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Archive for July, 2007

July 31st PM Session

Just in from today’s second practice of the day and this one brought less humidity and guys in full pads. Here are the quickies for tonight:

  • Zebras were once again at practice and as expected they focused closely on the drills to watch for any violations. At one point a ref flagged Tory James who was not quite sure what he did. The ref explained it to the incredulous DB.
  • The next of the Belichick generation could be seen at his 3rd practice in row. Can’t miss those flowing blond locks. Meanwhile, Kraft and Pioli were chatting it up on the sidelines tonight.
  • Missing once again were Kyle Brady, Garrett Mills, Rashad Baker, AS, and all of the puppies.
  • Ben Watson had a standout practice tonight making several impressive catches. On one in particular he made a diving catch across the middle averting good coverage by Adalius Thomas. After the play, Rodney was keeping him on his toes by knocking the ball out of his hands. He jumped up to recover it then playfully threw it at Rodney. (Remember this same special treatment that he gave Dillon at his first camp?!)
  • In a speak of the devil moment, Big Al had just commented to me “You know who has been quiet so far this camp? Reche Cal—” Before he could even finish his last name he made the catch of the night by leaping up between Tory James and James Sanders to snag it and fell to the ground. Untouched, he got up, and took it in for a TD. BB had a little chat with TJ after that play.
  • The now familiar match up of 54 vs. 44 during drills continued tonight. (That’s Bruschi and Evans, btw)
  • Izzo still moves like a kid.
  • During 7 on 7’s, all of the Big Units (OL and DL) worked together in the other field while Lonie snapped as center. Cassel was much improved today (both practices actually) hitting Watson and Gaffney and others. (Of course with no pass rush to contend with he took of his dancing shoes.)
  • Matt Light jumped offsides, was flagged and took a lap during full squad work with refs. Big Al saw a 60-something in Blue also taking one… possibly Kenney Smith (60) or Rashad Moore (63).
  • Ellis Hobbs did a bit of celebrating after covering Moss perfectly and preventing a TD in a clean play with no flag and also leveled Wes Welker in the biggest hit of the day.  Welker caught the ball and got knocked right to the ground like he hit a brick wall.
  • Willie Andrews picked off a poorly thrown pass by Matt Gutierrez and also deflected a pass right after that.
  • I’ll say it again…. Moss makes it look so easy…. (Of course, his ability is not in question, it’s the willingness to not always be “the guy” and how he deals with it will be the true indication of his success here.)
  • In response to an inquiry, I noted the DL rotation of Warren, Wilfork, Green (1st unit) with Mike Wright (99), Le Kevin Smith (90) and Santonio Thomas (92) as the second tonight.
  • During one of the drills, the offense scored two successive TD’s and Rodney was pissed. He later took Meriweather aside and was talking to him.
  • Practice ended with 2 minute drills with the starters on one field and the back-up players on the other. Brady’s drive moved the ball down the field with the second to the last play a completion to Moss, only to come up short with an incomplete pass to Gaffney to end the drive. He was clearly not happy and left the field talking to BB at the end of practice.
  • Restarting at the top of the rotation, Defensive Backs signed tonight. There didn’t appear to be any extras. Although Jake’s not really an autograph type he did head down to the ropes tonight to get Brandon Meriweather on a football.

And now, I’m in need of food and my back is acting up so I’m glad that tomorrow is a single. (Besides that, Cinderella’s got lots to do that’s got nothing at all to do with Patriots football!)

As always, pictures and podcast to follow.

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Morning Session July 31, 2007

Got home a bit earlier than I expected and there wasn’t much going on anyway so I’m managing to squeak this out before taking Bella to the vet…

