Duke Dawson

Next Pats Podcast: Tony Romo on Brady, Belichick and Gronkowski; Early Patriots roster projections

Next Pats Podcast: Tony Romo on Brady, Belichick and Gronkowski; Early Patriots roster projections

Tony Romo attended the Northeast Amateur Invitational at the Wannamoisett Country Club in Rhode Island and took the time to answer a handful of questions from reporters.

2:02 — Phil Perry asks him about Rob Gronkowski's potential return.

5:58 — How will Tom Brady deal with a depleted offense?

9:07 — How much longer Bill Belichick might continue coaching?

14:37 — Phil also caught up with Patriots cornerback Duke Dawson, who despite missing the entirety of his rookie year, could end up being a key piece of New England's secondary.

23:46 — Phil goes through his 53-man roster projection, starting with the defense and the handful of new additions there.

29:11 — Phil gets into the offense Brady will be working with.

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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.  

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

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Five Patriots minicamp moments that will stir up the most Patriots buzz

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File photo

Five Patriots minicamp moments that will stir up the most Patriots buzz

Just a quick reminder: Minicamp is an extension of "passing camp." Players are not in full pads. There is no hitting of any kind. Therefore, if you're looking for updates on how the offensive line is taking shape, or how Mike Pennel is going to impact the game for the Patriots' defensive front, don't hold your breath. 

The passing game alone, however, offers us a multitude of points of intrigue. Those are where are eyeballs will be glued when minicamp kicks off Tuesday and runs through Thursday. 

Here are five minicamp moments we're expecting to see that should kick up a little bit of buzz around the team -- as much buzz as can be kicked up in June -- almost two full months before training camp begins.