Saturday, July 28, 2007

Pats Camp Is In full Swing

Here are Mike Reiss's of the boston globe's observations from yesterday

Here are five observations from today's second practice, which was attended by 3,410 spectators:

1) Cornerback depth. When Chad Scott was carted off the field with what looked like a serious injury, the Patriots' personnel at cornerback came into sharper focus. Randall Gay moved up to play opposite of Ellis Hobbs. The team also had 12-year veteran Tory James, rookie Mike Richardson (sixth round) and second-year man Gemara Williams taking snaps at corner. With Asante Samuel remaining away from training camp, this is an area that could need reinforcements.

2) Maroney's move. Earlier in the day, running back Laurence Maroney mentioned that if there was one part of his game that he hoped to improve, it was his pass-catching and route-running. So far, so good. In a drill in which backs caught passes against linebackers, Maroney put a nifty move on linebacker Tedy Bruschi, and as Bruschi fell down, it drew a reaction from the crowd.

3) Gunners at the goal-line. Gunner on punt coverage is one of the more underappreciated aspects of the game and second-year man Willie Andrews showed his expertise by keeping his feet in the field of play and downing a punt near the goal-line. That drew the approval of special teams coach Brad Seely. Andrews is a seventh-round pick in 2006 who tied for the team lead with 15 special teams tackles last year. He's the type of player who is easy to overlook, but he should have a place on the team's 53-man roster.

4) Receivers and special teams. However the competitive race for receiver roster spots turns out, special teams figures to be a key factor. Players vying for the fourth, fifth and possibly sixth spots at receiver will have to contribute on special teams and that could help Kelley Washington's cause. Washington was working as a gunner and has been part of special teams units with the Bengals.

5) Scouts in the house. Several of the team's scouts watched practice this afternoon. That can be a beneficial experience, getting an up-close view of what the coaching staff is looking for at each position, and then taking that on the road to colleges when scouting players.

SATURDAY PLAN: The Patriots are scheduled to hold one practice on Saturday (2:30 p.m.). It is closed to the public due to a concert being held at Gillette Stadium. Our first update will be from practice.

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