Patriots

Postcard from Patriots minicamp: Jamie Collins makes his presence felt

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Postcard from Patriots minicamp: Jamie Collins makes his presence felt

FOXBORO — Day 3 of Patriots minicamp began with players acknowledging that they aren’t the talk of the town in Boston at the moment. Julian Edelman wore a Bruins jersey (No. 13 borrowed from teammate Phillip Dorsett), and Dorsett, Dont’a Hightower and others wore spoked-B hats on their way out to the fields behind Gillette Stadium. 

The Bruins and Blues will play Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight at TD Garden. There would have likely been several Patriots players at the game tonight, but Robert Kraft is hosting last year’s championship team to his home (including players no longer on the club) to hand out Super Bowl rings. Priorities. 

Here’s what we saw from the final day of Patriots minicamp practice... 

NOTABLE ABSENCES

Sony Michel remained a no-show on the practice fields behind Gillette for the third straight day. Damien Harris got plenty of work in Michel’s absence. 

Patrick Chung, Deatrich Wise, Yodny Cajuste and Demaryius Thomas remained out. They did not participate in practices this week. 

FAKE FOOTBALL, REAL NOTES

Early in the practice, N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers got some 2-on-2 time with Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer. Josh McDaniels watched closely and played the role of defensive back, asking the receivers to react to his positioning and adjust their routes accordingly. Harry ran one a yard or two off of where Brady was targeting and the pass skipped away without Harry even being able to attempt to dive for it. When Harry ran the correct distance on his next route, McDaniels and Brady provided him some positive reinforcement. 

When the Patriots did 11-on-11 work with sound piped in, Brady launched his first pass deep for Julian Edelman. Jonathan Jones was right there in coverage and broke up the play. 

Maurice Harris finished off a strong week of work with a long reception from Brady that was the result of some trickery at the line of scrimmage soon after the snap. 

Duke Dawson got his hands on the football deep down the right sideline, breaking up an attempt from Brady to Phillip Dorsett. Dawson has been in the right place at the right time when targeted in competitive drills over the last two days of minicamp practice. 

Jamie Collins once again made his presence felt early on in competitive drills. Rushing off the edge, he read Brady and jumped to break up a pass at the line of scrimmage. In a passing-down role, Collins’ athleticism could be a weapon. 

Stephon Gilmore had one of the more impressive pass breakups of the afternoon in the red zone when Brady tried to hit Edelman. Gilmore left his man with the ball in the air to undercut the throw and bat it out of the back of the end zone. There’s no doubt who the most impressive defensive back has been during “passing camp” this week. Gilmore looks like he’s picked up from where he left off last year. 

Jakobi Meyers and Julian Edelman had drops in drills early in the practice. Matt LaCosse also had a Brady pass go through his hands in an 11-on-11 period later in the workout. 

In a continuation of what happened at times Wednesday, rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham was the second passer up in team drills. He completed short throws to Rex Burkhead and Ryan Izzo but had consecutive inaccurate passes to fellow rookies N’Keal Harry and Damien Harris fall incomplete. His best pass of the afternoon came in the red zone when he hit Jakobi Meyers on a perfectly placed pass that led Meyers to open space in the back corner of the end zone. 

Brian Hoyer was the third quarterback on the field during team drills. His best throws came in the red zone as well. He hit Phillip Dorsett on a 50-50 ball with Joejuan Williams in coverage. He later his Braxton Berrios in the back of the end zone with coverage closing in.  

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Sony Michel and Demaryius Thomas to start camp on PUP list

Sony Michel and Demaryius Thomas to start camp on PUP list

As the Patriots gear up for the start of training camp and another Super Bowl championship defense, a few key players will start camp on the physically unable to perform list (PUP). 

Sony Michel and Demaryius Thomas are the big names on there, per Field Yates, while Mike Reiss reported Nate Ebner, Cole Croston, Deatrich Wise and Ken Webster will begin camp on the PUP list. 

All this means is the players on the PUP list at this time have not been cleared for on-field drills yet. They can come off any time since it is just training camp. If any of these players end training camp on the PUP list, they can be placed there for the regular season, where they won't be able to practice or play for the first six weeks of the year. 

On the bright side, it appears left tackle Isaiah Wynn will not begin camp on the PUP list, according to Mike Reiss. The Patriots selected Wynn in the first round of the 2018 draft, but the University of Georgia product missed the entire season with an Achilles injury.

Wynn projects to be the team's starting left tackle this season after the loss of Trent Brown in free agency, so it's a good sign he'll be able to participate right away at camp. 

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Patriots HOFers Brown, Harrison back on the field in Foxboro this week when training camp begins

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Patriots HOFers Brown, Harrison back on the field in Foxboro this week when training camp begins

As the Patriots return to training camp this week, they'll be plenty of familiar faces getting back to work and some new additions. 

Among those who know they're way around the fields in Foxboro and will be out there again are a Patriots Hall of Famer and soon-to-be Pats HOFer, Troy Brown and Rodney Harrison. 

Brown, the former versatile receiver inducted into the team's Hall in 2012, will be on the field working with receivers again, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN. While not officially on the coaching staff, Brown worked with first-round pick N'Keal Harry, free-agent signee Maurice Harris and veteran Julian Edelman, along with other receivers at minicamp in June. He's lent a hand to Bill Belichick and special teams coach Joe Judge, who is also doubling as receivers coach after several staff departures in the offseason. Brown's former teammate Jerod Mayo is on the staff and will work with linebackers.

Harrison, who will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame at a Gillette Stadium ceremony on July 29 along with late offensive lineman Leon Gray, is scheduled to arrive on Thursday, when the team begins practices. While not coaching, Harrison, the former hard-hitting safety who now works for NBC as an NFL analyst, will be a visitor on the field and is never shy about sharing his insights and opinions, such as going into the Pats Hall means more than being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall in Canton.

"To get named a Hall of Famer to the greatest organization in sport ever, it just means so much to me," Harrison told Reiss. "I'm still stunned. I can't believe I'm in the Patriots Hall of Fame. All I can do is shake my head at this point."

As for the current edition of the Patriots, Harrison expects them to be in a familiar position:  "I know Kansas City is really good...but I still think the Pats are the best team in the AFC."

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