FOXBORO -- Day 3 of Patriots training camp practice was an interesting one. They didn't quite go the full two hours we're accustomed to seeing. Was that based on the heat? The fact that players performed well enough (in the heat, in pads) to call it early? We'll find out.
Here's what we saw before the team went over to their conditioning hills (aka Mount Belichick) to end the workout . . .
WHAT THEY WORE
Full pads. But not everyone was fully suited up. David Andrews was on the field but in shells and didn't participate in drills. Tom Brady was back in action, and the three quarterbacks wore red, as did Patrick Chung. Danny Etling continues to work out with receivers in White.
Julian Edelman, Nate Ebner, Ken Webster, Demaryius Thomas, Cole Croston and Yodny Cajuste continue to miss time. Ditto for Michael Bennett. Byron Cowart -- who left yesterday's practice early -- was not spotted.
Isaiah Wynn, Deatrich Wise and Sony Michel -- who was removed from PUP on Saturday -- all were limited participants.
VIPs IN ATTENDANCE
Randy Moss (ESPN), Rob Ninkovich (ESPN), Willie McGinest (NFL Network) and Rodney Harrison (NBC, this year's Patriots Hall of Fame inductee) were present for the session. Robert Kraft arrived late as well.
WHAT THEY DID
After warming up, we saw a fair amount of half-line running periods with Joe Thuney at left tackle, Ted Karras at left guard, James Ferentz at center, Shaq Mason at right guard and Marcus Cannon at right tackle. (Later in the session we saw Ferentz and Karras swap spots.)
During special teams periods, Gunner Olszewski, Maurice Harris, Patrick Chung and Braxton Berrios were punt returners.
Michel looked solid as he ran routes with Brian Hoyer while the majority of the team focused on the kicking game. He cut well off his leg but went to a lower field for conditioning when the team went into 11-on-11 work. Damien Harris was the beneficiary of a significant number of touches during team work.
During the same special-teams period, Tom Brady spent his time throwing to rookie receivers Jakobi Meyers and N'Keal Harry. Meyers continues to catch our eye on a daily basis with either a good play or a sign that the coaching staff appreciates what he's doing.
Brady was 0-for-4 in 11-on-11 passing, but today was more about the run game. Stephon Gilmore almost picked one. Another deep pass to Phillip Dorsett -- which was accurate -- was broken up by a nice play from Jason McCourty and JC Jackson.
Hoyer was 2-for-2 in the 11-on-11s, hitting a nice throw into the end zone to Harry. Stidham was 2-for-2, hitting Maurice Harris on a low throw that Harris told me after the session was snatched before it hit the ground.
Other 11-on-11 notes: Ted Karras made a nice block on Danny Shelton to clear space for Damien Harris; Harris looks like a stout runner with a nice wide base as he approaches the line of scrimmage; Derek Rivers made a nice play in the run game as an outside linebacker, stuffing Harris after defeating a Stephen Anderson block; Trent Harris got good penetration on what looked like a run blitz during one rep; ditto for Christian Sam.
In the 11-on-11 the Patriots seemed to be in a base 3-4 alignment with Mike Pennel, Lawrence Guy and Adam Butler up front. Linebackers Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Ja'Whaun Bentley and Kyle Van Noy were also out there early. Interesting to note and worth keeping an eye on that front-seven alignment as camp progresses.
Tight end Lance Kendricks had to have his wrist taped mid-session, but he didn't leave the field.
OFFENSIVE VS. DEFENSIVE LINE 1-on-1s
Thuney beat Calhoun
Ferentz stoned Butler
Pennel gets around Karras
Mason stuffs Guy
Rivers quick around St. Louis
Davis gets around Froholdt
Lang bulled by Trent Harris
Rivers through St. Louis easily
Ferentz stones Thurman
Mason beat Butler
Cannon and Van Noy draw
Thuney beats Davis
Kamalu beat Beck to the inside
Thurman took care of Gauthier
Kamalu does a lap for jumping the gun after the drill. He had to do another lap at the end of practice -- after running the hills. Tough way to end the day.
Brady went 2-for-4 here, while Hoyer went 2-for-2 and Stidham went 1-for-2. Again, today was about the running game and line play. Not many reps for the passers.
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