FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – At this time last year, Joe Cardona was spending his afternoons on the grass practice fields overlooking the Severn River, hanging out with about a dozen other specialists on the Navy football team.
Cardona was one of about four long snappers who spent most of practice working on a side field with punters and kickers.
Last week, Cardona was practicing on the game field at Gillette Stadium in front of 20,000 fans. It was the first in-stadium practice of training camp for the New England Patriots and was open to all season ticket holders along with Foxborough residents.
Afterward, Cardona spent about 25 minutes signing autographs for rabid fans who...