Postcard from camp: Rookie Brown, Groy scrap at practice
Hazy, hot and temps in mid-80s, with dead air for the 12th training camp practice and the final one open to the public. The lack of a breeze made it feel even hotter. The team is off Sunday and then will get on a schedule more similar to the regular season. There will be non-public practices Monday and Tuesday, then the team will be wheels up for West Virginia, where they will working with the Saints. Saturday was good preparation weather-wise for what’s in store.
WHO WAS THERE
Running backs Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount were both back at practice after missing a few.
Julian Edelman took part in positional drills for the first time in a few practices then left to go to an adjacent field to work on conditioning. The same with Aaron Dobson, Scott Chandler and Marcus Cannon.
Among the new players missing practice were running back James White, cornerback Daryl Roberts and defensive end Trey Flowers, all of whom were dinged during the Packers game. Logan Ryan was also out, though he wasn’t seen to have been hurt against Green Bay and was moving in the locker room without signs of injury after the game.
Nate Solder and Bryan Stork were out on the field for the early portion of practice but not participating. Travaris Cadet was out and not spotted.
Cornerback Tarell Brown left mid-practice with the trainers and didn’t return.
WHAT WE SAW
Rookie defensive tackle Malcom Brown and recently acquired offensive tackle Ryan Groy livened up an otherwise punchless practice with an exchange of punches in the final minutes of the workout. It was a play on which the two players stayed engaged past the whistle. Groy apparently escalated first – although it was hard to get a clear angle to see. Brown returned two straight right hands at Groy’s head before teammates including Jerod Mayo intervened. Both players were booted from the field.
They practiced in shells and shorts getting going at 9:45 am. Tom Brady was the first player on the field.
Some drill observations after the initial warmup periods:
*Backup Ryan Lindley ran a drill with linebackers and no offense. Backers dropped and Lindley threw to spots. Mayo had a nice one-handed pick. Bounced off of Freeny. 49 and 46 nice tipped pick.
*The team ran a three-man strip drill in which a ball carrier was harassed by punches and pulls on each side and needed to keep the ball covered up while fending off attack. Jonas Gray used his free hand to whack at Rob Ninkovich’s head. Jerod Mayo went way overboard with a Manny Pacquaio flurry of whacks at Eric Kattani.
*Tight ends ran stop routes against air with tight ends coach Brian Daboll firing sidearm throws. Receivers worked in pairs on the same side of the red zone running combo routes against corners.
*Jamie Collins made a terrific leaping interception on the goal line in 7-on-7 after Jimmy Garoppollo ran out of time and forced one.
*Brandon Gibson made a terrific catch while crossing the field to reach back on a ball thrown late and pulling the throw from Garoppollo in on a double-catch.
*Josh Boyce was slow to rise after a diving attempt.
*Matt Slater pulled in about a 60-yard throw from Tom Brady during team drills. Brady was hot during his first session of 11-on-11 hitting Brandon Bolden, Rob Gronkowski Danny Amendola and Josh Boyce. Defensively, the Patriots had some secondary players mixed out of their regular positions in the secondary. Even though any of the few thousand people in attendance could tweet or post on a message board who was where, the regular media isn’t permitted to report on alignments, trick plays, formations, etc. from practice, which we were quickly reminded of by media relations man Aaron Salkin.
*During Garoppollo’s 11-on-11, he found Brian Tyms – out of his non-contact red jersey – on about an 18-yard out down the right sideline. He also found Tyms on a slant but had a miscommunication over the middle with tight end Jimmay Mundine.