The Patriots are back. The 2018 season began with the first total team practice session of training camp under mostly overcast, steamy conditions. Just after practice began, a steady, drenching rain fell which soaked everything for just a few minutes and then the rest of practice was conducted in a mix of sun and clouds which made it even more humid.
Everyone was in attendance with the exception of players on PUP. Of those, only Malcolm Mitchell was missing, the rest were working out the lower practice fields with the Patriots training staff. Those players include WR Matthew Slater, WR Kenny Britt, CB Jonathan Jones, CB Cyrus Jones, S Nate Ebner, and RB Brandon Bolden.
Today there wasn’t a lot of one-on-one competition and with just shorts and light shells, there was no hitting (as required by the CBA). The team did do a lot of red zone work and as usual Tom Brady got the lion’s share of the reps.
In the red zone, to no one’s surprise, the combination of Brady and Rob Gronkowski was nearly impossible to stop. They were hooking up frequently for scores and Gronk was showing equal love to several different players assigned to stop him. No one did.
Brady looked pretty sharp for the first day of camp. In actuality, we really don’t expect to see much from him until they begin putting the whole offense together. In practice, Brady can find the open man in his sleep, that isn’t an issue. But once they offensive packages come into play, that will be the time to see where his game is at. But as for Day 1, both he and Gronkowski look very good.
Other observations include:
- Stephon Gilmore looked outstanding once again. He’s had a great spring and summer thus far and this morning was no exception. He was giving no windows for the QBs to throw in. He made a nice breakup of a pass designed for Chris Hogan. He allowed just a single catch to Phillip Dorsett.
- Phillip Dorsett had a strong session, the Patriots experimented with him spending time on the field with Edelman and having Dorsett line up inside more. It is very early but the first signs were encouraging.
- Trent Brown was getting the snaps at left tackle on the offensive line, Isaiah Wynn got backup snaps at guard and tackle.
- Eric Rowe got the snaps opposite Gilmore this morning and looked good, he knocked away a pass for Hogan in the end zone. He appeared much fresher and quicker than he was in the spring. He knocked away a fade route by Patterson tie
- Deatrich Wise batted down a Danny Etling pass at the line of scrimmage. Etling got very limited snaps in 11-on-11 work but did complete four of five throws.
- The running backs all got plenty of work with the top unit of the offense and they each looked strong. James White and Sony Michel stood out in the passing game today.
- Cordarrelle Patterson was used in a way that best served his talents; He was the first team kickoff returner and had a nice end around which would have gone for a touchdown with Jordan Matthews and Dwayne Allen sealing the edge. He also had a fade at the back corner of the end zone that appeared to be an easy six before Eric Rowe leaped up to knock it down.
- Harvey Langi was getting one-on-one instruction from STs coach Joe Judge.
- Jacob Hollister had another strong showing today and made a couple of nice catches in the end zone. Troy Niklas was a frequent target of Brian Hoyer.
- Brady was 11 of 15 in the full team 11-on-11 drills, Hoyer (by my count) was 11 of 18 and Etling 4 of 5 in limited work.
- Etling and Luke Bowanko bobbled a snap and had to run a penalty lap. Later the offense ran another one after a bobbled snap by Hoyer.
We’ll be back down there and keep everyone apprised of what’s happening with training camp as events unfold. The pads are supposed to come on Saturday.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: 2018 Patriots Training Camp Bill Belichick Chris Hogan Cordarrelle Patterson Julian Edelman New England Patriots Patriots Patriots edge rushers Phillip Dorsett Rob Gronkowski Stephon Gilmore Tom Brady