FOXBORO — The Patriots were back in shells and shorts on Friday after a couple of competitive practices in full pads on Wednesday and Thursday. Here’s what we saw…
No significant changes here. Julian Edelman and Yodny Cajuste (NFL) as well as Demaryius Thomas, Nate Ebner and Ken Webster (PUP) remained out. Lance Kendricks, who left Wednesday’s practice early, was also out.
In 7-on-7 work, none of which was very competitive, Tom Brady went 6-for-8. That included two completions to Sony Michel, who saw more work as a receiver on Friday. In 11-on-11 work, Brady went 6-for-12. The defense ratcheted up the intensity late in a hurry-up period and Brady went 3-for-7, with two of his completions going to Jakobi Meyers.
Brian Hoyer went 4-for-6 in 7-on-7 work but one of his incompletions was due to a Dontrelle Inman drop. Hoyer only got four attempts in 11-on-11 work and went 0-for-4. Two of his passes were batted away by safety Terrence Brooks. One was broken up by J.C. Jackson. (Jackson also broke up a Hoyer pass to Phillip Dorsett in 7-on-7.)
Jarrett Stidham got a little extra work today — perhaps with joint practices, and potentially fewer chances for the rookie, facing the Lions next week — and went 2-for-2 in 7-on-7 work. In 11-on-11, he went 6-for-9 with a nice fade completed to Braxton Berrios, who had to dive in the corner of the end zone to reel it in.
OBSERVATIONS OF NOTE
Perhaps the most important note of the day was that Isaiah Wynn saw an increased workload. Again, no pads Friday. But to see Wynn working across from a defensive lineman — not someone holding a blocking pad — and absorbing some contact is something we haven’t seen this summer. He made another step in his progression, which is a good sign for a team that still has plenty of questions at left tackle. Wynn took second-team reps with Dan Skipper continuing to get the first-team work.
Sony Michel saw more work as a receiver on Friday than we’d seen all throughout camp. Would the Patriots saddle him with more of a pass-catcher’s workload in Year 2? He was essentially a non-factor in the passing game as a rookie after a few attempts to him early in the season yielded little. If he can catch the football consistently — he had 64 catches in four seasons at the University of Georgia — he’d provide the Patriots offense with a measure of unpredictability that really only Rex Burkhead provides at the moment from the running back spot.
Patrick Chung continues to wear a red non-contact jersey, but he was among those returning punts in practice Friday. Berries, Gunner Olszewski and Maurice Harris also took punt-return reps. Late in practice, after the team ran The Hills, Berrios took a few more reps and muffed a couple.
Rough day for the two punters on the roster. The special-teams periods were short, but they focused on the punt game and there was one stretch of four punts — between both Jake Bailey and Ryan Allen — where three were certifiable ducks. Makes it hard to run an efficient drill that way. Special teams coach Joe Judge appeared none too pleased after the drill and spoke to both punters before moving onto the next practice period.
Obi Melifonwu continues to stand out through eight days of camp. He’s made plays on the football when he’s had the opportunity, making a nice interception on Hoyer early in camp. He scooped up a James White fumble the next day. This week, he was on the field in a goal-line period and helped stuff a run. On Friday he got some reps with other starters. His size and athleticism are rare, and he appears to be stacking solid days. That’s resulted in the coaching staff giving him a few more reps, seemingly.
In a lighter moment that had the crowd in attendance chuckling, Brady lobbed a Hail Mary into the end zone late in practice. Because players were conscious of not getting their legs tangled with someone else’s on a light-intensity day, no one really jumped for the pass. Jamie Collins ended up catching it. He then very nicely handed it to Maurice Harris.
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