Postcard from Camp, Day 9: Decker gets quality time with Brady in first Pats practice
Postcard from Camp, Day 9: Decker's Pats debut
FOXBORO — The Patriots were back on the field for Day 9 of training camp, in full pads, before what was expected to be a day off on Sunday. Bill Belichick allowed his team to ease into their downtime with one of the most relaxed practices of the summer.
Here’s what we saw...
The Patriots were once again without Sony Michel and Marcus Cannon after both of those players left Wednesday’s practice injured. Jason King and Marquis Flowers were also missing. Flowers and his family are expecting so his absence may be excused.
Eric Decker was on the field for his first practice as a member of the Patriots. He’s been issued No. 81.
From the “Where’s Malcolm Mitchell?” files...He was at practice. He was in pads. But after warmups, he headed for a lower field to work out with other rehabbing players. Matthew Slater also made his way to the lower field early in the session.
Kenny Britt (pictured) was back in pads Saturday for the second consecutive day. He hardly participated Friday, though, and his level of participation saw a bump Saturday in that he took part in a passing-game side session with Tom Brady. He appeared to tweak something during one side-session rep, removing his helmet after. Moments later, he took a rep and appeared OK, but he later took off for the rehabbing field. It’s hard to say whether or not time on the lower field was scheduled or was a result of something he felt during the side-session.
Trey Flowers, who left Friday’s practice early, was back on the field Saturday. He spent some time on a lower field then returned to the regular practice field but did not appear to be a full participant.
The full-team sessions were incredibly laid-back, with the Patriots working on their end-of-game situations (hurry-up, Hail Mary, last-second plays, etc.). Passes thrown were not contested by the defense.
Both Deatrich Wise (offsides) and Rob Gronkowski (false start) committed penalties during the period. Gronkowski later ran a lap for his infraction.
With Danny Etling behind center during a hurry-up 11-on-11 period, Devin Lucien was too focused on getting down to end the play and get back to the huddle. Etling’s pass bounced off of Lucien’s pads and hit the turf. Later in the same period, Ryan Izzo made a one-handed grab, took a shot (accidentally), and held on. Nice job by the undrafted rookie tight end.
Bill Belichick gathered the entire team around him before the stretching portion of practice. With a day off coming soon, that may have been the coach’s way of exploring players to finish this phase of camp strong. When they return, they’ll be preparing for their first preseason game with the Redskins.
Patriots Hall of Famer Ty Law made a stop at practice about 30 minutes into the session.
Even though the practice was largely non-competitive and relatively easy-going, the Patriots finished off the practice with some time running the hills in the pouring rain.
SIDE SESSIONS WITH BRADY
Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Kenny Britt, Rob Gronkowski and Eric Decker took reps with Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer during a side session that occurred while most of the rest of the team participated in special teams work. James White and Jacob Hollister later joined in as well.
Immediately after the side session, Brady and Decker spoke for several minutes.
Later in the practice, during another side session, Edelman dropped a pass and audibly let his displeasure with himself be known to the crowd in attendance. It was Edelman’s third drop of the day.
SPECIAL TEAMS WORK
Devin McCourty, Brandon King, Brandon Bolden, Duke Dawson, JC Jackson, Jordan Richards, Nicholas Grigsby, Geneo Grissom, Cordarrelle Patterson and Patrick Chung all had a crack at some kickoff coverage work midway through the session.
During a punt period, Christian Sam put a late block on Duke Dawson that Dawson did not appreciate. Dawson then feigned a jab in Sam’s direction before the pair parted ways. Rookie on rookie crime.