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Sunday evening practice notes

The veterans got a break from the hitting Sunday evening as the younger players took center stage for New England’s second training camp practice of the day on the fields behind Gillette Stadium.

It was a tale of two fields behind Gillette Stadium Sunday evening as the Patriots returned for their second session of the day with players dressed in a variety of ways. Most of the more established players and a large number of the linemen dressed in shorts and helmets, while the bulk of the younger players, especially the receivers, backs, defensive backs and linebackers, wore full pads and uniforms.

The veterans then spent most of the abbreviated one-hour-and-fifteen-minute practice session as offensive and defensive units going through a walk-through on one field, while the youngster took part in a heated, contact drills on the practice fields nearest the fan-filled bleachers.



]()Following stretching and a few positional drills the fully padded players moved on to a 7-on-7 drill. Early in that action newcomer Jason Anderson made a nice catch on a pass from Matt Cassel. Cassel was again mostly sharp as the only quarterback in the drill, continuing to show a strong arm and decent accuracy.

Grant Steen, Eric Alexander, Ryan Claridge and Andre Torrey held down the linebacker spots in the drill with a secondary consisting of cornerbacks Ellis Hobbs and Hank Poteat and a safety rotation that included Raymond Ventrone, James Sanders, Guss Scott and Dexter Reid.

Following the 7-on-7 work a few linemen joined the mix to bring even more physicality to the drills. Santonio Thomas and Mike Wright were part of a partial defensive line while Victor Levya, Billy Yates, Ryan Krug and Jeff Roehl made up the partial offensive line. Backup running backs Cedric Cobbs and Kory Chapman got the chance to carry the ball a few times in the half-line action and both players showed some spark. Reid made nice break to deflect a pass intended for tight end Andy Stokes in the drill, as did Hobbs one play later on a pass thrown in wide receiver Rich Musinski's direction. Beyond the breakup, Stokes actually made a few nice catches during the drill hooking up with Cassel on a few separate occasions.

Near the end of the practice the players took part in a team drill that was full contact as ball carriers were brought the ground with live tackling, a rarity at most training camp practices. On one play Cassel hit his running back Chapman in the flat where the receiver was quickly brought down for no gain on a nice open field play by Torrey, the college defensive lineman transitioning to linebacker in the pros. Guss Scott had the hit of the day on Chapman on a crossing pattern on one of the final plays during the segment near the end of the practice, unfortunately for Scott, Chapman bounce off and continued for a short gain.



]()Former Patriots offensive coordinator and current University of Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis observed the practice from the family tent. Weis then caught up with a number of his former players and coworkers after practice, including Tom Brady and Dante Scarnecchia. … Tim Dwight, Bethel Johnson and Chad Morton all wore jerseys during the practice action, although the team said all three remain on PUP. … Veteran linebacker Willie McGinest wore his jersey and shoulder pads and was a full participant in the walk-through with the rest of his teammates. … Monty Beisel also returned to practice, his first appearance since the morning session on Friday. … During the walk-through Mike Vrabel continued to receive instruction at both inside and outside linebacker even with both Beisel and Chad Brown in attendance. … A young female fan in a Brady jersey errantly made her way onto the practice field but she was quickly scooped up by security and returned to her waiting mother. … Richard Seymour's holdout reached its third day as the Pro Bowl defensive lineman remained absent from Gillette Stadium's practice fields. … During the walk-through portion with the veterans, defensive coordinator Eric Mangini was in charge of his unit while offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia appeared to manage the offense. … Veterans linebackers Vrabel and Don Davis and newcomer Duane Starks ran sprints on their own after the official end of practice. … Always popular targets, quarterbacks Brady, Cassel, Doug Flutie and Rohan Davey signed autographs for fans following the practice. … The only players not wearing a jersey for the evening session were Jake Schifino, Cedric James and Ethan Kelley. … While the practice was scheduled for two hours, it ended about 45 minutes early. Clearly the local Gillette Stadium geese were not made aware of the change as a large flock flew over the empty practice fields as fans departed. … According to PFW Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Fred Kirsch the hotdogs at the training camp concession stands get "high marks." At least that's what it sounded like he said in the midst of a large bite as he entered the media tent.

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