Postcard from camp, Day 9: Edelman in pads, off PUP list
Postcard from camp, Day 9: Edelman in pads, off PUP list
FOXBORO -- The Patriots took the field for their ninth training camp practice on Sunday, and once again offensive and defensive players were split wearing white and blue practice jerseys. That meant more scrimmaging.
Here's what we saw...
* Julian Edelman made his return to practice on Sunday, wearing full pads and no red non-contact jersey. He left the field before the scrimmage. He has been removed from the physically unable to perform list. Fellow receiver Danny Amendola, who has worked out with Edelman during camp practices, was not spotted.
* Tight end Clay Harbor, who spent the early portion of camp on the PUP list, has also been removed. He was in full pads and participating. Like Edelman, he left before the scrimmage. Nate Washington also went to the lower field when the scrimmage began.
* Running back Donald Brown returned to the field but did not participate fully. Tre' Jackson was also spotted in pads, but made his way to a lower field to do some conditioning early. Bryan Stork did not participate in practice, but he was spotted in pads and a helmet doing some conditioning. Receiver Keshawn Martin and running back DJ Foster were present but did not finish the session. Linebacker Jonathan Freeny was on the field, but spent the majority of the practice doing some conditioning.
* Guard Jonathan Cooper was not present for practice. Players on the PUP list -- Amendola, Sebastian Vollmer, Dion Lewis -- were not spotted.
* Team Brady and Team Garoppolo were mixed differently than they were on Friday. Team Garoppolo was essentially the first-team offense. The offensive line consisted of Nate Solder, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Ted Karras and Marcus Cannon. Shaq Mason also saw time at right guard for Team Garoppolo. Karras saw some time at right tackle. Receivers Aaron Dobson, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell were on Team Garoppolo, as were tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett.
* The Team Brady offensive line was made up of LaAdrian Waddle, Chris Barker, Josh Kline, Jon Halapio and Cameron Fleming. Receivers Chris Harper, DeAndre Carter and Devin Lucien were his primary targets.
* Brady went 14-for-25 with a touchdown to Carter, a two-point conversion to Derby and an interception. Garoppolo went 15-for-24 with a touchdown to Bennett.
* Though Edelman did not participate in the scrimmage, he stood on the sidelines as a spectator and later in the afternoon worked with Brady by running some routes with no defense.
* Hogan was still wearing a red non-contact jersey, but he and Malcolm Butler (Team Brady) tangled a few times. On Garoppolo's first attempt to Hogan, the receiver was accidentally tripped by Butler. Later, Butler shoved Hogan out of bounds immediately after Hogan made a leaping grab. Hogan continued to participate and appeared no worse for the wear. He said on Friday that he plans on being ready for full contact soon.
* Brady took his first hit of the summer, colliding with safety Cedric Thompson after scrambling for a good gain. Brady picked himself up off the turf quickly and showed no ill effects from the hit.
* Tyler Gaffney got plenty of work during a practice that seemed to put significant focus on the running game. At one point he saw carries on eight consecutive snaps over two drives for Team Brady. He received 18 carries in all and has been used as one of the team's "big backs" to go along with LeGarrette Blount and Joey Iosefa.
* Brady, working with reserve receivers and tight ends, had a few pass attempts where there was clear miscommunication between him and his target. One ended with an easy interception for Thompson. The other fell incomplete, and Harper was the closest receiver in the area of the pass.
* Brady ran an efficient two-minute drill to end the scrimmage. He drove the majority of the practice field (which is shorter than 100 yards) by completing 8-of-12 attempts and hitting Derby for a two-point conversion to win the scrimmage, 11-10. The conversion attempt was the final play of the practice.
* Garoppolo's best throw of the day may have been his touchdown pass to Bennett in the back corner of the end zone. He also made a nice read, recognizing rookie corner Cyrus Jones coming off of the edge, and hitting Dobson with a quick throw.
* Running back Brandon Bolden (Team Brady) had two drops on the final drive of the scrimmage. Gronkowski also had a drop on a pass thrown over the middle by Garoppolo.
* AJ Derby had his best day of camp thus far, catching four of six targets sent his way, including a juggling catch down the seam during Brady's final drive of the day and the go-ahead two-point conversion. Carter also had a strong showing while working with Brady. He caught six of the eight Brady targets, including one for a score in the back of the end zone.
* Brissett went 1-for-2 in his one drive as Brady's substitute.
* Alan Branch flashed some dance moves early in the session -- both before the scrimmage began and after he made a tackle early in the first drive. He had a good practice and seems to be feeling healthy after opening camp on the non-football injury list.
* Shea McClellin had another strong scrimmage after showing good pass-rush skill in Friday's session. He had three pressures over the course of the practice to go along with one snap that looked like he would have sacked Brady. Markus Kuhn also checked in with a pressure as did Vincent Valentine, Chris Long and Jamie Collins. Rob Ninkovich and Rufus Johnson both had snaps that would have been sacks had quarterbacks not been wearing red non-contact jerseys. Ninkovich recorded a pressure on a separate play as well.
* It was a good day for defensive players in coverage. Devin McCourty (Team Brady) nearly had an interception on a pass intended for Bennett. He also broke up a long attempt to Gronkowski. Cyrus Jones broke up a pass intended for Malcolm Mitchell, and on the same drive, Butler broke up a completion to Hogan. Collins broke up a pass intended for Gronkowski before the football got halfway to its intended target. Rookie sixth-round pick Kamu Grugier-Hill continues to make plays in camp practice. His contribution on Sunday came when he broke up a pass intended for Bennett. Logan Ryan also broke up a would-be completion to Carter.
* Safety Vinnie Sunseri accidentally laid out Gaffney on one of the running back's attempts. Things also got testy between rookies Jones and Mitchell briefly following one snap where the two were lined up across from each other on the line of scrimmage.
SPECIAL TEAMS OBSERVATIONS
* Jones muffed a punt right before Brady's final drive. After making that mistake, though, he slapped the ball out of bounds, keeping the play from becoming an unmitigated disaster for Team Brady. Jones has now muffed a handful of punts in the last few days of Patriots practice. V'Angelo Bentley, the other player seeing reps as a punt returner lately, muffed a punt during drills before the scrimmage began.
* Stephen Gostkowski went 2-for-3 on his field goal tries. His miss went wide left from a distance of what appeared to be about 40 yards away.
* Gostkowski didn't get much work in on kickoffs as the scrimmage was dedicated to punt and punt-return work -- even after scores. At one point, the Patriots practiced a Ryan Allen free kick as though they had just taken a safety. Allen appeared to have one of his ten boots slide off the side of his foot. Otherwise, he showed a strong and accurate leg, pinning the receiving team inside its five-yard line with no return on one particular snap.