Postcard From Camp, Day 8: Birthday boy Tom Brady gets day off
FOXBORO — It was a Tom Brady celebration on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. There was a massive No. 12 cake for fans to sample. There was an over-sized card for them to sign for the quarterback. And of course, there were renditions of “Happy Birthday.”
But there was also a practice, one that Brady had almost entirely off -- not taking a single competitive snap. Despite that, plenty happened. Here’s what we saw . . .
Though Eric Decker wasn’t present for the session — he hadn’t officially signed prior to practice — the Patriots did see their receiver depth improve. Kenny Britt (pictured) was removed from the physically unable to perform list, in pads, and participating. He did depart the session early on, however.
Rookie corner Keion Crossen was also back on the field after spending time on the lower field rehabbing this week. Running back Mike Gillislee, who wore a red non-contact jersey on Thursday, was back in his white top.
Sony Michel and Marcus Cannon were not spotted for the second consecutive day. Jason King, who suffered an injury Thursday, was not present.
Trey Flowers left the practice about an hour into the session. That’s a situation that obviously bears watching.
-- Adrian Clayborn had himself a day during the one-on-one period. He handed Trent Brown his first clear loss of the one-on-one periods this camp, then he toyed with Isaiah Wynn. On one snap against the rookie, Clayborn sped around him to the outside. On the next matchup between the two, perhaps with Wynn bracing for speed, Clayborn powered through him. Call it a learning experience for the first-round pick.
-- Lawrence Guy (pictured) had a nice morning in the one-one-ones, beating Ted Karras with a late move to win their matchup. He later powered into LaAdrian Waddle from the outside for another win. Waddle rode Guy past the quarterback on Guy's final rep, but the veteran defensive lineman looked fluid and put his versatility on display. He can align almost anywhere up front.
ONE-ON-ONE PERFORMANCES (con'd)
-- Vincent Valentine (pictured), who spent all of last season on injured reserve, had one of the most impressive reps of the day, moving quickly and overpowering Brian Schwenke for the victory.
-- In other matchups, Danny Shelton made a quick move to beat David Andrews, Joe Thuney earned a win over Malcom Brown, Karras got the best of John Atkins, and Shaq Mason stoned a quick move off the line from Adam Butler.
-- Brady was off, meaning it was a big day for Brian Hoyer (pictured). The backup went 17-for-30 in 11-on-11 drills. He was picked twice, once by Jordan Richards and once by Jason McCourty when Julian Edelman fell down at the top of his route. Hoyer also fumbled a snap, which forced the entire offense to run a lap. Hoyer did finish on a high note by completing a touchdown to Cordarrelle Patterson, which Patterson reeled in one-handed.
-- Danny Etling went 6-for-12 on the day in 11-on-11 work. One attempt was ruined by what would've been a Shelton sack. Etling also had a fumbled snap