A short but intense rainstorm slowed the festivities of the day as the Patriots always hold their in-stadium practice for season ticket holders and Foxboro residents after their annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Rodney Harrison and Leon Gray were enshrined in the Patriots Hall of Fame in the late afternoon but the sun returned and added a steamy aspect to things. But fans didn’t care and they flocked into Gillette Stadium after the ceremonies were over.
Not Practicing – Julian Edelman and Yodny Cajuste remain on NFI, Edelman, however, was in attendance and later signed autographs after practice was over. Those on PUP remain Demaryius Thomas, Nate Ebner, Cole Croston, and Ken Webster. Croston was seen on the sidelines which may be a good sign for him returning soon. Byron Cowart and Dontrelle Inman were also not in attendance again.
Pat Chung is no longer wearing the red non-contact jersey and now seems a full participant. David Andrews and Isaiah Wynn are still limited.
And recently acquired offensive lineman JJ Dielman has retired, the third OL to do so this spring after Jared Veldheer, and Brian Schwenke.
The practice was conducted in helmets, shorts, and shirts, with no pads and no contact. In reality, it was more of a walkthru than a spirited practice session after the past two days in full pads. Our observations included:
- Danny Etling was acting as the QB for the scout team while Chung was taking snaps as the scout team running back. In his stead, Obi Melifonwu saw many of Chung’s normal reps, lining up as a deep safety.
- Perhaps Chung’s lining up was in homage to Rodney Harrison, who Bill Belichick earlier had said that Harrison would line up anywhere in practice. Belichick then compared Harrison and Chung and spoke about how both broke arms in the Super Bowl but wouldn’t leave the field and remained with air casts on to support their teammates.
- Conducting practice in a half-speed, walkthru pace can mess with a QB’s timing, Jarrett Stidham badly overthrew James White who was all alone in one rep.
- N’Keal Harry had a concentration drop on a deep ball from Tom Brady which drew groans from the crowd.
- Brady targeted Braxton Berrios frequently while James White joined Brandon Bolden and Damien Harris in getting a lot of reps from the backfield.
- Dan Skipper is getting a lot of reps at left tackle as Joe Thuney returns to his normal left guard position.
- Bill Belichick said before practice that the team would work on Situational football as their focus Monday night and they did, conducting several down and distance scenarios during the session.
- Among the players speaking with the media after practice were Maurice Harris, Mike Pennel, and Lawrence Guy.
- After the session, players signed autographs for the fans and then everyone was treated to a fireworks display inside Gillette Stadium.
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