Patriots training camp notes: Day 1


Patriots training camp notes: Day 1

By Tom E. Curran, Mary Paoletti and Phil Perry

FOXBORO -- What went on at Day 1 of Patriots training camp? Go ahead and take a look-see.

Today was the first time we saw the actual handiwork of Nike on practice jerseys. Remember, the jerseys were numberless for minicamp and OTAs. The result. The digits were bigger than the ones Reebok had. Repeat. Bigger.

Safety James Ihedigbo, who had offseason shoulder surgery before re-signing recently, wore a red jersey during practice. That didn't stop him from initiating a collision with running back Stevan Ridley along the sidelines. Wide receiverreturn man Matt Slater also was in red. He too hit the deck after coming down with a pass between rookies Alfonzo Dennard and Tavon Wilson.

The first offensive line was a patchwork group with LT Nate Solder, LG Ryan Wendell, C Dan Koppen, RG Dan Connolly and RT Marcus Cannon.

That Tom Brady guy looked okay. He went 23 for 25 with a coverage sack and two incompletes. One was intended for Brandon Lloyd, who got jammed out of bounds. The other got broken up by Arrington when the pocket collapsed around Brady. Jerod Mayo got blown up on the play.

Fans were thrilled to see Brady connect with Lloyd, who wears 85, long down the sideline. It was like an example of all the receptions Chad Johnson should have had last season, but didn't.

Little bit of a slow Day 1 to camp for Ryan Mallett. He didn't take many opportunities to show off the big arm for which he's known, checking down on most of his throws. Combined in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, he went 9 for 14. Some of his passes were batted away, others dropped. He did complete one bomb to Julian Edelman down the middle of the field that satisfied the masses.

Brian Hoyer went 8 for 9 in his reps. He had a strip-sack fumble, a scramble and the lone incompletion mixed in there.
Linebacker Bobby Carpenter got plenty of time with the sub-defense.

Robert Kraft made an appearance at practice. The owner's first order of business was an exchange of back slaps with Wes Welker as the receiver passed by after a drill.

Stevan Ridley seemed to get more reps with the presumed 1's than Shane Vereen. The Patriots seemed to make an effort to split the second-team reps between Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.

Brandon Lloyd turned Devin McCourty inside out with a double move. Heading down the right numbers, Lloyd began to work inside, causing McCourty to turn his hips in that direction. Lloyd then crossed over to the outside and ended up with about 5 yards of separation.

Jabar Gaffney had the first drop of the day early on, which prompted the first big groan of the day from the fans in attendence. But he bounced back quickly. He and Brady connected on two long passes. On one of those Gaffney got behind Josh Barrett and Alfonzo Dennard for a touchdown.

When the teams broke down into positional drills, Aaron Hernandez went with the wide receivers for some of them.

Sterling Moore missed out on two coulda-been picks while receiveer Britt Davis had a pair of drops on catchable throws.

First team cornerbacks: Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington. Ras-I Dowling came in every now and again, bumping Arrington into the nickel spot.

No big surprise with first team safeties: Steve Gregory and Pat Chung.

Trevor Scott and Rob Ninkovich were first team ends.

How about them rookies? Both Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones are watching, learning, subbing in. Hightower was primarily in the middle, but like vet Jerod Mayo, saw action at each of the three linebacker positions. Fellow freshman Chandler Jones came in at Scott's spot.

Hightower is big boy. Of course he is. He's listed at 6-foot-4, 270 pounds. But you don't get a sense of just how big he is until you see him near pretty big guys like Jerod Mayo (6-1, 250) or Dane Fletcher (6-2, 245) and he stands out as the largest.

For the special teams news you've all been waiting for Your first return team was Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen (Shane Vereen!). Yes, the back is alive and active. Julian Edelman and Matt Slater were next up. Stevan Ridley and Arrington were third.

Defensive lineman Justin Francis left the field early. He walked off -- not appearing to have -- with a trainer around 3:45 PM.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: 'Incomprehensible' to expect same greatness from Patriots?

0:43 - Tom Curran, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley talk about Bill Belichick saying it’s “incomprehensible” that people expect the Patriots to be on the same level as last year at this point in the season.

11:55 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and Michael Holley discuss J.R. Smith’s comments about the Celtics not being a threat to the Cavaliers.

15:38 - Abby Chin, Chris Mannix, and A. Sherrod Blakely join BST from Cleveland to talk about Marcus Smart and the Celtics failing to agree to a contract extension, making him a restricted free agent in July. They also preview Tuesday’s Celtics-Cavaliers season opener.

19:25 - Reports say Alex Cora is the frontrunner for the Red Sox managerial position, but Brad Ausmus interviewed for the position on Monday. Who is the right man for the job? Tom Giles and Michael Holley discuss.

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win


MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Titans end 11-game skid to Colts with 36-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Marcus Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left , and the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to snap an 11-game skid tied for the NFL's longest active losing streak against one team.

Mariota didn't move around much on a cool night after missing a game with a strained left hamstring, but still managed to throw for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) also snapped a two-game skid with the win.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left. Coach Chuck Pagano lost his challenge.

Derrick Henry then clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.