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News and Notes From New England Patriots Training Camp 7/28 Edition

With Day 3 of New England Patriots training camp coming to an end, it’s now time to recap the biggest news and notes from Saturday’s practice.

The chemistry between Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd is a work in progressThere’s no surprise here—just take a look at Chad Johnson for a prime example. By throwing together a talented wide receiver and a talented quarterback doesn’t always mean they’re going to be a productive duo. This applies with Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd. Thus far through camp, Lloyd has admitted that developing a chemistry with Brady is going to take time:

It just takes time. We’ll continue to talk and work together, and see what one another is expecting out of the route-running, and then eventually just start clicking.

Most of the time that kind of stuff happens in the game and everybody’s just on the same level. But you can talk, you can discuss, and practice a lot of stuff, but you really figure things out in a game-time situation.

Tom Brady and Brandon Lloyd have already mastered the playbook: Well obviously Tom Brady has mastered New England’s playbook, even though he’s seeing a change in offensive coordinators from Bill O’Brien to Josh McDaniels—but McDaniels was the team’s offensive coordinator in the record-setting 16-0 regular season back in 2007. As for Lloyd, he has already played in McDaniels’ system while with the Denver Broncos and the St. Louis Rams and saw his most productive seasons. During Lloyd’s 29 games in the system, he has recorded 136 receptions for 2,248 yards while scoring 16 touchdowns. Now it’s just a matter of getting Brady and Lloyd on the same page.

Rob Gronkowski left practice with an injury but returnedDefinitely good news that Rob Gronkowski brief break from practice today was nothing major, as he was just smacked in the face. Gronk returned to practice with a bandage under his chin and participated in the remaining workout.

Rookie defensive end Justin Francis was carted off: This is definitely not the way that rookie defensive end Justin Francis wanted to start his NFL career. Francis was carted off the field with an apparent knee injury. The Rutgers product is figured to be a long-shot to make New England’s final 53-man roster, so ultimately this likely kills any chance of Francis making the final cut.

Veteran offensive lineman Brian Waters absent yet againStill no sign of Brian Waters and there have been no reports of the team fining Waters for his lack of attendance at training camp.

What kind of defense will New England run in 2012?  Ultimately, I don’t have an answer for you—but I will hint that Bill Belichick and company will give multiple looks in 2012. With that being said, New England’s director of player personnel Nick Caserio reiterated that the Patriots are a multiple defensive team:

”I’d say we’ve been a multiple team for a long time. For as long as I’ve been with the Patriots, we’ve been a multiple defensive team. It’s really specific to the opponent we’re playing. Some weeks, you might have more of an emphasis on one thing, another week, you might have more of an emphasis on another. So, I think the most important thing you’re trying to do in training camp is put your foundation in place, a lot of the principles, and the communication and a lot of those types of things and gradually build. To this point, we’ve only really played some basic coverages.”

Rookie Jake Bequette is practicing multiple positionsTo continue the thought of New England being a multiple defensive team in 2012, that means rookie defensive end Jake Bequette will likely see multiple positions. The team’s third-round selection out of Arkansas played his collegiate years as a defensive end but he’s more than physically capable of playing an outside linebacker in a 3-4 front as well as a defensive end in a 4-3 front, if the Patriots choose to do so.

And that’s a wrap for the news and notes from New England’s third day of training camp. Tomorrow I’ll have even more content to offer, as I’ll be in attendance for the workout Sunday afternoon!

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