Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski got some additional work in during the team’s first training camp practice on Thursday. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
Here are some news and notes for this morning:
BRADY APPRECIATING ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY:
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has already had football taken away from him once after suffering a knee injury in the home opener back in 2008. Otherwise, he’s started and played in every game since taking over as the starter back in 2001 and on Thursday he told reporters that he doesn’t take anything for granted.
“It goes pretty fast so I think you just appreciate it and there’s very few people that have the opportunity that I have and I’m very appreciative of it,” Brady said. “You never know when the last one’s going to be, so you just appreciate the moments that you have.
“Every year is something different and this could be your last training camp. You never know. So you’ve got to make it count and you can’t take anything for granted in the NFL. So I try to do the best I can for this team and, hopefully, it leads to a great year.”
Brady had his ups and downs during the team’s first public practice, including spending quite a bit of time working with tight end Rob Gronkowski on Thursday. The two got in a little extra work after Brady and Gronkowski went over to the team’s second practice field and the two continued working as Gronkowski ran a variety of pass routes.
Brady acknowledged that there’s going to need to be some additional work needed as they continue trying to improve.
“It’s a long training camp. It’s going to be a lot of effort and a lot of work, ” said Brady. “There is no easy way about it. You just have to grind and put the work in and listen to the coaches, try to make the improvements. Hopefully when we start the season, we’ll be a lot better team than we are now.”
DEGUGLIELMO TRYING TO CONTINUE SCARNECCHIA’S SYSTEM:
A lot of talk this offseason centered on how the Patriots could keep their success with offensive linemen going after what now-retired former o-line coach Dante Scarnecchia had been able to accomplish. His replacement, Dave DeGuglielmo, told the media on Thursday that he’s not worried about following Scarnecchia and is just taking advantage of the system that was already in place.
“Following him? You know, I have a job to do, and I’m trying to do the best I can every day,” DeGulglielmo said. “I think the system is in place, so it’s not like we’re reinventing anything here.
“I’m trying to teach the system. I might use different coaching phrases, but it’s the same stuff. Same technique, generally the same offense. I’m not changing anything, that’s for sure.”
KENBRELL THOMPKINS SHINES IN DAY ONE:
For the second straight year Kenbrell Thompkins has been impressive and on Thursday he caught the attention of fans who were on hand for the team’s first public session.
During 7-on-7 work, Thompkins hauled in a couple of touchdown receptions and both were ones where he had to catch the ball over his head in the back corner of the end zone. He also joined a group that included Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola on the other field while working on fade routes without a defense.
WILFORK HAS NO LIMITATIONS ON DAY ONE:
Coming off of a ruptured Achilles that he suffered back on September 29th last season, Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork appeared a little lighter when he took the field on Thursday and was a full participant during the team’s first practice.
Wilfork said that so far he’s feeling good.
“If I had limitations, I wouldn’t be practicing. Right now, I’m on the field and I’m healthy,” Wilfork said via ESPN BOSTON after the two-hour session. “I’m pretty sure there’s going to still be some stuff that I may need to do, so ‘so far, so good.’ I’m not looking back. I’m looking forward.”
The veteran tackle also said his goal now is to just prove that he can continue being a key part of the defense.
“I just have to prove I can come out and give my team what they need,” said Wilfork. “Me as a person, I’ve never been a selfish player; I was a team player. If I wanted to be selfish, I could have been a shot putter. I’ve done that. I was a state champion shot putter, but it wasn’t my thing. My thing was to be with teammates, a good group of guys, and we’re all working toward one goal and that’s to be able to win and push one another. That’s why I chose football.
“For me to prove anything, no; I have to prove to my teammates they can trust me when the [game] is on the line. They have to do the same thing with me. It starts now. Camp is, that’s the platform for everything. If you can [become] a better football team in camp, you’ll be pretty decent.”
OBSERVATION LINKS FROM THURSDAY:
(To try and make things a little easier, here’s a quick rundown of the links from the media with observations from Thursday’s session:)
Thursday’s Training Camp Observations 7/24 – Derek Havens
Patriots Training Camp Notes: Kenbrell Thompkins Shines On Opening Day – Erik Frenz
Observations from Patriots camp: Day 1 – Mike Reiss & Lee Schechter
Practice observations: Rob Gronkowski limited in first workout of training camp – Jeff Howe
Thursday Training Camp Notes: Rob Gronkowski Returns to the Field, Kenbrell Thompkins Looks Impressive – Christopher Price
Tom Brady brings fresh perspective to his 15th season – Ben Volin: Volin has an article on Brady who despite being in his 15th season still treats the experience like he’s a rookie.
Notes: Dave DeGuglielmo ‘not reinventing’ Patriots offensive line – Michael Whitmer: Whitmer files his notebook this morning which leads off with comments from new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who is just trying to carry on Dante Scarnecchia’s system.
Patriots Training Camp: Day 2 of Practice, Schedule – Zuri Berry: Berry has today’s practice schedule, with the team set to hold another session beginning at 9:15am.
Patriots Notebook: Progress for Aaron Dobson – Jeff Howe: Howe files his notebook this morning, which leads off with some positive news on Dobson.
Josh McDaniels thrilled to start again – Adam Kurkjian: Kurkjian has notes from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who said “it’s great to get started” after the team’s opening session.
It’s Rob Gronkowski time – Jeff Howe: Howe has an article on Gronkowski, focusing on some of the work the veteran did yesterday including spending some time getting in some work on improving his blocking technique.
Patriots coverage from national view – Mike Reiss: Reiss has links from national media outlets, which offers a few different perspectives.
Patriots camp report: Day 1 – Mike Reiss: Reiss has additional notes from yesterday, including some notes on Aaron Dobson, Vince Wilfork, and James White.
Wilfork practices without restriction – Mike Reiss: Reiss has an entry on Wilfork, who also said he has a little more appreciation of the game after being out last year.
Tom Brady pumps up Kenbrell Thompkins and pumps the brakes on Rob Gronkowsi – Mike Petraglia: Petraglia has some quick notes followed by the remainder of Brady’s press conference from Thursday.
DeGuglielmo homecoming brings levity to Pats line – Phil Perry: Perry has an article on offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo, who is doing things in his own way.
No passing of the torch at Patriots’ camp – Glen Farley: Farley has an article on the fact Brady didn’t look like a guy who was ready to hand the football over to Jimmy Garoppolo on Thursday.