  • Crowd was the lightest so far this year and when I arrived the (wet) grass was practically empty but filled up as the practice wore on.
  • Guys were in shorts, sweats or the infamous MCs (that’s man capris if you’re new here…. ) and the usual suspects were in red. No Kyle Brady or Garrett Mills again.
  • It was a low-key practice in which many of the non starters took the reps. Brady didn’t participate except to play the role of the ball boy, catching the ball and returning it to the other QBs during drills.
  • Tedy didn’t participate much either and rather than just stand around Rodney used the time to play catch in the other field and do some running.
  • Zebras were in da house.
  • The focus for most of the morning was on the run game and short passing game although not at full speed.
  • Cassel took most of the reps with the best catch of the day coming from Watson in the EZ covered by Mays.
  • The entire offensive unit huddled up with BB at one point during practice.
  • Bam Childress came across the middle and snagged a Cassel pass with tight coverage by Tory James for a TD.
  • Heath Evans had a rare drop and there was a fumble during the hand-off between Mike Elgin (60) and Guitierrez (7) which was recovered by Mankins.
  • Field Goal kicks were towards the hill today and Cassel did some of the holding.
  • Media tent was filled to capacity towards the end as most of them come in time for player access at the end of practice but was practically empty early on.
  • I left as soon as practice ended and didn’t see who signed but I believe it was Wide Receivers as they’ve yet to go and everyone else actually left the field almost immediately after practice.
  • Kids were posing with Pat Patriot in the Patriots Experience area which was a nice touch.

Time for me to head out and take care of this little girl.

July 30th Afternoon Single Session

Just got in from the single afternoon session, barely beating out the whipping wind and black skies. It was a bit cooler on the hill today with a slight breeze. Guys were in full pads and it was the fastest paced and most physical practice thus far. Here are the quick hits for today:

  • At the start of practice, Bam Childress dropped a punt return, starting banging on his helmet in frustration then dropped to the ground to do some self prescribed penalty push-ups. Also returning were tiny twins Welker and Faulk.
  • Rookie Kareem Brown participated in his first practice. I didn’t see Kyle Brady, Garrett Mills or Rashad Baker in addition to the usual missing crew.
  • Pepper and his big boys looked like a synchronized swim team doing slow-mo moves coming up from a 3 point stance during warmups.
  • During a punt blocking drill, Danny Baugher (5) was booming them and Malone (1) looked better today than on other days.
  • Rookie Meriweather was juked so bad by Kelley Washington that he fell.
  • On my favorite pass protection drill, it pains me to say that Heath Evans had it all over my boy, Tedy on one play and he slipped and fell to the ground drawing quite the reaction from the crowd. Heath was “on” dominating most he faced on the drill today. Pierre Woods (58) also looked sharp.
  • Brady was very vocal calling out his offensive teammates to fire them up and get them to focus because the defense was getting the best of them during full squad work.
  • Brady hit Gaffney (10) deep while covered by Hobbs who ended up jumping up on his back at the end of the play.
  • Later Gaffney fumbled and Hobbs and Bruschi were all over it.
  • Sammy Morris was finding holes and got quite a few carries today but lost his helmet in a collision with a sea of blue on one play.
  • Seau (still in red) took a huge lap for jumping offsides on a play.
  • Tory James (28) got a pick today and later almost had another but dropped it and was clearly frustrated.
  • Matt Cassel’s Happy Feet are getting really old…. sigh
  • Wes Welker is super, super speedy and it’s almost comical to see him emerging from behind the Dante’s Big Boys.
  • Brady’s deep sideline sure TD pass to Moss being covered by Gemara Williams (one of the first cuts IMO) was a thing of beauty and drew the biggest crowd reaction of the day.
  • Somebody screwed up royally as Moss and Brandon Meriweather collided on a route and Brady’s ball sailed downfield with nobody there.
  • Fans on the hill were happy with the decision to kick field goals through that set up uprights for the first time this year.
  • Special teamers and QB’s signed. I also heard the crowd reacting as Maroney went over to sign but admittedly didn’t notice anyone else as I was yapping with friends.

Tomorrow there are double sessions but I may have to leave the morning one early for Bella‘s vet appointment and won’t get to the report until the afternoon, if I even have time between sessions. I’ll get on it as soon as I can but just wanted you to be aware of it. And now… dinner!

As always, pictures (as long as Al and/or Jake are with me to take pics) and podcast to follow.

Sunday, July 29th PM Session

No need to fear… MrsB is here! :-) Due to the rain in Foxboro, practice was moved to the Dana Farber Field House and although officially “closed to the public” fans were allowed watch the practice on the Jumbotrons from inside Gillette, as they have in the past. Today was my lucky day though as the VIP passes that Mike (thanks Bud!) got for the three of us this morning allowed us access to the Field House tonight along with the media, friends and family.

Not much was happening and I saw lots and lots of players’ backs during the hour that we were there but here are the tidbits from tonight.

