I'm a NE native and patriots fan, so I've been trying to monitor Joe Vellano's longshot bid to make the team as a UDFA despite the fact that the Patriots are incredibly tight-lipped and there's never any news about him. Well, we shouldn't be surprised that Joe seems to have exceeded expectations and overachieved in camp. Wilfork sat last night and Vellano started and played heavy. Here's one beat writer's postgame assessment:
"With Vince Wilfork down, UDFA Joe Vellano got the start and played the majority of snaps at defensive tackle. The fact that Vellano was the DT to start and not Cory Grissom or Marcus Forston, bodes well for his chances to make the roster. Vellano didn’t make a huge impact, but fought off double teams, held his ground and didn’t get pushed around. While we haven’t seen it utilized much yet, his best asset is his ability to slant and shoot gaps. He’s also got a great motor, which will help him make the team."
So I'm cautiously really optimistic that we're looking at worst-case of practice squad and best-case of roster spot. Joe's a great, great Terp no matter what happens. When camp started, the Boston media basically viewed him as an extra body with zero chance, so it's nice to see him getting some love now. Hope it lasts.