Postcard from camp, Day 7: Class in session with Belichick
Postcard from camp, Day 7: Class in session with Belichick
FOXBORO -- On their seventh day of training camp, the Patriots were once again in full pads for a physical practice in the 80-degree heat. Here's what we saw . . .
* Rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell, receiver Keshawn Martin, running back Brandon Bolden and guard Jonathan Cooper missed Thursday's practice. Players still on the physically unable to perform list -- Dion Lewis, Sebastian Vollmer, Tre' Jackson, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Clay Harbor -- continue to be non-participants. Also not at practice were undrafted rookie tight end Bryce Williams and running back D.J. Foster. Linebacker Jonathan Freeny was out there, but not participating fully. Alan Branch, who began the week on the non-football injury list, was in full pads and practicing.
* Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Clay Harbor -- all on the physically unable to perform list -- made their way over to the Empower Retirement Field House early in the practice, apparently for some conditioning work. Bryan Stork also missed practice but could be seen near the hills behind the practice fields with a trainer. The Boston Herald has reported that Stork is dealing with a concussion.
* Rookies Cyrus Jones and V'Angelo Bentley both worked on catching punts. Both had drops during a period early in practice. Jones later muffed a punt during a team period later in the day. After practice ended, both players spent some time catching "punts" from the JUGS machine. For a few moments, both worked on catching one-handed.
* Joe Thuney continues to man the left guard spot with the first offensive line. With Stork out, David Andrews worked as the first-team center, and with Cooper still out, Ted Karras got looks as the first-team right guard. Nate Solder (left tackle) and Marcus Cannon (right) continue to man the edges.
* During a special teams period, Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo worked a side session with tight ends Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett and Bear Pascoe.
* After the offensive line and defensive line worked a 2-on-2 drill, Bill Belichick spent a few minutes coaching up Chris Long one-on-one. It was a moment where it was made clear that Belichick still has a passion for teaching -- even when it comes to players who are veterans in the league and have a good base of fundamental knowledge.
* James Develin had a strong day as a blocker and as a receiver. He caught a pass down the sideline from Jimmy Garoppolo with Rob Ninkovich in tight coverage. He also opened up a running lane during the 11-on-11 period for Joey Iosefa by catching Geneor Grissom with a strong block.
* The Patriots threw a little wrinkle into today's 11-on-11 periods by working on transitioning from offense to the kicking game in game-like conditions. At one point, when the offense got nothing on its first three downs, the punt team came on. Also, toward the end of the practice, the team worked on getting off the field quickly and getting the field-goal team on quickly to simulate a late-game situation with a running clock.
* During one of the 11-on-11 periods of the day, Nate Washington, who was in pads for the first time but not participating with the team, took reps on air as Garoppolo ran the offense on the adjacent field. The veteran wideout is clearly trying to make the most of what he can do after having not participated in any practice since the first of camp.
RECEIVERS vs. CORNERS
* Chris Harper made a nice catch with Malcolm Butler tight in coverage.
* Logan Ryan broke up a pass intended for Aaron Dobson.
* DeAndre Carter made a nice move to separate from Justin Coleman.
* Harper got some encouragement from receivers coach Chad O'Shea after a stop route he ran on corner Cyrus Jones.
* Cre'Von LeBlanc broke up a pass intended for Lucien, earning him some praise from corners coach Josh Boyer.
* Carter's quickness showed up again with an impressive stop route run on corner Jonathan Jones.
RUNNING GAME 1-on-1
* Ninkovich fights through a Gronkowski block to make a tackle.
* Bennett seals off Shea McClellin to create an opening.
* Jamie Collins runs through Pascoe to make a tackle.
* Kamu Grugier-Hill fought through a block to force a fumble and then recover it on his own. When he got into the end zone, he spiked the ball in front of Gronkowski to celebrate.
RUNNING GAME-FOCUSED PERIOD
* The defensive line group looked good against its offensive counterpart. Malcom Brown and Markus Kuhn were particularly strong at the point of attack on the interior. Terrance Knighton was also hard to move, eating up blocks and holding his ground.
* Alan Branch, in his second day of practice, single-handedly swallowed up Joey Iosefa on one rep.
* Josh Kline, Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle cleared space on the right side for James White.
In the 11-on-11 period, Brady was 4-for-9 and was picked off by Duron Harmon. Brady had one short completion to Dobson wiped away as the play had been blown dead while Brady was scrambling. Garoppolo went 10-for-10 in the same span and was "sacked" by rookie defensive lineman Vincent Valentine. Jacoby Brissett did not see any work in the 11-on-11 periods.
Here's how the repetitions broke down...
* Blount run to the right. Marcus Cannon and Ted Karras opened a hole that seemed to have offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels fired up.
* Bennett sealed off Dont'a Hightower to give James White some running room. On the next play, Hightower planted Bennett on the turf after driving him almost to the sideline.
* Brady completed a long pass deep down the field to Matthew Slater with Devin McCourty in tight coverage.
* Garoppolo complete to James White on a screen. Thuney out in front leading the way.
* Blount run to the right.
* Garoppolo complete to Dobson at the line of scrimmage.
* Garoppolo complete to Bennett.
* Brady to Gronkowski with Ninkovich in coverage.
* Blount run to the right. Not much room against the first-team defense.
* Brady incomplete to Gronkowski near the sideline. Patrick Chung was there in tight coverage.
* Ryan Allen punts to Harper. (Matthew Slater and Brandon King were the first-team gunners.)
* Brady incomplete for Carter. Ryan with the pass breakup.
* James White cut-back run to the right.
* Brady incomplete to Carter. Good communication from the secondary. Three receivers ended up in a bunch, which may have caused a hard-to-handle situation for a group of coverage players not accustomed to working with each other.
* Blount run stuffed by Dont'a Hightower.
* Brady complete deep for a touchdown to Harper. Logan Ryan was trailing in coverage.
* Brady scrambles, can't find a receiver. Belichick whistles the play dead before Brady can flip it to Dobson.
* Allen punt.
* Garoppolo complete to Develin down the sideline with Ninkovich in coverage.
* Garoppolo complete to Harper.
* Gaffney run to the right. Good lead block from Develin.
* Allen punt to Harper.
* Garoppolo "sacked" by Valentine.
* Gaffney run up the middle. Grugier-Hill steps up to make the thud.
* Garoppolo complete to Bennett on a short out-route. Garoppolo let the pass go before Bennett was out of his break. Confidence there in the big tight end.
* Joey Iosefa run to the left.
* Garoppolo screen complete to Gaffney.
* White run up the middle.
* Iosefa run up the middle. Develin caught Grissom with a strong block.
* Allen punt.
* Brady hands off to Blount.
* Brady complete to Gronkowski over the middle.
* Blount run up the middle. Would have been hit by Hightower filling the lane.
* Brady incomplete for Carter, who was out of bounds.
* Brady picked by Duron Harmon deep down the field. Miscommunication between Brady and Harper. Harper broke toward the middle of the field, and Brady threw toward the sideline. Harmon made sure to return the ball all the way back to the end zone.
* Garoppolo hands off to White. (Hurry-up situation.)
* Garoppolo complete to Lucien.
* Garoppolo complete to White on a screen.
* Garoppolo spike.
* Garoppolo complete to White.
* Gostkowski field goal good.