You know how they say that every year changes are made to a team and that this years team will be a different team- well this years Patriots team IS different, at least so far.
Besides the 12 players on the Physically unable to perform list, which includes Vrabel, Harrison, Welker, and Ellis Hobbs to name just a few, Ben Watson also did not practice, and then there is the departed, at least from the Patriots.
Everybody’s (especially the media) best friend-Rosevelt Colvin, Asante Samuel, Junior Seau (was he really that pivotal) and Dante Stallworth-all gone. Add in Willie Andrews (though the Patriots will certainly not address that one) and you have at least 17 players not on the field who were there last year so todays practice did look different, especially with Tom Brady not throwing the ball.
Brady admitted today that he will limit his throws during training camp to one practice a day (at the most). He is fed up with getting a tired arm toward the end of camp. Really, it’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. (though I wonder if he’d like to go against past years routine and actually play that final pre-season game, against the Giants???)
Very nice to see fullback Sammy Morris back, especially after not having him against the pass rushing Giants- his absence really hurt!
The biggest questions surrounding this camp is can the rookies come in and make much needed contributions, especially in the defensive backfield (it may take all season to learn how to play without Asante Samuel). And how will Randy Moss and the offense adjust to the entirely new defenses they will face this year? You can bet that Moss is not going to be able to run wild like he did last season…what were opponents thinking?
Camp opening in the bubble is just not the same (it is certainly more humid). But with Tom Brady guiding the ship, the Patriots will make the playoffs and are guaranteed to be a Super Bowl contender.