Patriots

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

Patriots

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...

ROLL CALL

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.

QUARTERBACKS IN FOCUS

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.

ONE-ON-ONE NOTES: RECEIVERS VS. CORNERS

*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.

ONE-ON-ONE NOTES: PASS-RUSHERS VS. O-LINEMEN

* 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.

OBSERVATIONS OF NOTE

*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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