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Training camp stock report: Dan Connolly falling behind in right guard battle

Posted by Erik Frenz  July 29, 2013 09:57 PM

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FOXBOROUG, Mass. — The Patriots held practice on Monday night under the lights inside Gillette Stadium, in front of season ticket holders and Foxborough, Ma. residents. The practice was the team's second in a row in full pads.

With four practices in the books, let's take a look at which players are trending up and which players could use a good practice or two to get back on the right track.

Stock up

Jamie Collins: Continues his strong performances moving all around the defense, bowling through tackle Will Svitek's block in run drills. He has primarily dropped into coverage but has also been spotted rushing the passer, usually performing either role from the strong side of the formation. He's picking up the defense quickly, and it's caught the attention of his coaching staff.

"It’s definitely difficult in this program because we do so much," linebacker coach Pepper Johnson said on Monday. "But, like I said, it probably would be a lot harder for a lot of other guys, but for Jamie I don’t think it’s as hard. I’m not saying it’s not difficult for him. But it’s not as hard because he comes in with a good football frame of mind. It’s not just the terminology like with a lot of veterans. There are some techniques and stuff that we use that he never did before, never heard of. But his enjoyment for the game, his heart for the game, his passion for the game really helps."

Running back Shane Vereen shook Collins from his shoes in an open-field tackling drill, but apart from that, it was a solid day for Collins, as has been the case throughout training camp.

Marcus Cannon: Listed Cannon in Sunday's stock report, but his strong showing continued on Monday night. He was consistently sealing off the defensive tackle in both pass protection and in the running game, and went 1-1-0 in the one-on-one pass-rush drills.

Michael Buchanan: Logged one pressure and one non-contact sack of Ryan Mallett in 11-on-11 drills. Also batted a pass at the line of scrimmage.

Stock down

Dan Connolly: Last year's starting right guard has been moved out of his spot with the first-team offensive line in favor of Marcus Cannon. He was not spotted in team drills on the first two days of practice, and didn't even take a single rep in one-on-one drills on Monday night. His cap hit of over $3.3 million in 2013 is fairly steep, and it doesn't get any better in 2014, with a cap number of over $4 million. He had surgery on his shoulder in February, but it was anticipated he'd be ready for the start of training camp. Cannon is playing well, so at this point, any time Connolly misses isn't good.

Kenbrell Thompkins: Had a strong start to camp, but dropped two passes in Monday's practice, muffed a punt in special teams drills, and ran a sloppy route that resulted in an interception of a Tom Brady pass by Aqib Talib in 11-on-11 drills.

The quarterbacks: In tonight's 11-on-11 drills, Tom Brady went 3-for-9 with an interception, Ryan Mallett went 1-for-7 with an interception and Tim Tebow went 0-for-1. There were a few drops in there, including the two by Thompkins and one by Aaron Dobson, but overall, the quarterbacks struggled on Monday night.

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Erik Frenz delivers analysis of the biggest news with the Patriots, including insight into the AFC East and New England's biggest rivals from a Patriots perspective. Erik is an interactive writer who engages his audience in his posts’ comments sections and on Twitter. Readers are encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. More »


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