Patriots

Postcard from Patriots minicamp: Stephon Gilmore picks up from where he left off

Postcard from Patriots minicamp: Stephon Gilmore picks up from where he left off

FOXBORO — The Patriots had a gorgeous day weather-wise for Day 2 of minicamp, and the pace seemed to be elevated a touch, with coaches Josh McDaniels, Dante Scarnecchia, Jerod Mayo and Joe Judge among those audibly encouraging (or admonishing) their players. Here’s what we saw . . . 

WHO WAS THERE

None of the big-name players who were present for Tuesday’s practice were absent Wednesday. That meant Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Dont’a Hightower, Devin McCourty and Kyle Van Noy were back at it for another day. Van Noy spent some time on a lower field but later came back to participate in the session with his teammates. 

Isaiah Wynn was present and participating in drills, but he did not take part in team work. That Wynn was able to push off the Achilles he tore last summer is a positive development as he gets ready for his sophomore season. If he can be on the field for training camp, there’s a good chance he’ll be the front-runner for a starting role opposite Marcus Cannon. With Wynn not taking part in team work, Joe Thuney played left tackle in those periods.

WHO WASN’T 

Sony Michel continues to miss time. He wasn’t available for the second day of minicamp. He finished last season healthy enough to take critical late-game handoffs in the Super Bowl, but he has had long-standing knee issues and could be buying as much time as possible for his knee to rest until camp begins. 

Nate Ebner was not participating, as was the case Tuesday. He watched from the sidelines in a red hoodie. Rookie offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste was also unavailable for practice. 

VISITOR CHECK-IN

Robert Kraft arrived to the workout late into the session. On Thursday night he’ll host last year’s team at his home for their championship ring ceremony, which is expected to include players from last year’s club who are no longer playing for the Patriots. 

Coaches from the Iowa football program, including head coach Kirk Ferentz, were back at Patriots practice for the second straight day. 

FAKE FOOTBALL, REAL NOTES

Early in the practice, the Patriots offense went through some half-speed two-minute work. Lining up alongside Tom Brady were tight end Matt LaCosse, receivers Julian Edelman, Maurice Harris and Phillip Dorsett, and running back James White. N’Keal Harry took snaps with Brian Hoyer, as did receiver Braxton Berrios.  

Harris continued to have an impressive minicamp, catching both of Tom Brady’s first two passes in a late-practice period where the Patriots played 11-on-11 and had to deal with music blaring over a public address system to simulate crowd noise. Brady also hit Ben Watson and Phillip Dorsett for completions while dealing with the noise. Stephon Gilmore had a near pick of Brady in the same period. 

The play of the simulated-noise session was a leaping grab in the end zone by N'Keal Harry from Brian Hoyer. Harry deflected the ball to himself while draped in coverage and secured the football before hitting the ground. Hoyer was so fired up he ran to Harry to celebrate with him. He was stopped by Van Noy on his way to the rookie who had a tough Day 1 of minicamp, but Hoyer got there eventually and several offensive teammates congratulated the first-round pick on the grab.

Berrios was among the receivers who had drops Wednesday. Undrafted rookie slot receiver Ryan Davis also had a drop in a contested-catch drill. 

Stephon Gilmore had a nice pass-breakup on a Tom Brady attempt to Phillip Dorsett late in the practice. Jamie Collins had a breakup (that should’ve been a pick) of Brian Hoyer early in the practice. Jonathan Jones also had a breakup of a Hoyer throw. Duke Dawson had a near breakup during one drill that had defensive players (and coaches, Mayo specifically) ready to go crazy. 

Julian Edelman, Berrios and Dorsett worked as punt-returners, as did Harris and Gunner Olszewski. Gunners in punt drills were Matthew Slater, Jonathan Jones, Ryan Davis and Damoun Patterson. Quarterback Danny Etling worked in as a member of the punt coverage team at one point. 

During one special teams period, Brady and McDaniels worked closely with Harry on some red-zone work. They specifically seemed to be hammering away at back end-line attempts floated high and out of reach of imaginary defenders. 

Just a reminder that minicamp isn’t real football: During one 11-on-11 drill, rookie Ken Webster broke up a Brian Hoyer pass. Webster was promptly reprimanded for breaking up the pass in a drill that was less than full speed. Not all drills — even 11-on-11 drills — are created equal. 

The Patriots worked on a ball-security drill late in practice. Matt LaCosse, Ben Watson, Derek Rivers and Jakob Johnson were among those who fumbled. 

As was the case on Tuesday, Jarrett Stidham worked closely with Mick Lombardi in the same way that young quarterbacks used to work with former assistant quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski. 

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Patriots release statement in response to Bengals' videotaping allegations

Patriots release statement in response to Bengals' videotaping allegations

The New England Patriots have released an official statement in response to the Cincinnati Bengals' allegations of videotaping their sideline.

The statement explains that a three-person video crew was sent to Cleveland for the Bengals-Browns game to film a feature on the Pats scouting department for Patriots.com's "Do Your Job" series.

The Patriots acknowledge that their failure to inform the Bengals of the taping was an "unintended oversight" and admit the video crew unknowingly broke league rules by filming the field from the press box. They also echoed head coach Bill Belichick's statement that the team is independent of the production crew.

Curran: Separating fact from fiction of NFL investigation into Patriots

Read the full statement below:

The NFL currently is investigating the matter, but this appears to be a giant misunderstanding based on what Belichick and the Patriots organization had to say.

The Patriots (10-3) will visit the Bengals (1-12) for their Week 15 matchup on Sunday.

Curran: Pats' resilience has to be their go-to going forward>>>

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Tom Brady addresses boos from Patriots fans: 'They have every right'

Tom Brady addresses boos from Patriots fans: 'They have every right'

It had been quite a while since the Gillette Stadium crowd booed their beloved New England Patriots. After all, the Pats rode a 21-game home win streak into Sunday's game vs. the Kansas CIty Chiefs.

But the boos were loud and clear at the end of the first half with the offensive sputtering and the Patriots trailing 20-7. In his Monday appearance on Westwood One with Jim Gray, quarterback Tom Brady shared his thoughts on the harsh reaction from the fans in Foxboro.

"Well that's part of being in sports is everybody's got a chance to cheer you or boo you," Brady told Gray. "There's been plenty of times where they've been cheering us and again, you take the good with the bad. They have every right to boo when we're not playing the way that we're capable.

"For me, I'm focused on what I've got to do to go in there and do a better job. We've been through it before, it won't be the last time and that's OK it doesn't hurt our feelings."

Does Brady hear the boos?

"Yeah, you have 70,000 people out there. It's pretty loud," Brady said with a laugh. "But, you know, that's what fans do."

If anyone understands the lofty expectations that come with playing in New England, it's No. 12.

The Patriots will visit the Cincinnati Bengals for their Week 15 matchup, so fortunately they won't have to worry about the boo birds from their own fans on Sunday. If they return home after falling to a 1-12 team, however, that'll be a different story.

Belichick responds to Bengals' videotaping allegations>>>

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