Monday nights practice was the 10th for the Patriots this training camp, and the first held under the lights of Gillette Stadium (an event for season ticket holders). It was also the first football played on the new FieldTurf that the team had it installed six months ago; it's "designed to be softer and more like natural grass than its predecessor." So how was it?
"Turf's pretty good," defensive lineman Gerard Warren said. "It's that new, whatchamacallit, hi-tech stuff. Lot of bounce, pretty fast."
Wes Welker, although no longer on the PUP list, was held out of practice.
Pats Pulpit has the highlights:
- There was a lot of game-like action and the two-minute drill got a lot of run. Matt Patricia and Bill O'Brien once again used the radio to call in plays from the sideline, as in a real-time game situation. Overall, in the two minute work, the offense didn't fare to well, and a one point even ran a penalty lap before finally regrouping and putting together a pair of consecutive successful drives.
- The play of the day certainly had to be a Brandon Tate bomb. Brady lofted a deep ball down the right sideline. Although Devin McCourty had blanket coverage on Tate, he still dove and made a sensational catch, maintaining possession as he hit the ground. He was out of bounds, though.
- The group of injured/absent players was the same as this morning, except for Myron Pryor and Wes Welker, who were not present for the evening's practice.
- Although Zoltan Mesko has been inconsistent at time in camp, he had a great day today. He boomed punt after punt, some even going over 60 yards. If he can repeat tonight's performance consistently, the Patriots will be set at the punter position for years to come.
- A couple of rookie free agents had strong days today. Rookie Dane Fletcher consistently showed solid coverage in passing drills, while defensive lineman Kyle Love held his own when injuries gave him some opportunities to play next to Vince Wilfork.