]()It probably wasn't as crisp as Bill Belichick might prefer, but Thursday afternoon's practice looked to be productive nonetheless.
During full-team work, blitzing and offensive blitz adjustments received a bulk of the attention. With no pads during the practices, it's difficult to make accurate assessments of the running game, but the offense is able to work on the timing of the passing game against a live defense that more or less shadows the receivers without getting overly physical.
The highlight play on the defensive side of the ball came when safety Rodney Harrison picked off Tom Brady in the end zone before running back upfield and tossing the ball at the quarterback. Brady's pass was intended for his former college teammate, David Terrell, but Harrison came underneath for the interception.
Second-year wideout P.K. Sam made the offensive play of the day when he made an athletic touchdown grab in the corner of the end zone after the ball was deflected by cornerback Chad Scott. Sam then grabbed the pass thrown by Doug Flutie before tapping his toes in bounds for the touchdown.
Overall, the offense wasn't incredibly sharp during full-team work, but did make its share of plays. Matt Cassell was "sacked" (there is no live tackling) on one play when Rosevelt Colvin came off the edge untouched on a blitz pickup breakdown. But Brady threaded the needle on a beautiful completion down the seam to tight Benjamin Watson, who reached back to catch the ball near his waist while in stride.
Charlie Weis's absence is noticeable in that his booming voice is no longer heard on the practice field and the entire offensive staff seems to be picking up the slack. It appeared that Dante Scarnecchia and tight ends coach Pete Mangurian took charge of the offense during full-team work. Mangurian has offensive coordinator experience.
]()Much of the afternoon work in humid conditions featured the offense and defense working independently on different fields. On the defensive side, special teams ace Larry Izzo played quarterback during drills and the lefty fired nice spirals after his Dan Fouts-like backpedal drop-back from center. Clearly, the defensive players enjoy the opportunity to play a little offense during that portion of practice, and Izzo's arm was impressive for a defensive player.
In other notes, kicker Robbie Gould and long snapper Travis Conway were the first two players on the practice field in the afternoon. … Richard Seymour missed his second straight practice for unknown and unexcused reasons. A call to his agent, Eugene Parker, has not yet been returned. The three-time Pro Bowl lineman can be fined more than $9,000 per day for missing mandatory offseason practices. That amount was originally set at $1,000 per day when the CBA was established, but increased by 25 percent every year after 1995. Belichick would not discuss and club disciplinary action, if there is any. … Also out of the afternoon session were running back Kory Chapman; wide receivers Cedric James, Tim Dwight, Ricky Bryant, Bethel Johnson and David Givens; linebackers Ted Johnson and Tedy Bruschi; and safety Dexter Reid. … Kevin Faulk, Ellis Hobbs and Cedric Cobbs returned kickoffs during special teams work. … Jarvis Green took reps alongside Vince Wilfork and Ty Warren in what would presumably have been Seymour's spot. … Belichick's father, Steve, took in the practice. … The team released cornerback Ike Charlton.