Patriots

Observations from Thursday's Patriots OTA practice

Observations from Thursday's Patriots OTA practice

Here’s a collection of observations from Thursday’s OTA practice which began right around 11 a.m. and just wrapped at 12:45. Most of the team adjourned to sprint up the punishing incline that’s come to be known as Mount Belichick at 12:30, and they came back for one more session after that. 

ATTENDANCE

Tom Brady wasn’t there. As you may have heard. Also, among the missing (or not spotted): Michael Bennett, Kyle Van Noy, Isaiah Wynn, Patrick Chung, Demaryius Thomas and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. 

WEATHER

Cool, windy with peekaboo sunshine. Low 60s.

NOTES

Patriots Hall of Famer Kevin Faulk was with the offense standing with the running backs. Not imparting much but a presence at the moment. Same with Troy Brown. 

Tight end Matt LaCosse looked like a very natural hands catcher.

Brian and Steve Belichick were both working with the defensive backs. 

Defensive line coach Bret Bielema and inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo worked together with some of the younger players for a session. Mayo was very animated. When things went well, you heard him. When they did not, you also heard him. 

In the 11-on-11 session — which is the contact equivalent of tossing it around on the side yard at a Memorial Day BBQ — Ben Watson made a nice catch in traffic on a throw from Danny Etling.

Rookie corner Joejuan Williams got turned inside out by Phillip Dorsett for a TD. 

N’Keal Harry caught a nice little inside TD coming from a spot attached to the line.

Rookie punter Jake Bailey practiced punts and kickoffs. He has a powerful leg and showed impressive hang time on his punts. Bailey was able to nail a few punts inside the 10-yard line, too.

Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, N’Keal Harry, Jon Jones, Maurice Harris, Rex Burkhead and an unidentified wide receiver (wearing No. 72) were the punt returners.

Left guard Joe Thuney spent time at first-team left tackle during drills. The Patriots were thin at the tackle spots with Isaiah Wynn and rookie Yodny Cajuste not participating.

Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer each threw interceptions.

Rookie corner Joejuan Williams had a pick-6 of Stidham.

Harry said Troy Brown has been working with him on his technique. He caught five passes (including a touchdown) with one drop during 11-on-11 drills. Harry had a strong showing overall.

Nick Goss contributed to this report.

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Former Patriot Marquis Flowers tweets frustration over Super Bowl LII loss

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USA Today Sports

Former Patriot Marquis Flowers tweets frustration over Super Bowl LII loss

Marquis Flowers played just one season with the New England Patriots, and he's seems pretty frustrated it didn't end with a Super Bowl title. 

In Flowers' one season in New England, the Patriots (surprise, surprise) reached Super Bowl LII, but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick surprisingly benched star cornerback Malcolm Butler in that game, and there's never been a great explanation for the decision. The Patriots defense, without Butler, had trouble slowing down Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns en route to a Super Bowl MVP award.

Flowers recently fired off some tweets about Super Bowl LII, and he clearly isn't happy with how the game unfolded. 

Flowers also reacted to a tweet about the final play of Super Bowl LII, where the Patriots' Hail Mary attempt fell short.

The Patriots bounced back and won Super Bowl LIII last season, but this loss to the Eagles is always going to hurt, especially for players such as Flowers who left New England before the 2018 campaign.

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Kyle Rudolph says there was never 'any real opportunity' with Patriots

Kyle Rudolph says there was never 'any real opportunity' with Patriots

Before Kyle Rudolph agreed to a contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings on June 10, many believed he'd wind up with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots needed someone to fill Rob Gronkowski's massive shoes at tight end, after all, and Rudolph played his college ball under former New England defensive coordinator Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

But Rudolph insists there was no real merit to reports that he'd join the Patriots other than pundits simply connecting dots.

"I don't know how real those trade possibilities were,” Rudolph told the MMQB's Albert Breer. "But, like you said, I played for Charlie. So for me, I've kind of followed that organization from afar since 2008 when I got my first Notre Dame playbook and we watched cut-ups from the Patriots offense that we were running.

"I have a huge amount of respect and appreciation for what they've done over the last two decades. But I don't know that there was ever any real opportunity there."

From a football standpoint, it appears Rudolph would have a had real opportunity to thrive in New England; the two-time Pro Bowler would have been quarterback Tom Brady's No. 1 tight end in an offense that leans heavily on the position. (Remember when Tim Wright caught a career-high six touchdowns for the Patriots in 2014?)

But it's unlikely the Patriots would have matched the four-year, $36 million contract the Vikings gave Rudolph, who clearly desired to remain with the team that drafted him.

That means New England must look elsewhere for tight end help after Benjamin Watson's four-game suspension, Austin Seferian-Jenkins' release and a failed trade with the Detroit Lions for Michael Roberts.

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