If the Patriots wanted to wipe the slate clean and avoid last year, today certainly provided a good start. At least in that, unlike last year, there were no huge crowds to greet them for the start of training camp… A stormy night soaked the practice fields, forcing the team inside the bubble for the first of many hot workouts.
It was so humid inside the bubble that many television news cameras fogged up and shut down (thankfully ours returned right as the workouts began). As usual, we are only allowed to see stretching and drills, drills which Tom Brady really did not take part in. As he did last year, it looks like he is avoiding throwing the ball to save his arm for the regular season.
Randy Moss did take part in the action, and looked to be in great shape. Jabar Gaffney appeared to be the #2 option, with Wes Welker still out recovering from surgery.
Ben Watson was not on the field today, but he is not on the PUP list. As Coach Belichick just said in his press conference, “he wasn’t on the field today, but he’s not on the PUP list. What does that make him, normal?” Yes, Coach is making with the funny early this year.
Stephen Gostkowski almost killed us as practice wound down. There are no protective nets in the bubble to catch kicks as they fly through the uprights, and one kick sailed over a camera stand, off the soft wall, grazing Mike Dowling before ricocheting off a garbage can. Luckily, no one on the SportsCenter 5 team was injured.
Afterwards, Tedy Bruschi was his usual gracious self, reflecting on 13 years of training camp and how he loves not having to carry his pads off the field anymore. Of course, that job falls to the rookies, and will include 1st round pick Jarod Mayo, who can expect to be carrying Tedy’s pads after the afternoon session (which Mayo is expected to attend).
Highlight of the interview session (outside of everyone asking “have you watched the Super Bowl as a team?”) has to be Laurence Maroney. As the cameras surrounded him, Kool Aid remarked that he must be a big time vet with all of the “numbers” (a.k.a. stations) surrounding him. He then greeting every question with something similar to the greeting we received: “Who you with? 5? Channel 5? In HD? Oh yeah!”
Check back later for comments from Coach Belichick and Tom Brady.