Patriots Defense Dominates Again: Sunday Practice Observations

Steve Balestrieri
July 29, 2018 at 3:13 pm ET

Sunday’s Patriots practice session began shortly after 9 a.m. with sunny and clear conditions. The heat and humidity were dialed back a bit this morning and so was the tempo and intensity of practice.

The majority of the fully padded session was conducted in a slower, methodical manner and the hitting was not noteworthy until the end of practice when the Patriots defense absolutely stoned the offense four straight times in goalline.

The same players on PUP were missing, of note today was the absence of both RB Mike Gillislee and CB Keion Crossen, who reportedly has been having back spasms. The offense took another hit when Jordan Matthews tweaked a hamstring and left practice. Trey Flowers returned today after leaving the session yesterday with a towel on his forehead. Flowers had a big bandage in the middle of his forehead so he obviously had a pretty good gash there.

Play of the Day: At the end of practice, the defense stopped the offense three straight times from the goal line. On the fourth attempt, running back Brandon Bolden had nowhere to go and tried to bounce it outside. Elandon Roberts flew over and popped Bolden good, knocking him backward for a loss. It was a superb way to end the practice.

Play of the Day ***Honorable Mention***: Cordarrelle Patterson made a fantastic catch with Eric Rowe draped all over him.  Patterson ran a 12-yard pattern where Brady hit him with a back shoulder throw. Rowe read it perfectly and was in perfect position to knock it away. Patterson used his long reach to get his hands on the ball and as he fell to the ground was able to haul it in.

Patterson continues his strong summer. SBalestrieri photo)

He’s been good thru the first four days of camp. And plays like this and the others he’s doing during the first few days of camp will get him the trust of the quarterback. And building that trust is key for the new guys.

Other observations include:

  • Stephon Gilmore continues his outstanding offseason. During individual drills, he knocked away a pair of passes. He was ignored during the 11-on-11 drills. Not one pass came his way.
  • Nicholas Grigsby was rocking a hooded sweatshirt under his uniform today at practice. While it wasn’t as hot as some days last week, it wasn’t sweatshirt weather. He must like to sweat.
  • Jordan Matthews gave a nice effort, going horizontal and diving for a deep pass from Tom Brady and coming up just short of the ball.
  • Will Tye ran a nice corner route in the end zone and Brady showed a deft touch and lobbed it right in the bucket for a quick score. Tye had a nice day.
  • The Patriots were working on the screen and running games a lot in the session today. During 11-on-11 Brady only attempted seven passes, completing five.
  • Brady attempted two deep passes in a row, the first to Chris Hogan, where the WR was open but Jomal Wiltz got there a second before the ball arrived and the second, Julian Edelman ran a deep cross and was wide open down the right side of the field.
  • Riley McCarron was wide open on a deep pattern but Brian Hoyer was late in seeing it and then getting the ball to him. Recognizing it, Jordan Richards raced over and knocked it away.
  • Hogan got shaken up after running a quick slant and getting into a big collision with Rowe but he shook it off and remained out there on the field.
  • Sony Michel caught a screen pass from Brady and took it to the house. The crowd roared. Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of yet, however.
  • Jacob Hollister continues to impress, he ran a seam route into the end zone where he caught a nice back shoulder throw from Hoyer.
  • Loved what I saw in goalline from Danny Shelton. He’s a load in the middle. It allows the linebackers to fill and make plays. He and Lawrence Guy were really strong, especially late.
  • During a special teams segment, Brady threw on the side with Rob Gronkowski, James White, Hogan, Dorsett, and Hollister. Things that make you go hmm.
  • Tiquan Underwood was present for the third straight day of practice. You can’t mistake that hair anywhere.

After the session, Sony Michel, Hollister and Deatrich Wise were among the players over speaking with the media. We’ll have more on Wise later…check back on PatsFans.com.

***NOTE*** Tomorrow’s practice session will be a night practice in Gillette Stadium open to Patriots season ticket holders and Foxboro residents.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.



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