Day 2 of the Patriots mandatory minicamp is in the books. Another perfect day weather-wise, sunny, with temps around 80 with a nice breeze. Near perfect conditions.
Once again, wide receiver/punt returner Gunner Olszewski was the first player on the field.
Players M.I.A Today:
Among the missing today was once again RB Sony Michel, S Pat Chung, WR Demaryius Thomas, DE Deatrich Wise, T Yodny Cajuste, and RB Nick Brousette. S Nate Ebner was present but not practicing.
The pace was a bit quicker today it seemed, they were moving from drill to drill with a bit more urgency.
Bill Belichick once again, spoke with the media after practice.
Stephon Gilmore had another solid day of practice. No matter who the Patriots trot out there on the perimeter, he’s locking them down. Rookie N’Keal Harry has seen lots of Gilmore thus far and the veteran has taken him away. I didn’t notice him catch a pass during 11-on-11s when Gilmore was matched up with him. But he is doing that to everyone across from him. Gilmore also had two passes broken up.
It wasn’t a bad day per se for the Patriots offense, but the secondary as a whole is making them work for everything. There are tight windows everywhere.
Other observations include:
Maurice Harris continues to make the most of his reps. He’s been high-pointing the ball well and making some tough catches. He’s a guy to watch when the pads come on.
Lots more college coaches in attendance today. Among then Kirk Ferentz from Iowa.
Damien Harris and Brandon Bolden saw a lot of work in the running game with Michel still out.
Matt Lacosse has had a solid two days of minicamp. With Seferian-Jenkins released and Ben Watson facing a 4-game suspension, he’s the top option in the TE game right now. Lacosse spoke to the media after practice.
Joe Thuney continues to get top reps at left tackle with Isaiah Wynn not practicing yet. Brian Schwenke was at the top left guard slot today. Ted Karras was with the second grouping as the center.
Patriots top personnel grouping in the two-minute drill: Tom Brady, James White, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett and Maurice Harris (slot), Matt LaCosse, Joe Thuney, Brian Schwenke, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, and Marcus Cannon.
The second offensive personnel grouping consisted of QB Brian Hoyer, RB Rex Burkhead, WR N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Braxton Berrios (slot), TE Ben Watson, LT Dan Skipper, LG Hjalte Froholdt, C Ted Karras, RG Tyler Gauthier, and RT Cedrick Lang.
Jarrett Stidham is firmly entrenched (for now) in the #3 QB, he’s getting reps in front of Danny Etling and even got some reps in before Hoyer in the last bit of 11-on-11s.
Stidham had to run a penalty lap after dropping a snap.
With Chung still missing, Obi Melifonwu got a lot of looks at safety with the first personnel grouping.
Brady once again worked on the side during ST’s drills and once again worked with Ben Watson, N’Keal Harry, James White, and Phillip Dorsett.
During one drill, Gunner Olszewski ran into Brandon Bolden, when they were supposed to be running a rub route. Assistant Coach Ivan Fears lit into him.
Jake Bailey continues to put punts into the ozone…can you say hang time?
Harry was working on the side with Troy Brown and he was giving him tips on getting some separation at the line.
Play of the Day:
N’Keal Harry caught a touchdown from Hoyer during red zone work. On a jump ball in the end zone, he just got his fingertips around the ball before being pushed backward by a defender. He extended fully parallel to the ground and pulled the ball in as he hit. It was a fantastic effort.
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 SpecialOperations.com, 1945.com 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)