NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
Tonight I got the unique opportunity to cover the Patriots in stadium training camp from inside the press box. I got a last minute call and hit a block of traffic, but I still found some valuable nuggets to share.
Here are some notes from the public practice:
-Julian Edelman continues to impress me with his work at WR. He’s making quick cuts in his routes and looks faster out there.
-Dont’a Hightower looks better in man coverage than I expected. He was asked to cover WRs out of the slot and was staying with his man in tight coverage. He’s a big man, but he’s got some deceptive wheels.
-Bobby Carpenter was getting work with the second team today, but still looks like the best linebacker in coverage on the team. He could be a valuable asset on third downs. He made a nice pick on Ryan Mallett in the end zone.
-Kyle Arrington has been the corner in the star position so far in camp and has looked solid. He’s got a lot of competition there, but as I’ve said before, competition breeds success. Tonight he picked off Brian Hoyer while covering Jabar Gaffney.
-One of the drills tonight had linebackers covering out of the slot, Dane Fletcher was having a tough time against Jabar Gaffney and some of the other WRs.
-Two of the Pats defensive rookies made some nice plays with Tavon Wilson deflecting a Ryan Mallett pass and Jake Bequette showing some nice change of direction skills.
-During one on one drills, Nate Solder got the best of Chandler Jones really driving him out of the play.
-Jermaine Cunningham continues to show off a second gear out there that I haven’t seen in the past. He’s playing like he’s got about ten guys chasing after him, which he kind of does.
-Justin Francis was participating with the second team today playing 5-technique. He looks like he’s added a decent chunk of weight since he was playing at Rutgers and could be a wildcard to make the team.
-Alex Silvestro has changed his number to 49, which means his transition to tight end is complete.
-During goalline drills, Donte Stallworth beat Devin McCourty for a TD.
-Nink was held out at the end of practice, which inserted Jones and Cunningham into the starting spots on defense.
-Laron Landry and Yeremiah Bell may think they can cover Aaron Hernandez, but I have serious doubts. He looks awesome out there.
-And finally, what you really want to hear about, it looks like Ross Ventrone has transitioned to cornerback. He even made a nice play in coverage against Stallworth.