  • Guys were in shorts, sweats or man capris ala Moss and Lonie. (BB’s grey ensemble almost qualified but needed a wee bit more length!)
  • Special Teamers were on the field when we arrived and Cassel and crew were booming punts and having a few laughs before the rest of the players came in.
  • Puppies Troy Brown, Donte Stallworth, and Richard Seymour were on the sidelines watching and/or rehabbing.
  • Kyle Brady was back to practice tonight.
  • Practice consisted of guys walking through plays at slow speed. Rather than even punting they were using Matt Guttierez to throw the ball as a simulation instead.
  • Lots of little girl “Hi Daddy’s” could be heard echoing in the fieldhouse during practice which brought a smile to my face.
  • Oscar Lua (49) is taking advantage of downtime to attach himself to Tedy B and he couldn’t have picked a better role model! :-)
  • Sitting there with little to see gave me time to reflect and think about just how sweet it is to see Vrabel and Rosey lining up on the outside with Tedy and Thomas on the inside.
  • Likewise, how sweet is this? Moss, Stallworth, Kyle Brady, Welker,  and Watson… (I’m giddy!!)
  • Linebackers signed for the fans that were there tonight so they’ll probably just continue with the rotation starting tomorrow.

More pictures and podcast to follow. Tomorrow is a single session which will give me some time to get caught up and for real life.

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Sunday, July 29th AM Session

Just home from a scorcher! I’m typing with one eye on the screen and another on Bella so hopefully this gets out in a timely manner. Practice ran from 8:45-10:45 this morning and this time we entered from the South, P8 Entrance. Doing so meant that were were directed to park in the lots closest to Rt. 1 rather than right in front of the Club with the people coming from the North. The place was jam packed, as expected. Here are my tidbits for this morning.

  • Guys were in full pads with the same ones wearing red jerseys. Junior was the first out on the field which has become the norm. Meriweather was there (yesterday actually but it was a closed practice) wearing new number 31. Garrett Mills (45) and Kyle Brady (88) were not there.
  • Moss once again got a huge ovation and during practice the biggest one went out to the tandem of Tedy Bruschi and Adalius Thomas as they chose to kneel along the bleacher side of the grass to watch some onfield action.
  • A Fish Fan in a 54 Zach Thomas jersey made his way in front of the bleachers called out to former Fin, Wes Welker, and was met with a round of boos. He pumped his arms and got a big kick out of it even as the crowd chanted Brew-ski instead.
  • It was so hot that a teenage boy next to me passed out on the hill. Pats security staff did a nice job helping him out and making sure that he was ok.
  • Vrabel was way ahead of the pack during the initial dashes to begin the stretching period today, with John Mellencamp’s Pink Houses blaring on the speakers.
  • During opening drills Brady rolled out and threw one too high then proceeded to punt the ball in disgust.
  • Hobbs, Andrews and Maroney did most of the kickoff returns. On one, tremendous blocking allowed Maroney to make his way upfield untouched.
  • Cassel still looked like he was overthrowing guys most of the day again today.
  • Brady to Welker was not as smooth as in past sessions, with 2 misses in a row that I noted.
  • Kevin Faulk’s still got it and can cut on a dime and found holes most of the day but was shut down on one play by a bump by Rashad Moore (63) behind the line of scrimmage before even having a chance.
  • The entire offense took the first full unit lap of the season and were cheered by the crowds as they ran by. (How about an ovation for the defense who didn’t screw up, instead?)
  • Kelley Washington (15) took a single lap today as well.
  • Brady connected deep with a diving Rache Caldwell while being covered by Hobbs.
  • Justin Rogers (51) and Pierre Woods (58) provided a HUGE hole for Welker in which he passed through completely untouched.
  • Gay was “Mossed” when he got totally faked out and Randy ran away with a sure TD. It was a thing of beauty that’s for sure!
  • Brady and Moss had a rare miscommunication on a long pass as they didn’t connect despite lousy coverage by Williams (who is not long for this team.)
  • Chris Dunlap (9) made the best of a poor throw by Cassel across the middle hauling it in on the tip of his fingers being covered by Gemara Williams (42)
  • Tory James (28) picked off Brady (Cassel?) at the post on a long bomb intended for Gaffney (10).
  • Welker did a nice job keeping in a sideline pass from Brady then crashed into his teammates.
  • Psuedo “Opening Pop” of camp goes to Moss taking out a ball boy going after an errant throw. (Mrs. B is still waiting to declare the official Opening Pop involving 2 actual players.)
  • It was interesting to watch Junior Seau in his red jersey standing behind the action on the field in his postition and reacting to the play as if he were playing it live.
  • During a two minute drill, Meriweather (31) made a diving play to knock the ball away from Welker.
  • James Sanders dropped a sure INT.
  • Harrison was working in the other field with Heath Evans (44) going over blocking techniques.
  • Defensive Line signed after practice as well as Moss, Vrabel, Bruschi , Maroney, and others. Tedy stayed out there for at least 45 minutes signing and even gave a late interview to the straggler reporters who were left. I got to take my Annual Training Camp Photo with him, chatted for a little bit, and gave him some of this years Bruschi Backer Schwag ( Hoodies and Hats) for his family. Jake and Al took some great pictures which will be posted later.

