2nd year CB having an outstanding start to training camp
The Patriots conducted their fifth practice of training camp on Tuesday afternoon in full pads for the third straight practice. The crowds were once again large and serenaded QB Tom Brady with a “Happy Birthday” rendition. Brady’s birthday was on Monday but the team got the day off.
The team resumes practice on Wednesday night for the in-stadium practice for season ticket holders and Foxboro residents and then returns Thursday for a 1:45 p.m. practice.
The team announced a series of roster moves, signing linebackers L.J. Fort and Cameron Gordon, defensive lineman A.J. Pataiali’l and former Patriots running back Erik Kettani were added. Rookie TE A.J. Derby was waived.
MIA List: The following players were not spotted:
Quarterback Matt Flynn (NFI) Flynn was spotted on the field on the stationary bike
STs Gunner Matthew Slater (PUP) on-field in sweats
WR Brandon LaFell (PUP)
LB Dane Fletcher (PUP) was on the field in sweats
LB Chris White (PUP)
OL Ryan Wendell (PUP)
OL Caylin Hauptmann (PUP)
DL Chris Jones (PUP)
DL Alan Branch (NFI) was on the field
DL Joe Vellano
RB Tyler Gaffney
OL Marcus Cannon
Brian Tyms took a shot to the mid-section halfway through practice and was carted off. Pure speculation here, but it may be a rib or arm injury.
Linebacker Donta Hightower was wearing a red non-contact jersey; Xzavier Dickson shed his red jersey and was an active participant in all the drills.
Tarel Brown has switched numbers from #9 to #31 for those of you keeping score at home. Kettani is wearing #34….and after that, is anyone’s guess.
Butler Has Another Solid Day: Without trying to sound like a broken record here, but it bears repeating, Malcolm Butler is having an outstanding summer and training camp. His confidence level is sky-high and he competes on every rep like it is his last.
Tom Brady threw his first interception of the summer and it was picked by …Butler of course. Brady made a rare bad decision and tried to force the ball to Josh Boyce on a deep slant. Butler recognized it, undercut the route and picked the ball off as he tumbled to the turf.
He had another nice breakup of a pass against Aaron Dobson, knocking the ball away. Butler has been the best corner by far this summer, he flashed in camp every day last season and is doing much the same thing.
Rookie corner Darryl Roberts is beginning to find his feet in the defense. He had a couple of nice breakups during positional drills, including a beauty against Aaron Dobson where he knocked a perfectly thrown fade pass away at the last possible moment.
Jordan Richards continues to impress, he’s showcasing some nice instinctive play and is active whenever he’s on the field. He seems to have picked up the defense really quickly.
Amendola Has Solid Afternoon: With Julian Edelman leaving for the field house soon after practice began after tweaking his ankle on Sunday, Amendola stepped into his role seamlessly.
He and Brady were hooking up consistently and the two had a beauty of a connection in the left corner of the endzone where Brady lofted a nice fade right into his hands on the fly. Bradley Fletcher had tight coverage but Brady dropped the ball perfectly where only the receiver could catch it and Amendola did.
Josh Boyce got some extended reps and Brady was utilizing his quickness off the line but having him run some quick slants inside and the two hooked up quite a few times. With Brandon LaFell still on PUP and now Tyms and Edelman hurting, this is a golden opportunity for him to make his mark.
Both Boyce and Brandon Gibson had a good afternoon, working the underside of the field with both Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Jimmy G. also had a pick in the afternoon session. He tried to roll out to his right and like Brady tried to force the ball, in this case to TE Jimmay Mundine and safety Nate Ebner picked it off easily.
It was a good afternoon to watch the 1-on-1 positional battles with the big men at the far end of the field and the competition, as always was fun to watch. Jabaal Sheard has been showing some great burst off the edge but he’s also has a great bull rush as well. He beat rookie Tre’ Jackson to the inside and blew right past newcomer Pataiali’l on another. Brady has become increasingly aware of wherever Sheard is lining up as we captured in a photo on Tuesday.
Rookie Geneo Grissom flashed in a couple of battles, beating Bryan Stork on one rep with speed and using some nice hand moves, got inside of Shaq Mason on another. Jackson pancaked Rufus Johnson later in the session.
As we’ve pointed out, don’t go to sleep on DL Antonio Johnson, the eight year veteran has plenty of starting experience and is having a solid camp. With no Alan Branch, or Chris Jones yet and Vellano on the shelf, don’t be shocked if Johnson who was an off-season award winner earns his way onto the roster.
Tuesday the defense turned the tide in the 11-on-11 goal line drills, stoning the offense three out of four times. Good penetration at the point of attack resulted in LaGarrette Blount being stopped twice. Brady threw an incomplete pass before Jonas Gray finally powered, albeit barely into the end zone. And yes the defense and the defensive coaches were letting Brady and the offense know it with some good-natured but loud trash talking.
It was good to see and talk with a member of Congress, the Honorable James McGovern and a member of his staff, Gladys Rodriguez-Parker during the practice session. I have had the pleasure of meeting Jim both overseas while a member of the military and as a media member, interviewing him on a visit to Central Mass.
He just returned after an arduous trip to Iraq but said his kids were dying to attend a training camp session so they were all having a ball. That’s being a great dad Jim!
Stay tuned to PatsFans.com for all the latest coming out of training camp and monitor our Facebook page for the daily photo gallery
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2015 Patriots Training Camp A.J. Pataiali’i Antonio Johnson Brandon Gibson Cameron Gordon Danny Amendola Geneo Grissom Jabaal Sheard Jimmy Garoppolo Jonas Gray Jordan Richards Josh Boyce Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler Nate Ebner Shaq Mason Tom Brady Tre' Jackson