Sloppy Affair For the Offense
The Patriots conducted their sixth practice of training camp and their third in full pads on the fields behind Gillette Stadium on a very hot, humid Wednesday morning. It was perhaps the worst showing of the summer by the offense who were plagued by dropped passes. Between the heat, humidity and the Patriots defense, the offense had a rough session. They never looked in sync and had a hard time stringing any plays together.
Not Practicing – Julian Edelman and Yodny Cajuste remain on NFI, Demaryius Thomas is still on PUP along with Nate Ebner and Ken Webster.
Byron Cowart and Dontrelle Inman returned after missing three practices and two respectively. Cowart worked on conditioning while Inman jumped right back into team drills. After warmups and stretching, Rex Burkhead retreated to the lower practice fields for work with the training staff. About halfway thru practice, Lance Kendricks left with a member of the training staff, which could have been a heat issue.
The practice was conducted in full pads. Our observations included:
- Once again a big part of the focus on Wednesday was the running game. Early in the session, James White was leading the way
- N’Keal Harry had a rough go of it, the worst of his career with four (4) drops one of which irritated Brady and he let the rookie know it.
- Braxton Berrios didn’t have a great session either, he had a drop from Brady and another from Hoyer.
On the subject of Berrios, with Edelman out, he was expected to really compete and get work with the top unit on offense. After a really solid spring, things haven’t worked out. He hasn’t stood out at all. And worse yet, he isn’t getting any separation from the corners and he’s been mainly going against the second-tier guys.
Maybe in the preseason, they’ll scheme up something to get him open more. Right now, I thought he’d be rapidly becoming the Amendola option to this offense. Although there is still a long, long way to go, right now, I’d put him on the outside looking in.
Back to observations…
- Jakobi Meyers is having a pretty impressive camp along with Maurice Harris. While he isn’t getting the reps that Harris is, whenever he’s being called, he is producing. He used his height to outleap Keion Crosson and brought down a pass from Stidham. I’d put him over Berrios…right now.
- During the first 7-on-7 period, the offense struggled with drops on three plays. Berrios dropped a pass from Stidham, then he dropped one from Brady as the ball sailed right thru his hands.
- Harry dropped one on a quick drag route close to the line of scrimmage.
- Harry then ran a nice comeback route as Brady gunned the ball to his back shoulder. The rookie made the nice difficult catch on that one.
- During 11-on-11, Harry dropped a quick slant where Brady put the ball right in his hands.
- Brady just missed hitting Ben Watson with Devin McCourty providing tight coverage. The window was tight and he just missed him.
- When Brian Hoyer came in, he tried to hook up with Phillip Dorsett but Jason McCourty did a nice job of breaking up the pass.
- Stidham hit Damoun Patterson on a drag route close to the line of scrimmage. Then he threw behind Patterson on the next snap.
- During the final 11-on-11 which looked to be a hurry-up offensive series Brady laid out a deep seam pass for Harry but he dropped it. This was one of the only plays of the summer where Gilmore was beaten clearly.
- Jonathan Jones made a really nice play of breaking up a pass intended for Berrios. Jones is having an outstanding camp thus far. Perhaps only Gilmore is playing better in the secondary right now.
- Hoyer attempted to split double coverage with a deep seam pass to Watson. Terrence Brooks got a piece of it and Duron Harmon picked it off.
- Joejuan Williams had his best day of camp and broke up another pass to Watson. He had a couple on nice breakups today.
- Dan Skipper was getting the majority of first-team reps at left tackle but in the 1-on-1 drills he was beaten cleanly by Shalique Calhoun, who quietly is having a good camp and later was pancaked by Ufomba Kamalu. Not a good sign.
- David Andrews and Joe Thuney held their own in the drills with good, solid stops.
- Backup defensive lineman Nick Thurman looked impressive in his individual 1-on-1 against Tyree St. Louis.
- New offensive lineman Martez Ivey was in uniform and has a long, long way to go with his conditioning. Forced to run a penalty lap, he was so slow that the trainers came out to check on him….time to hit the hills.
- Punt returners today were Chung, Berrios, Olszewski, and Dorsett.
- Jake Bailey did a good job both on hanging his punts high in the air and on holding for Stephen Gostkowski’s field goals….hmmm.
The next practice session is slated for Thursday morning at 9:15 a.m.
Brady, Watson, James White, and Dont’a Hightower all spoke with the media after practice. Brady spoke about the difficulties working against this defense and getting the new players up to speed.
“They’re all new players, so we’ve got to figure out how to get them up to speed to what our expectations are, the level of competition on a daily basis,” Brady said after practice. “We have a very good defense this year. Those guys are challenging us on every day. It’s hard to complete passes on our secondary. That’s just the reality. So, it’s actually great work for our offense to see how we measure up against a very good defense.
“Days like today are frustrating for us and we’ve got to learn from the corrections and try to come out and have a better day tomorrow.”
Play of the Day:
Okay, now that we got Harry’s struggles covered, he also had the play of the day, so that his day wasn’t a total loss. One play after dropping an easy catch, Harry made the very difficult one. He attacked the seam and was facing tight coverage from Jason McCourty . He went up and made an incredible leaping catch where he came down hard on his back. He was shaken up for a few seconds but quickly returned to the huddle and continued.
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