In The Red Zone

The Patriots held practice session #19 of the preseason in shorts and shells in front of the general public at Foxboro earlier today.

Among the players missing the session were LB/DE Jermaine Cunningham, DT Albert Haynesworth, LB Brandon Spikes, DE Mike Wright and WR Taylor Price. Several other players watched practice but did not participate as they are rehabbing various injuries among those players were RB Kevin Faulk, CB Ras-I Dowling, DE Shaun Ellis and S James Sanders.

Rookie RB Stevan Ridley returned to practice today after suffering a leg injury on Monday.  T Matt Light continues to be held out of the 11-on-11 team drills making it unlikely that he will play Thursday night against Tampa Bay.

The offense continues to go through a rough patch as QB Brian Hoyer got picked a couple times, once each by CB Leigh Bodden and S Brandon Meriweather.  S Patrick Chung also grabbed himself a pair of INT’s in the drills on QB Tom Brady.  Rookie QB Ryan Mallett continues to show off his powerful arm in camp as he connected on long passes to WR Matthew Slater and another to rookie WR Jeremy Ross, both came on coverage by CB Devin McCourty.

Rookie TE Will Yeatman, an undrafted free agent, took the third team tight end reps today over rookie draft pick TE Lee Smith who seems to be falling back a bit.  It looks like Smith now may have some competition for the third tight end spot, should there be a roster opening for it come September.

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Meriweather did get a bunch of 1st team reps today but when it came to working on prep work for Tampa Bay it was actually Sergio Brown who was paired with Chung at the safeties.

LB Jerod Mayo says he is comfortable playing anywhere and today at practice he played both inside and outside.  Since he has been in New England he has been an inside linebacker but at Tennessee Mayo played outside and he’s pretty good going sideline to sideline.

At the end of the session WR’s Wes Welker and Chad Ochocinco both attempted 34-yard field goals and both missed drawing groans and moans from their teammates.  Both, by the way, have appeared as a kicker in a NFL game in their careers.

Ochocinco once again wore his yellow shoes in practice, while P Zoltan Mesko wore an orange shoe on his kicking foot.

Head Coach Bill Belichick thinks the team has improved and that they have a good attitude.  “We’ve pushed them pretty hard in the practices and drills…we’ve had a lot of guys fighting through bumps and bruises staying out there on the field.”

Former Patriots DL Ty Warren who recently signed with the Denver Broncos tore a triceps muscle yesterday in practice.  The Broncos have not decided whether to place Warren on the IR.

The Patriots worked out WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh and S Darren Sharper yesterday. Apparently according to a report, S Renaldo Hill was not worked out.  There has been no contract offer made to either player.

The NFL Supplemental Draft is on Wednesday and there are five players eligible for the draft and as of right now former Ohio State QB Terrell Prior is not one of them.  He is meeting with the NFL today in an effort to be eligible for the Wednesday draft.

Any team that selects a player in the Supplemental Draft losses that corresponding pick in the NFL Draft next April.  So for an example, Oakland selects a player in the 4th round they would then forfeit their 2012 4th round pick in the regular draft.

The Patriots are $9.2 million under the salary cap and that is not including the $3 million veteran exception that they have to ask for.  They are currently 16th in being under the cap in the league.  Clubs must spend 89% of the $120.375 million cap for the 2011 season or money goes back to the NFLPA at the end of the season.

The Patriots announced their practice schedule


Walkthrough will be held from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

The Patriots Experience will be open from Noon to 3 p.m.

For all the latest training camp information including updated practice times go to or call 508.549.0041.

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