Patriots

Postcard from Patriots minicamp: Jamie Collins makes his presence felt

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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.  

Check out Phil Perry's 53-man roster projection>>>>

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Peyton Manning claims Giants beating Patriots as 'favorite Super Bowl memory'

Peyton Manning claims Giants beating Patriots as 'favorite Super Bowl memory'

Peyton Manning either is a very supportive brother or delights in seeing his long-time rival fail. Or a little of both.

In a tribute to younger brother Eli Manning, who announced his retirement from the New York Giants on Friday, Peyton insisted his "favorite Super Bowl memory" was watching Eli defeat the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

"I think people don't really believe me or are surprised [when I say] my greatest Super Bowl memory is watching my little brother take the New York Giants down the field in a two-minute drill and beat the undefeated Patriots and all that came with that," Peyton said in an interview with Broncos.com's Aric DiLalla.

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"Maybe I wasn't as happy as the '72 Dolphins, who I promise you were celebrating and they're on record saying that, but I was pretty close."

Let's get this straight: Peyton enjoyed watching someone else win a Super Bowl (during a season in which his Indianapolis Colts were bounced early in the playoffs) more than he enjoyed winning two Super Bowls for two different teams (with the Colts in 2006 and the Denver Broncos in 2013)?

"It was just pride and he's five years younger than me and you kind of reflect on the times growing up," Peyton said, adding that his memories of Eli as a "quiet, calm and cool kid" made it "surreal" to watch Eli lead an upset of one of the greatest teams of all time.

"That's my greatest Super Bowl memory without a doubt, even more than the ones I was able to participate in," Peyton said. "He did it."

That Eli's first Super Bowl win came over Tom Brady and the Patriots probably made it that much sweeter for Peyton, who was 6-11 against Brady during his career.

Super Bowl XLII was one of Brady's most painful memories, so maybe this was Peyton's way of getting revenge for Tom calling him out on "Peyton's Places" earlier this month.

Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola gives his take on Tom Brady's NFL future

Ex-Patriots WR Danny Amendola gives his take on Tom Brady's NFL future

Danny Amendola is the latest NFL player to weigh in on the future of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady is able to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career in March unless he and the Patriots come to a contract agreement before that point. The 42-year-old quarterback has spent his entire 20-year career in New England, but nothing lasts forever and you can bet most teams would love to add Brady to their roster if he ever chose to leave the Patriots.

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Amendola appeared on ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Friday, where he was asked about Brady's upcoming decision. He doesn't know exactly what will happen, but he noted family definitely will play a factor.

"It's going to go however he wants. He's the ultimate competitor," Amendola said. "I think as his kids get older, he wants to spend time with his family. I think that's going to weigh heavily on his decision and where he goes, and he can set that up the way he wants. His competitive nature, his ability is still through the roof. And whatever team gets him -- if he stays in New England or if he goes somewhere else -- he's going to bring a high level of football there."

When asked about the Los Angeles Chargers being a potential destination for Brady, Amendola admitted it's difficult to see the six-time Super Bowl champion in a different uniform.

"It's hard for me to see him in any other jersey than a Patriots jersey, so I'm holding on just like everybody else is," Amendola said.

Patriots fans obviously would love for Brady to return for at least one more season in New England, and most of them probably wouldn't mind Amendola coming back as well. The Patriots need to upgrade their depth and talent at wide receiver before the 2020 season, and Amendola will be a free agent in March.

Phil Perry: Why Pats can't wait on Tom Brady's free agent tour