Patriots Training Camp Report: Thoughts on Ridley, Mallett and More

Ethan NemkovichContributor IIAugust 9, 2011

It was a gloomy overcast day once again, but that did not deter the Patriot faithful from delivering a solid attendance at today's session.  

With only two days left until Thursday's preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, here are a few observations from today's practice.

Stevan Ridley is fast.  I can't wait to see how he does come game time on Thursday.

Unfortunately, he has a lot of work that needs to be done in the pass protection department. One good juke move and my grandmother could get past him to plant a kiss on Tom Brady's cheek.

The whole team went out past the far field where rookies were sprayed with a hose slip and slide style by Tom Brady.

Early on in passing drills, Ryan Mallett was off target.  You can see his great potential, and he has a cannon for an arm, but that often works against him overthrowing shorter precision routes.

During the first set of down and distance drills the offense unveiled a little trickeration with a direct snap to Danny Woodhead on third-and-short.

During the two-minute drills Aaron Hernandez made a nice catch over the middle.  He has had a solid training camp and he appears to have gotten over the inconsistency catching the ball he had late last season.  

Speaking of tight ends, Rob Gronkowski was not active at practice today. That meant a lot of reps for rookies Lee Smith and Will Yeatman. 

Rookie free agent Kicker Chris Koepplin had a solid day giving Stephen Gostkowski a little rest. Koepplin is a UMass product, so he has kicked at Gillette before at last year's Colonial Clash. Good thing to have on your resume.  

At one point during the string of field-goal attempts to end practice, Belichick requested a water bottle and doused the ball pre-snap resulting in a seriously botched snap.

It's going to be very exciting to see how the new additions do on Thursday, and hopefully some of these players on the second and third units can step up their games and make solid cases for a spot on the team.