And now, I’m starving and Bella needs attention. I’ll be heading back for the evening session in a few hours.

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7/27/07 Evening Session

I’m home from the second session of Day 1 and I’m trying my best to type with a puppy on my lap. Things are a little tougher this year but I’ll make do. It’s almost 9:00 and I’ve yet to eat dinner so it’ll be tidbits only for tonight:

  • Guys were in shorts, (sweats, or man capris of choice.. hehe!) shoulder pads and helmets for this practice with Eric Alexander (52), Seau (55) and Maroney (39) in red.
  • Word is that Justice Hairston was cut and Donte Stallworth is now on PUP. Kareem Brown is in the doghouse until Monday.
  • Moss once again received the biggest ovation upon entering the field and throughout practice. (Even Brady doesn’t draw the crowd reaction as in the past but admittedly there weren’t many squealing teenage girls there.)
  • I forgot to mention this morning that they’ve continued the practice of playing music during the team stretch and if it’s the same as last year, the playlists are chosen by offseason workout awards winners.
  • Josh Miller was back punting tonight and booned a few but shanked some others and then showed public displays of frustration at his own performance.
  • Bam Childress was the main return guy tonight.
  • Miller did deliver the necessary short high punts during a drill with special teamers in which they needed to prevent a touchback. Willie Andrews (23) did very well with said drill but Gemara Williams (42) got chewed out twice by Sealy.
  • There was another “hula-hoop drill” tonight in which three guys ran around the hoop until a whistle blew and then they were unleashed to go after a player with a ball.
  • Adalius Thomas had the distinction of running the first lap tonight and when he started walking towards the end got the evil eye from a coach and stepped it back up.
  • Kenny Smith also took a lap.
  • Lonie amused the ball boy by snapping a ball and hitting the blue pad on the post 4 times in a row. (Perhaps said ball boy had some doubt in his ability, but not now!)
  • Kyle Brady is HUGE!
  • In the very first 7:7 series Ty Warren deflected a dump pass.
  • Chad Scott had been the starting cornerback opposite Ellis Hobbs with the first unit until going down tonight and needing to be carted off the field with what appeared to be a “sore leg”.
  • Cassel still struggled tonight IMO, and during full squad work would have surely been sacked more than once doing the happy feet thing.
  • Larry Anam (41) had some nice coverages tonight notably one on sideline bomb from Brady to Watson. He’s also sporting some excellent washboard abs. 😉
  • Brady to Moss is such a natural… ahhhh!
  • From what I can remember, Tory James (28) stood out on coverage tonight while CJ Jones (2) made a few grabs himself under double coverage. Willie Andrews also looked good in coverage tonight as well.
  • In a rematch between Tedy and Maroney in 1:1 drills (Remember Tedy Popping the Rook last year?!) Maroney got his revenge tonight blowing by Tedy who then slipped and fell drawing a “ewwww” from the crowd. He also appeared to jump offsides earlier during Special Teams stuff (according to Mike.)
  • At the end of practice most veterans ran mucho sprints while a selected group of vets worked with rookies and new guys in the other field with offense/defense. Some colorful language from coaching staff could be heard.
  • Offensive linemen signed at the end of practice and not many others. Brady had people that he met in the family area and Tedy had his family there this morning playing on the field. The Pats photographer got some nice shots of the Bruschi crew today.

Planeteers at Camp

My brain is mush right now and I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things but I’m in dire need of food and my pup needs attention. Once again, Flickr pictures and podcast to follow.

