The Patriots will be back on the fields behind Gillette Stadium for their second consecutive day of practice. They had a long, hot competitive workout in pads on Wednesday so what should we expect Thursday?
When's it start
We'll hear from Bill Belichick at 8:45 a.m. prior to the practice, where we'll likely hear him touch on his tackle situation as well as how he sees his young receiver group coming together. (It was a tough day for the entire Patriots passing game on Wednesday.) Following Belichick's press conference will be the team's walkthrough at 9:15 a.m., which means practice should start at 9:25 a.m. We'll hear from players about two hours later following the on-the-field portion of their day.
What to expect
Could be back in pads again on Day 7. That's what they did on Day 7 last year. Here's what we wrote about the team's seventh practice in the Postcard from Camp last summer: "It was likely the most entertaining and emotional practice of Patriots training camp to this point." The Patriots even had some fun at one point in their Day 7 session last year with the defense running a couple of offensive plays and the offense trying to stop them. More of the same? Even if there isn't, there should be plenty to note. While most padded practices have been focused on the run game, we could see a little more passing Thursday. Again, that was the case for practice No. 7 last year.
Isaiah Wynn is on everyone's mind. Why? A couple of reasons. a) The first is that the 2018 first-round pick hasn't participated fully in a practice to this point after missing all of last season with a torn Achilles. b) Trent Williams' name is now being circulated in trade scuttlebutt. The Patriots would have to pull off some cap gymnastics in order to bring on Williams, but for anyone worried about Wynn, the idea of bringing in a Pro Bowl tackle in a trade may seem enticing. I believe Wynn is being worked along slowly and will be ready to play for Week 1, but at some point, he's going to have to see his workload increased. Does that happen Thursday?
How will Tom Brady's pass-catchers bounce back? We detailed the issues they had on Day 6. Can someone like Braxton Berrios suddenly turn it on, create some separation, and become a reliable target? Can N'Keal Harry put his drops behind him? I'm interested to see how these young players cope with a day as ugly as Wednesday.
I'm also interested to see how the Patriots use their linebackers in coverage. If this is indeed a pass-heavy day, we'll get a decent indication. Will Ja'Whaun Bentley or Dont'a Hightower be entrusted to run with backs and tight ends at all times? Will Patrick Chung take some work off their plates? Is Jame Collins going to factor into the back-and-tight-end coverage equation? That may end up being his best role, in my opinion, but we have to see it first. Maybe we'll see it on Thursday.
Please, as always, follow Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) and me (@philaperry) on Twitter for updates throughout the day. I'll also have video, player interviews and other observations on my Instagram story (@philaperry).
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