For the first time since camp opened on Thursday, the Patriots were not in full pads during the morning session.
After several physical sessions, the morning workout was the most laid back of camp thus far. Most of the early part of practice was done at half-speed, with the offense and defense on separate fields working on the passing game.
The first high-speed work came in the special teams drills, where the focus was punt return. The first-team return group consisted of Leonard Myers, Matt Stevens, Torrance Small, Antico Dalton, Ted Johnson, Rob Holmberg, Tony George, Larry Izzo, Kato Serwanga and Antwan Harris up front with Troy Brown back as the return man.
Several players were lauded during the drill for both blocking and scout team work. Tight end Chris Eitzmann got down field through the middle of the line on the first play and was pretty solid throughout. Serwanga did a nice job blocking on the outside against David Patten, and rookie linebacker T.J. Turner, who has been impressive in both special teams and regular defense, stood out while blocking for the second unit.
When the offense and defense did work together, Turner and fellow Michigan State rookie Jace Sayler found themselves working with the first-unit. Turner, working at the end spot that would normally be occupied by Willie McGinest, snuffed out a screen play and nearly intercepted Drew Bledsoe. Safety Matt Stevens did pick off Damon Huard on a pass over the middle intended for Charles Johnson, as the defense had the upper hand for much of the drill.
The practice, which only lasted about 90 minutes, concluded with red zone work. After several stops by the defense, Troy Brown finally broke through for the offense with a touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.
Defensive tackle Chuck Osborne missed the morning practice, but the reason was not released during Belichick's press conference. Rookie tackle Matt Light did not attend the practice and was on crutches at lunch, but Kenyatta Jones did limited work. He wore a red warning jersey because of his injured shoulder so other players would not hit him.
Belichick said he had been in contact with linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer again, but the player was no closer in determining when he would return.