check with Patriots.com for the latest schedule updates.