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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Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Report: Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola to re-sign with Lions

Scratch that Danny Amendola-Patriots reunion.

Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reports the free-agent wide receiver is re-signing with the Detroit Lions, where he spent last season and had 62 catches for 678 yards. Former Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will enter his third season as Lions coach in 2020. 

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The 34-year-old left the Patriots after five seasons to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and may have burned a bridge or two with Bill Belichick. 

It had been speculated that perhaps bringing in a former reliable Tom Brady receiver might be part of a plan to lure Brady back to New England, with a report in late January that Amendola could come along to wherever Brady lands in free agency, but a Brady-Amendola reunion in Detroit isn't happening, either. 

Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

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Next Pats Podcast: Will Patriots go mobile at QB if Tom Brady leaves?

There's one big question that New England Patriots are facing this offseason. Who is going to be their starting quarterback in 2020?

For the past 20 seasons, the team hasn't really had questions at the position. It has always been Tom Brady's job. But with the 42-year-old set to hit free agency, the Patriots can't necessarily count on him returning unless they want to pay him what he's worth.

So, now the question for the Patriots becomes, what will life look like if Brady departs?

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On the latest episode of The Next Pats Podcast, which returns for its first episode of the 2020 offseason, Phil Perry is here to explore that question. And really what it all boils down to is what the Patriots are looking for in a potential successor.

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As Perry notes, it's likely to be one of two types of quarterback: The traditional pocket passer or a more mobile athlete in the mold of some of the recent success stories at the position.

Do the Patriots look for the next Brady? Uber-accurate, somebody who's going to sit in the pocket and absolutely dissect every little aspect of the defense that he is looking at. Or, do they go a different route? Do they go with an athlete? Do they get more mobile? Because talking to people this offseason, I'm getting a whiff -- I'm getting a scent that people believe the pocket passer might be dead.

Perry is joined by guests including Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo, Greg Cosell of ESPN and NFL Films, and NFL Network's Kurt Warner to answer questions about Brady's future and what his game has looked like in recent seasons.

For more thoughts about the Patriots offseason, check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast, available as part of the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network.