Apologies for the late post… sometimes life can throw us a curve, or strand you on the road with a broken-down car…
The Patriots were back on the field in full pads in near-perfect weather conditions on Saturday morning. Prior to the practice session, Nick Caserio spoke to the assembled media and announced that Sony Michel would return to the field today. Caserio was pressed several times for more information on the open GM position for the Houston Texans but he held firm and reiterated that his focus was on making this team better.
“Look, I’m in a great position,” Caserio said. “I’ve got a great opportunity each day to come in here and serve this team and this organization, and I enjoy doing that, and that’s what I’m excited to do. I’m going to continue to do that to the best of my ability.”
For a complete look at the Caserio interview see our FB page.
Caserio did say that Michael Bennett was excused for a personal reason and that out of privacy concerns, they wouldn’t discuss it. Caserio also had a wry smile when discussing Tom Brady’s day off on Friday.
“Every day, we do what we think is best,” Caserio said. “Tom’s fine. I wouldn’t put too much stock in that.”
Finally, he spoke with glowing terms about Ty Law and Rodney Harrison, and he said that Saturday’s practice was going to be run-heavy with a focus on the running game.
Michel and David Andrews did return to the field, although neither got too involved in the play. But it was a positive outlook nonetheless.
Besides Troy Brown helping out with WRs, there were a host of former Patriot greats on hand today. Randy Moss had a moment with Tom Brady before the QB got up the stairs to the practice field. Later, Brady was uncorking some deep passes Moss’ way after the session was over. Rodney Harrison was on the field and on the hill with fans and media members. Rodney signed a ton of autographs for the fans and had a nice interaction with several. Rob Ninkovich, now with ESPN was there as well as Willie McGinest who shared some time with Bill Belichick after practice and with Brady as well.
And then there was practice.
Our practice observations included:
- N’Keal Harry caught a really nice touchdown pass from Brian Hoyer. He showed his athleticism by leaping over J.C. Jackson in the corner of the end zone.
- Brady struggled in his return to action on Saturday, going 0-4 in 11-on-11 work and just 2-8 overall in the run-heavy session.
- Danny Etling continued to practice as a wide receiver and filled in at QB in some running back drills for the depth guys. He stayed late after practice working on both WR and QB drills.
- Nick Caserio was on the field and tossing fade routes and quick slants in goalline situations on a side session with Ben Watson and Matt LaCosse
- Brandon Bolden and Damien Harris were both getting a lot of reps in the running game.
- Braxton Berrios, Maurice Harris, and Gunner Olszewski continued to field punts and were joined by Pat Chung today (still wearing the red non-contact jersey).
- James White took a pretty good pop on an inside run by Christian Sam. It was an audible hit that got everyone’s attention.
- In other side sessions, Brady worked with Harry and Jakobi Meyers while Hoyer worked with James White and Damien Harris.
- Maurice Harris continues to catch everything thrown his way. He’s off to a strong start thus far.
- The big men had some one-on-one battles at the far end of the field. Derek Rivers beat Marcus Cannon, Mike Pennel bull-rushed Ted Karras in a good battle, James Ferentz beat both Adam Butler and Nick Thurman in good action.
- Umfomba Kamalu appeared to beat Andrew Beck but afterward had to run a lap so he may have jumped offside.
- Jarrett Stidham hit James Develin for an easy touchdown when someone in the secondary blew their coverage and left him all alone.
- Stidham also hit Maurice Harris on a nice throw.
- Stephon Gilmore and Jackson had pass breakups
Play of the Day:
Jackson had a beautiful pass breakup on a deep ball from Tom Brady to Phillip Dorsett. Dorsett had gotten behind him and had a step and a half lead. Brady arced a deep 40-yard pass perfectly in the bucket, but Jackson closed and tore the ball out as they tumbled to the ground.
Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]