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The Boston Globe

Sports

Patriots hope to assess linemen

FOXBOROUGH – In the third day of Patriots training camp, the team will be in full pads for contact drills. This will allow the team to see how players have developed from the offseason program, coach Bill Belichick said.

But what’s more, it will help to assess the team’s linemen.

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“Certainly it will help us in our evaluations in some of the bigger linemen, people like that,” Belichick said. “People who play and work in those positions. We’ll see how some of our guys, their work in the offseason, whether they’ve gained strength and explosion and power and all that, and how that all transfers onto the football field in a functional manner.

“We’re evaluating our younger players to see what their capacity is for that.”

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Patriots quarterbacks were wearing small cameras on the side of their helmets in practice Saturday. Belichick said the Patriots have been utilizing the cameras for about a week, in what is apparently a test run.

“It’s something we haven’t done before,” he said. “So we’ll take a look at that and see how effective it is or what we’ll get out of that. I’m not sure how effective that will or won’t be. But we’re trying something a little bit new so we’ll see how it goes.

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“Anything that we can do to help coach and instruct our players, that’s part of our job.”

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The wide receiver competition is heating up and it appears Kamar Aiken is right in the thick of it. The second-year player was mostly on the practice squad last season.

“I think he’s in a good competition with a lot of other players at his position,” Belichick said. “He had some experience last year from the practice squad and at the end of the season.

“It’s his first training camp with the team, we’ll see how it all goes. He’s got a little bit of edge experience-wise but I don’t think that’s overly significant.”

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Defensive tackle Armond Armstead, who is expected to compete with Tommy Kelly for a starting position in the team’s base 4-3 defense, has missed the first three practices while being designated on the list for non-football illness. Belichick wouldn’t say whether or not it was a long-term issue, but did say it was a different situation than Armstead’s notable health history. The former Southern California and CFL lineman had a heart attack in college.

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