The Patriots offensive players must miss Detroit. Because on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium, the defense was very, very impressive today. After struggling somewhat against this loaded secondary, the New England wide receivers had very impressive weeks in Detroit. But not so much today.
In the next to last training camp session, the defense was ball-hawking everything in sight. Tom Brady threw back-to-back INTs during individual drills but in the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 portions of the session, the defense also picked off Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham …with seven on the day total
One of the more impressive players on the field today had to be rookie Joejuan Williams. The first-year cornerback had a bit of a rough go of it early in camp but he picked up his game last week and continued his upward climb today. He had a couple of nice interceptions and had a few pass breakups as well.
The team was in full pads.
Nate Ebner and Ken Webster returned to practice. Lance Kendricks returned …in a red non-contact jersey. Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas, and Cameron Meredith were in attendance but not in uniform. Matt LaCosse, N’Keal Harry, and D’Angelo Ross were absent from this session.
There was also a new offensive lineman [#74] present but no word yet on who that is…possibly Cole Croston returning?
Other Observations Included:
Good news on the Isaiah Wynn front. He was nearly 100 percent at participation today. He took part in 11-on-11 drills for the first time in camp.
Lots of drops, pass breakups, and interceptions in individual drills today.
First real scrap today. Michael Bennett and Dan “the Weatherman” Skipper got into during 1-on-1 blocking drills. Bennett slapped him upside his helmet and Skipper responded with a double-barrelled bird flip.
Pat Chung made a nice interception of Brady during 7-on7s. Brady attempted to go to Braxton Berrios on a drag route but Chung read it perfectly and jumped the route.
Others getting picks during the team portion of the session were Gilmore with a pair, Jamie Collins, and Williams
Jake Bailey was doing the holding during the field goal attempts today by Stephen Gostkowski…that is Gostkowski with two “k’s”
During 1-on-1s Jonathan Jones flattened Berrios with a jolting hit but the WR came back and made a really nice over the shoulder catch after almost going down again on a hit from Duke Dawson.
Berrios returned punts along with Rex Burkhead, Gunner Olszewski, and Jakobi Meyers
Berrios continued a strong showing in the return game as he and Phillip Dorsett returned kickoffs.
Jakobi Meyers continues his rise in camp. He had another nice day, making several catches including a nice back-shoulder catch on a pass from Tom Brady and another where he dove and came up with a throw from Brian Hoyer on the sideline.
Maurice Harris had a drop during team drills and wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen this summer, but then made a really nice grab as he was able to wrest the ball away from Gilmore as he high-pointed it.
QB turned WR Danny Etling had a tough morning. He had a drop in individual drills and was the target on both Stidham throws that were picked off.
The Patriots tried a little trickery with a double pass from Meyers to James White.
White also had a nice deep catch from Brady over his shoulder beating Christian Sam in coverage.
Danny Shelton left practice and retreated to the lower practice fields but later returned.
Jon Bon Jovi was in attendance today, along with Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy who did a quick interview with 98.5 after the session
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)