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MORSE: What Did We Learn from the 1st Three Patriots Practices?

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
4 months ago at 11:02 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

MORSE: What Did We Learn from the 1st Three Patriots Practices?Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

What Did We Learn from the 1st Three Practices?

We didn’t learn much but there were a few items.

  1. Trent Brown showed up early and in relatively good shape (for him). He had nothing but good things to say about Bill O’Brien and Adrian Klemm.  It appears that he is motivated, given that this is a contract year for him.  If he has locked down the left side of the offensive line that will go a long way to the success of this team.  When he was asked why he showed up early in his press conference after practice, he simply said that he was asked to.
  2. Almost everyone passed their conditioning test. Only Michael Onwenu and Cody Davis remain on PUP.  DeMarcus Mitchell passed his physical and was removed from the Non-Football Injury list on Friday.  He was at practice both Wednesday and Thursday but was not participating.  Mitchell played 310 snaps on special teams last season.  Calvin Anderson was put on the Non-Football Illness list but no details were given.
  3. Lawrence Guy was a full participant and wouldn’t comment about his contract status. All he would say is that his representatives have been in contact with the team management.  Guy missed the mandatory mini-camp but said that was due to him and his wife welcoming a new child into the family and not a protest of his contract status.
  4. It appeared that Matt Judon was conducting a “Hold In”. That is, not participating in practice due to his contract status.  He has clearly outperformed his contract and is a likely candidate for a contract extension.  He indicated in his press conference that he would like to finish his career here in New England.  When asked about his contract situation he stated in his press conference “Y’all some snitches” as he called the media.
  5. The 1st three practices are more like OTAs in that the league does not allow any contact as the players ramp up to what a full practice would be like. The team is off tomorrow and will be back on Sunday at 12:30 for a full padded practice.  We will see some Oline vs Dline hitting and those reps will be very telling.  Friday’s practice included wearing shells.
  6. Josh Uche has looked very quick in these un-padded practices and he is also in the final year of his contract. I would like to see the Patriots use some of that salary cap space on an extension for Uche.
  7. Jack Jones has been relegated to taking second-team reps. This is probably a case where the team is preparing for life without Jack Jones due to his pending weapons charges.
  8. The team did a lot of Red Zone work. This is probably the result of the team finishing dead last in Red Zone scoring last year. All three QBs struggled in this confined space and Mac Jones was picked off twice by Kyle Dugger.  The 1st time was Jones’s 1st pass of the pre-season and the 2nd was yesterday on what was described as a pass he never should have thrown.  I hope if this was a regular season game he would have made the decision to throw it away and take the three points.  He immediately went down and did pushups!
  9. Christian Barmore missed Friday’s practice but it was excused absence due to he and his wife welcoming their 1st child into the world.
  10. Ty Montgomery was the star of the 1st day of practice with 4 TD catches. Yesterday he got injured on a bad pass from Trace McSorley.  The ball was thrown behind him and he came down funny suffering a leg (knee) injury.  He returned to practice for a couple of plays but then left with the trainers.  He missed practice on Friday.
  11. Demario Douglas has played with the ones on a few plays and Mac Jones. Early in camp, he is the #5 WR.  Douglas can return kicks and was used there with Marcus Jones today.  He made a nice catch in the end zone over Jack Jones.  Anything that Douglas can do to add value (ST) will help him make the team.
  12. Marcus Jones is the #1 slot corner and has looked very good. His value as a defensive back may overshadow the risk to use him as a Kick-Off return man.
  13. Right now Quandre Mosely is the 4th outside cornerback. It will be interesting to see him against other teams in the joint practices and pre-season games
  14. Christian Gonzalez has not looked out of place. He has been beaten a few times and he will during the season, but he looks good.  He is making the right decisions and making them quickly.  He was praised for a couple of plays where he passed off the wide receiver to the safety.
  15. NBC Sports Boston’s simulcast of the Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand show was live from practice.   However, they were under a gag order from the league on what they could report.  It strangely has to do with them broadcasting live.  This doesn’t prevent the massive amount of local media from sending out instant messages reporting what they saw!
  16. Is a Tweet still a Tweet if the symbol for Twitter is now an “X”?
  17. Gesicki, Thornton, and Bourne have been virtually invisible the 1st three days of practice. I hope this is not a trend.  Thornton initially beat Gonzalez off the line but he quickly recovered and forced Jones to throw the ball away.
  18. Chad Ryland is booming FGs and although Nick Folk has remained his steady self, he doesn’t possess the leg that Ryland does.  Bryan Beringer has been handling the FG holder duties.   Ryland is the highest-drafted Specialist the Patriots have ever drafted.

Robert Kraft makes the final 12 for Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the 12 finalists for the hall enshrinement in the contributor category.    This would be a tremendous honor for Kraft and well deserved.  I would like to see this happen while Kraft is still alive and could enjoy the moment.  Kraft was credited with resolving the lockout with the players in 2011.

Incredibly Stanley Morgan did not make the Senior Committee list of 12 finalists.  I am appalled that he didn’t make the cut.  Otis Taylor of the Chiefs did and he is considerably inferior stat-wise.

Morgan                  507 rec                  10,716 yds           73 TDs   4 Pro Bowls         19.2 Yards per rec

Taylor                    410 rec                  7,306 yds             60 TDs   3 Pro Bowls         17.8 Yards per rec           2 Championships

Posted Under: Patriots News

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