FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Unlike last year, when they alternated single sessions with two-a-days, the Patriots are opening camp this year with two practices a day for seven straight days.
Coach Bill Belichick says it will help build the stamina of his players. Kevin Faulk‘s Belichickian response to it? That’s just coach being coach.
The fans were aplenty at the early session — 4,024 strong by the official count. They got what they came to see: Tom Brady throwing the football.
Brady wore a visible brace on his surgically repaired left knee, but he didn’t look hampered at all in his movements.
A classic “two sides of training camp” moment from the morning session came when Brady began throwing on the field nearest the stands. Every single completed pass elicited a golf clap from the crowd. Meanwhile, Belichick was on the far field ripping into one of his linebackers.
With about half an hour left in the first practice, a rain storm descended on the practice field in the middle of the 11-on-11 drills. The rain was incredibly heavy at times, but the team kept practicing. Newly acquired WR Greg Lewis said he was impressed by Brady’s focus during the storm and how the quarterback kept the practice moving and on-point in what Lewis described as a monsoon.
These aren’t fair-weather fans in New England — most of the crowd stayed put in the torrential rain. Only when lightning struck close by did practice end and the fans vacate the metal bleachers.
The quote of the day came from Faulk (Brady and possibly Randy Moss will speak Friday). When asked if Brady seemed changed at all after the year off and being married, Faulk laughed and said: “I got married a couple years ago. Nobody asked if I changed.”
– Kara Henderson