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Patriots Training Camp Observations, Sunday 8-7

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
August 7, 2016 at 8:59 pm ET

Patriots Training Camp Observations, Sunday 8-7(PHOTO: Winslow Townson - USA TODAY Sports)
Posted: Aug 07, 2016 08:59
🕑 Read Time: 4 minutes

Less Intense, Physical, and Sharp than Friday’s Session

The Patriots returned to practice on Sunday afternoon, in full pads and conducted another intra-squad scrimmage for the entire duration of the session. After the team finished their warm up session and some individual drills, the scrimmage once again was on.

Unlike Friday’s spirited contest, this one was much less sharp, less intense and not as physical as the previous one. And like Friday’s matchup the Blue team led by Tom Brady defeated the White team led by Jimmy Garoppolo.

But this time, the deck was heavily stacked in favor of the White team on offense. Garoppolo had Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Aaron Dobson, LeGarrette Blount, James White, and James Develin. Garoppolo and the White team also had most of the starting offensive line on his side, with LT Nate Solder, LG Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason and RT Marcus Cannon at right tackle.

Brady had WRs Chris Harper, DeAndre Carter, Devin Lucien, tight end A.J. Derby and running backs Tyler Gaffney and Brandon Bolden. Josh Kline was Brady’s center among the rest of the rotating backups at OL. The Blue team did have most of the starting defense on its side, however.

Neither QB was particularly sharp on Sunday. A session after going 25 of 25 Brady completed just 13 of 24 passes with a touchdown and interception. His touchdown, however, came on the final drive of the scrimmage, a crossing route from DeAndre Carter and A.J. Derby caught the two-point conversion to give the Blue team the victory.

Photo-Tom-Brady-PQvuS-250x250There was some controversy as to whether or not Derby actually crossed the goal line. Bill Belichick, acting as the referee never gave a sign although the Blue team and Brady celebrated hard. Malcolm Butler speaking after practice to the media, said “it was close we (Blue team) thought he made it, they (White) thought he didn’t. … He made it.”

Garoppolo started slowly, missing his first five throws but finished better and completed 15-25 on the day. He threw a TD pass to Martellus Bennett during a series in the red zone where he struggled on Friday.

Jacoby Brissett gave Brady a brief breather on one series and went 1 of 2. Brady used the time to become re-acquainted with Julian Edelman who, with Clay Harbor came off the PUP list, although neither participated in the scrimmage. Brady and Edelman worked on their timing and routes on the adjacent field.

Other Observations included:

Both teams worked heavily on the running game. Tyler Gaffney got the most work we’ve seen out of him in a Patriots uniform. Bill Belichick alluded to evaluating players and seeing what they can do in his presser before practice.

Gaffney carried the ball 17 times during the session, at one point carrying the rock six straight plays, reminiscent of the Miami game a year ago. While his early carries were non-productive, he got better as the scrimmage progressed and seemed to find his feet. He had some good runs at the end of the session.

Jamie Collins had a nice pass breakup of Chris Hogan coming across the middle. Garoppolo executed a play-action pass and was trying to hit Hogan in stride but Collins made a heads up play.

Brady was forced out of the pocket and scrambled down the right sideline for a first down. The crowd went nuts and Brady spiked the ball in Gronk fashion.

Kamu Grugier-Hill for the second scrimmage in a row drew Martellus Bennett and broke up a pass for the big tight end. I shy away from the term “coverage linebacker” because most of them can’t run with the tight ends in the NFL. But KGH is a very intriguing player. He’s athletic enough for sure. The rookie plays linebacker, looks like a safety and runs like a corner. Far from a chimera, he faces an uphill battle to make the roster but if he can run with the likes of Bennett, then he may find himself here in September.


Brady and Derby weren’t on the same page and a wayward pass was easily picked off by safety Cedric Thompson.

Derby besides the two-point conversion had a deep seam pass reception from Brady for about 25 yards down the right side.

RB Brandon Bolden seemed to be fighting the sun and dropped a deep ball from Brady down the right sideline.

Jabaal Sheard, Shea McClellin and Rob Ninkovich looked solid coming off the edge. Ramon Humber may have been credited with a sack blitzing up the A-Gap.

Markus Kuhn is coming on and having a solid camp. A guy that wasn’t given much of a shot to make the roster is playing very well the past several days. He’s been stout in run support and had some good pressure as an interior rusher again today.


Cyrus Jones continues to get the top reps in the kicking game with V’Angelo Bentley. He had a mixed bag on Sunday; showing some nice cuts on one return but muffing another punt that put the Blue team on its five-yard line.

Malcolm Butler has really turned it on and had another strong day in the secondary for the Blue team. He’s just improving each day and told the media after practice that he loves the competition of the scrimmages.

Butler and Edelman addressed the media after practice.

Tomorrow’s practice is slated for 9:15 a.m. The Saints then come in for joint practices on Tuesday and Wednesday before the first preseason game on Thursday.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

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About Steve Balestrieri

A former US Army Special Forces NCO and Officer, Steve has been following the Patriots since their days at Fenway Park. Steve has worked in the film industry and wrote as an Military Editor at, as a reporter for the Millbury Daily Voice, Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, and the Grafton News. He's also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Jabaal Sheard Jimmy Garoppolo Julian Edelman Malcolm Butler New England Patriots NFL Patriots edge rushers Patriots Training Camp Photos Rob Gronkowski Rob Ninkovich Tom Brady

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