The Patriots wrapped up the final day of public training camp practices with a spirited, two-hour session in shorts and shells Wednesday evening. But while the well-attended session marked the end of fans' chances to view practice as the team prepares for the long regular season, Head Coach Bill Belichick said earlier in the day that from a football perspective those preparations continue seamlessly toward the season opener.
"You know it doesn't really seem like there is an official end," Belichick said of training camp at his morning press conference at Gillette Stadium. "It is something that I mentioned earlier in camp. It just seems like it is almost an hour-to-hour, day-to-day existence that we are in. You are preparing for a meeting. Then you are preparing for practice. Then you are watching film of the practice. They you are preparing for the next meeting. It doesn't really seem like there is any kind of a break from one day to the next, or one meeting to the next. It is just one continued procession of days of preparation."
Wednesday that preparation focused quite a bit on nickel and passing situations on both sides of the ball. But practice actually began with a bit of a unique start before all the situational work and Redskins looks. Following team stretching the entire group went to the far end of the field where the rookies were placed in a circle on the ground in the center of the team to perform a drill that is commonplace in the lower levels of football known as Monkey Rolls. To add a bit of a unique twist to the task, veterans dumped large containers of water on the young players during the movement, leaving the first-year guys wet and muddy for the remainder of the practice.
After the good-natured bit of initiations, the work on the field saw the New England units on both offense and defense working against scout teams showing Redskins looks. With much of the work on both sides dealing with the passing game, both the receivers and defensive backs got plenty of chances to make plays, and each side came away on top at different points in the action.
The team placed rookie wide receiver Dan Stricker on a reserve/injured list Wednesday and signed 6-4, 211-pound wide receiver DeVeren Johnson and 6-5, 320-pound offensive lineman Marques McFadden. Both players took part in the evening practice, with McFadden wearing the number 69 formerly owned by Brenden Stai, while Johnson wore number 15. … J.R. Redmond returned to the practice fields seemingly without the contact limitations he had in previous days. Troy Brown also returned to practice after being given the day off on Tuesday. … Safety Aric Morris did not practice. The usual list of Antwoine Womack, Tully Banta-Cain, Chas Gessner, Kenyatta Jones, Gene Mruczkowski and Otis Smith also did not practice. … Ty Law took all the reps with the first defense at corner, with Asante Samuel seeing most of the first-group reps on the other side of the formation. … Joe Andruzzi was back with the first group at right guard, while Tom Ashworth continued to see reps with the first unit at right tackle. … Jarvis Green appeared to get most of the reps at nose with the regular first defensive unit. The practice also saw quite of bit of defensive work out of the 4-3 look with Richard Seymour and Dan Klecko as the tackles and Rosevelt Colvin and Mike Vrabel as the ends down in three-point stances. Tedy Bruschi, Ted Johnson and Roman Phifer are the linebackers in the look that appears to be designed for passing and long yardage situations. … In the no surprise here category, Damon Huard hit tight end Christian Fauria on a crossing pattern in the back of the end zone for a touchdown in a goal line segment. … Anthony Pleasant batted down a Rohan Davey pass in the goal line segment, a fate that has seemingly hit at least one of Davey's passes in just about every practice. … Both Robert and Jonathan Kraft took in the final public practice, with the elder Kraft spending a long portion of the time chatting with Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli. … Tom Brady completed a pair of bombs, one to Dedric Ward and the other to David Patten, during a seven on seven segment against a scout, Redskins defensive look. He connected on another later in practice to rookie Bethel Johnson. … Speaking of the speedy rookie, Johnson faked cornerback Leonard Myers out of his sweatpants on a little pass in the flat, leaving the defender in the backfield while the second-round pick continued down the sideline. … Top pick Ty Warren kept his helmet on while signing autographs for fans after practice and continued with a concealed head all the way into the locker room. Apparently, Warren sports a new, somewhat unflattering haircut thanks to his veteran teammates.