Postcard from Camp: Brady finding some chemistry with Berrios vs. Lions

Postcard from Camp: Brady finding some chemistry with Berrios vs. Lions

ALLEN PARK, Michigan -- The Patriots and Lions got back together on Tuesday for a practice that featured a slight uptick in intensity from the day prior. Here's everything you need to know...


The Patriots got Patrick Chung back on the field Tuesday after he sat out Monday's practice. He continues to wear a red non-contact jersey. 

Cam Meredith, Lance Kendricks, Yodny Cajuste, Ken Webster and Nate Ebner weren't available, but you knew that. They didn't make the trip.

Rex Burkhead was once again a non-participant. Julian Edelman (NFI) and Demaryius Thomas (PUP) also remain out.

Isaiah Wynn was in pads once again and did take part with other starters during the walkthrough. He was limited, though, and didn't take part in team drills. Kyle Van Noy was limited as well, leaving reps available for Shilique Calhoun, John Simon and Chase Winovich.

N'Keal Harry ended up being a limited participant because he tweaked his right leg midway through the session. He sat out an offensive period, later returned, and did some blocking. He didn't run a route after getting hurt, nor did he go through the team's full hill workout after practice.


Tom Brady didn't have his best day. He went 5-for-9 in 7-on-7 work, getting picked in the end zone by linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin early in the session. He went 5-for-10 in 11-on-11 work and was "sacked." Three of his best completions went to Braxton Berrios, including two late scores -- one of which earned the second-year wideout "attaboy" recognition from the Patriots quarterback in the form of a headbutt. Perhaps his best throw of the day went deep down the left sideline to Phillip Dorsett in a hurry-up period where the Patriots were down four points late in the game. Dorsett -- who couldn't find separation on a similar route moments earlier -- hauled in the well-placed pass for a touchdown. Brady was, again, fired up and chased Dorsett into the end zone to celebrate.

Brian Hoyer went 6-for-6 in 7-on-7 work, completing a pass to Harry that was just . . . ridiculous. Harry looked late for a back-shoulder throw, tipped it up, and he ended up catching it while laying on his back on the ground. Remember Jermaine Kearse? Super Bowl XLIX? Pretty similar. Stakes slightly different. In 11-on-11 work, Hoyer went 2-for-3. He had one rep taken from him when he dealt with some kind of helmet malfunction and Brady had to come on for him for a play.

Jarrett Stidham had a rep that lasted an eternity in 7-on-7 work. Can't give him credit for a completion when that happens. He was otherwise spotless, however, going 10-for-11 in those 7-on-7 periods. He completed two to Danny Etling and had one more pass that would've picked up yardage as Etling drew a pass-interference penalty. In 11-on-11 periods, Stidham went 0-for-1 and mostly handed off.


*Berrios was the star of this session Tuesday. He created significant separation on an early rep with Brady. He later ran under a perfectly-placed corner route from Brady for another win. Another contested-catch attempt from Brady fell incomplete, but two of Brady's four completions in the one-on-one period went to Berrios. 

*The other two Brady completions went to Maurice Harris, who had an acrobatic grab early and remains one of the team's most consistent wideouts through camp. 

*Quick notes: Brady's 50-50 shot at the end of the period to Harry fell incomplete; Gunner Olszweski was targeted three times and his targets resulted in one incompletion, a drop and a Brian Hoyer interception; Brady made two attempts to Jakobi Meyers and didn't complete either; Stidham found Ryan Izzo for a contested grab that was one of the best of the day for Patriots tight ends.


* Derek Rivers had a couple of decisive victories as he continues to impress in one-on-one situations in training camp. He looks like a different player than the one we saw get limited action last year. He's part of a crowded outside linebacker group, but he looks like someone who should be on the 53-man roster.

*Deatrich Wise showed an intriguing blend of quickness and power in one-on-one work. He had two victories where he won off the snap, getting little resistance from the blocker across from him. He also put a Lions linemen on the ground to win another rep. In all, he won four, lost one and had one draw.

*Chase Winovich put on a show in front of family and friends in Michigan jerseys. He won all three of his one-on-one reps, using his quickness on one rep, bending around a tackle on another and powering through a holding penalty on a third. (He also steamrolled receiver Brandon Powell in a kickoff period. Almost a 60-pound difference between the two, and Winovich made Powell pay for getting in his way.)

*Trent Harris, who spent last year on the Patriots practice squad, shows good quickness in these settings. He won three reps, by my count, losing one and picking up a draw in another. Again, that outside linebacker room is crowded and so Harris could face an uphill climb. But he had a good run in this drill Tuesday. 

