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Training camp stock report: Tommy Kelly could be missing piece for Patriots pass rush

Posted by Erik Frenz  August 14, 2013 09:20 PM

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Well, believe it or not, things happened besides Tom Brady holding his knee in pain.

Players played football, and were in full pads for the second session of joint practices between the Patriots and the Buccaneers.

Which were the most noteworthy performances? Let's take a look in today's stock report.

Stock up:

Steve Gregory, Marquice Cole, Logan Ryan and Aqib Talib: Tuesday was a tough day for the Patriots secondary, but the unit showed the requisite short-term memory and bounced back Wednesday. Safety Steve Gregory nearly had an interception in 11-on-11 drills, and broke up a pass intended for Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson. That second part is noteworthy because no one has been able to stop Jackson in practice. Aqib Talib and Logan Ryan each had a pick-six off Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, and Marquice Cole had another pick in the end zone.

Jamie Collins: Continued to get reps with the first-team nickel defense next to Jerod Mayo, even with Brandon Spikes back on the field today.

Tommy Kelly: Had a sack of Freeman in 11-on-11 work for a second consecutive day. The Patriots aren't used to getting a consistent pass-rush from the defensive tackle spot, so Kelly's emergence has been key. They are razor thin at defensive tackle right now, but with a healthy Kelly and Wilfork anchoring things in the middle, they're in great shape.

Stock down:

Zach Sudfeld: The tight end has been solid throughout camp, but today was not his best day. He dropped a pair of catchable passes, one in 7-on-7s and another in 11-on-11s.

Jermaine Cunningham: The former second-round pick hasn't seen the field recently, and Marcus Benard continues to emerge in Cunningham's old role as the defensive end that kicks inside on passing downs and/or in nickel packages.

Zoltan Mesko and Ryan Allen: Today was not a great day to be a punter. Mesko fumbled the snap on one of his punts, and Allen had one of his punts blocked. It should be noted that Mesko recovered very nicely, booming a few kicks after that reminded us that he's been one of the better punters in the league in recent years. This remains a competition to watch in the coming weeks.

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About the author

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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