TC Opening Session 8:45-10:45 July 27, 2007

Erdo Ed, MrsB, JoePhoto and Mike after the first session.Just got home from the first training camp session of the 2007 season. I’m starting off with my usual disclaimers just so that we’re all on the same page. First off, I’m just a fan who is passionate about her team and attends camp each day. I’m not a member of the “media” and don’t have a press credential nor access to the any of their team generated paperwork. I sit on the hill and write what I observe and what I feel; I may not always get it right and never claim to be a football guru as I am still learning something every day.

Admittedly, I considered forgoing posting reports this year because there are so many other sources reporting (and posting) directly from camp that by the time I get home, most has already been said, but due to the overwhelming response from fellow fans to continue I decided to do so. Of course, I may not have anything new to add except my perspective but that’s the best I can do.

I haven’t read anybody else’s stuff at this point yet so I don’t know what’s already been covered but decided to instead to take this time to make my post so here we go… Let Mrs. B’s Training Camp Reports begin!

  • I attended the session with Big Al and my son Jake and headed out early to have plenty of time to settle in to my usual spot on the hill. The south entrance at P8 was not clearly marked as being the Training Camp entrance so we missed it and needed to go around to P1 and enter from the north. We parked in front of the West Suites where the Patriots Experience is usually set up. I didn’t see it anywhere so perhaps it hasn’t started yet.
  • The place was completely MOBBED, with the stands, lower hill and upper hill completely full. Naturally, I sat by the media tent on the grass at the top of the hill while Al made his way down to the ropes to take pictures.
  • Guys were in full pads with Maroney and Seau wearing red no contact jerseys. (Naturally, the QBs were in red as well which is the norm.)
  • Everyone was sporting a #91 decal on their helmets in memory of Marquise Hill. (Big Al’s tip.)
  • Tedy got the first noticeable entrance ovation followed by the biggest one of the day which was for Randy Moss.
  • There was no sign of Dante Stallworth, Kareem Brown, nor any of the Puppies.
  • Josh Miller was fully suited up but didn’t make a single punt. Tom Malone(#1) was horrible so Danny Baugher (#5) was the best out there today.
  • Health Evans got the first “Belichick Tutorial” for his blocking techniques.
  • I saw a new drill today in which there was a large ring (like a 10ft hoola-hoop) placed on the ground and a towel was dropped just inside the rim. The DBs ran around the curve and had to drop their hand to scoop it up on the way by.
  • Moss makes everything look soooo easy! I was impressed with his attitude out there as well. He dropped a pass from Brady during drills and was clearly pissed at himself. Throughout the day, he would follow through after catching his passes and didn’t dog it. He made some great catches over the middle from Brady, and blew by Willie Andrews for an impressive sure TD at one point. Then, after practice he went over and signed although it wasn’t his units turn. Good start :-)
  • Brady went to Welker quite a bit today and it’s nice to see jersey #83 represented so well.
  • Cassell was WAY off today, overthrowing his intended targets more often than not.
  • Tedy broke up a couple of passes but I couldn’t see the intended TE down the other end of the field on one and the other was intended for Garrett Mills (#45)
  • Ellis Hobbs left the field at one point but did return before the end of practice.
  • Kyle Brady took down Justin Rogers on a drill but I’m still awaiting the “Opening Pop” of camp. (C’mon Tedy and/or Rodney!)
  • Gostkowski was kicking field goals in the opposite endzone at the end of practice.
  • Running Backs signed today and Vrabel, Moss, and Brady were the extras that I could see.
  • Overall it was a pretty low-key camp session, mobbed with fans and media. I’m learning the roster and hope to have it down pat early this year. :-)

I’ll be heading back to the evening session, but for now I have a puppy that needs attention. Also, from what I got for info, the question of camp being “closed” in the rain is the same policy as in the past. While there is no public access to view camp in person, they won’t turn you away if you show up and will allow you to still watch inside of Gillette Stadium. Not sure if it’s completely official but I did get that from someone who works there.

Randy Moss coming over to sign autographs.

Pictures uploaded to Flickr and Podcast to follow.

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Welcome Kickoff!

Welcome to the new home of Mrs. B’s Annual Training Camp reports. I’ll still be attending camp each day and plan on posting reports here as well as podcasting each day as well. I’ve included links to the archives in case you’re bored and/or want to take a walk down memory lane to get pumped for Friday!

Go Pats!!!

(Special thanks to Dirty Water for the Eye Candy as well!)

2006 Training Camp Reports

2005 Training Camp Archive

2005 Training Camp Reports