*Not much else doing for other Patriots rushers. Danny Shelton, Shilique Calhoun, Byron Cowart, Lawrence Guy, David Parry and Michael Bennett (one rep) went winless.


*The intensity was a little bit better on Tuesday than it was on Wednesday. There was the Winovich collision on a kickoff. Mike Pennel jawed at Lions linemen during one-on-ones. James Ferentz and PJ Johnson seemed to get into a post-play scuffle that got Johnson tossed from practice by coach Matt Patricia. 

*To that point . . . Harry, before getting hurt, had a tremendous one-handed catch over Amani Oruwariye that led to a flexing, shouting celebration. 

*Quarterbacks are still a protected species in these practices, even when the pads are on. But that doesn't mean there aren't "sacks," when players scoot by the quarterback without touching him. Michael Bennett drew a hold and picked up a sack on one rep, one of the best reps for any Patriots defender on the day. Winovich had a sack on a play where Ja'Whaun Bentley drew a holding penalty. Jason McCourty had a sack as well on a corner blitz. Dan Skipper allowed a sack playing left tackle with the first-team offense yet again. 

*Duron Harmon, Stephon Gilmore and Jamie Collins all had pass breakups during the practice. Collins has consistently gotten his hands on footballs throughout camp. We've said it before and we'll say it again: He looks like a fascinating sub linebacker option. 

*Special teams notes: Harry, Berrios, Meyers, and Olszweski returned punts cleanly on Tuesday; Unclear who lost their block, but Ryan Allen had a punt blocked with Bentley serving in the "personal protector" role often occupied by Nate Ebner or Patrick Chung.

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Could Colin Kaepernick make NFL comeback? Ex-Patriot Chris Long weighs in

Could Colin Kaepernick make NFL comeback? Ex-Patriot Chris Long weighs in

Colin Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL since 2016, but the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback will be given a chance to showcase his talents in front of scouts on Saturday.

The Patriots will be one of the multiple teams doing their due diligence by attending Kaepernick's private workout arranged by the league in Atlanta. But will Kaepernick actually end up on an NFL roster?

Appearing on the latest episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast, former Pats defensive end Chris Long shared his thoughts on the whole Kaepernick situation.

"I think he could still play in this league," Long said. "I've never contended at the end of his rope there he was a top 15 quarterback. I mean, he was bottom third. But if you're a bottom third starting quarterback in this league, there's a job.

"The problem with this Kaep thing is that everybody is so worked up, and that's OK, but people are really binary and they can't think in any nuance or gray area. So if you hate Kaep, he's Johnny Manziel, which is untrue. And if you love Kaep, he's Joe Montana, which is untrue. He's a guy who was a starting quarterback, 20th... in that range his last year across the board, which means he's a good quarterback. Which means he can help a team."

Curran and Long also discuss whether they believe the NFL is giving Kaepernick a legitimate shot at making an NFL team, or if this seems like more of a PR stunt.

Other topics on the show include Long's upcoming media company, "Chalk Media," how athletes deal with social anxiety, differences between the 2016 Patriots and 2017 Eagles, and Long's new NBA "side team."

Listen to the full episode below (Kaepernick talk begins at 12:26):


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Patriots Week 11 injury report: Julian Edelman not listed for first time since Week 3

Patriots Week 11 injury report: Julian Edelman not listed for first time since Week 3

FOXBORO -- The bye week did the Patriots some good, it seems.

On the health front, the Patriots are looking better than they've looked in some time. When injury reports for New England and Philadelphia were released Wednesday ahead of their Week 11 game, the list for Bill Belichick's club was relatively short.

Absent from the injury report were Julian Edelman (who's dealt with a chest injury for most of the season), Tom Brady (who was on the injury report with a shoulder issue back in Week 9), Shaq Mason (who has dealt with an ankle injury), Rex Burkhead (limited by a foot injury two weeks ago) and Gunner Olszewski (who's had ankle and hamstring injuries of late).

The Patriots had only four players on the injury report Wednesday: Patrick Chung (heel/chest), Danny Shelton (ankle) and Matt LaCosse (knee) were all limited in practice; Nate Ebner (ankle/back) did not participate.

The fact that Edelman is healthy enough to be a full participant is key, of course. Outside of Brady, he may be the most vital cog in the offensive machine here. And because his job asks him to operate in the middle of the field, he's prone not only to getting injured, but to aggravating injuries that don't have a chance to heal. The last time Edelman was off the injury report was Week 3.

The Week 10 bye gave him and others a chance to recover, and they'll face this weekend's challenge a little bit healthier than they were a few weeks ago.

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