Bean's thoughts from Patriots' preseason opener: Nobody's perfect

Bean's thoughts from Patriots' preseason opener: Nobody's perfect

FOXBORO -- Folks, the Patriots aren’t going 23-0.

JAGUARS 31, PATRIOTS 24

Jimmy Garoppolo looked good, Cyrus Jones looked bad and a whole lot of good players didn’t play football as the Jaguars took a 34-21 win over New England in the preseason opener at Gillette Stadium.  

WISE HURT 

There’s been a lot of buzz about fourth-round pick Deatrich Wise. Big guy. Talented. Easy name to mispronounce. 

Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to impress much in his preseason debut because he suffered a head injury during the Jaguars’ third drive. He did not return to the game. 

BAD PRACTICE PLAYER, GOOD ACTUAL PLAYER, GOOD PRESEASON PLAYER? 

For the second straight preseason, there have been questions about how Jimmy Garoppolo has looked in practice. He was also shaky in a preseason game last season against the Panthers. So how would he look in his first game action since the second quarter of Week 2 last season? 

Better as the game went on. The offense started slow; their first drive was a 3-and-out that was derailed by Yannik Ngakoue beating LaAdrian to sack Garoppolo for seven yards on third down, and all in all the Pats managed just three points on their first three drives. 

But as the game progressed, so too did Garoppolo, perhaps a product of the interchangeable pieces on both sides. He played into the third quarter, completing 22 of 28 passes for 235 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Garoppolo’s favorite targets were rookie tight end Jacob Hollister, who caught five passes from the backup quarterback for 100 yards, and Austin Carr, a fellow undrafted rookie. Hollister made a great catch over the middle and held on as he got crushed, while Carr made a nice play to keep both feet in on a pass at the sidelines and then elevated to snag a touchdown pass. K.J. Maye had New England’s other touchdown reception.  

GOODELL SHOWS HIS FACE

It seemed like Roger Goodell had no choice but to have his first time back at Gillette Stadium in over two years met with boos. Maybe he’s smarter than he’s led us to believe. 

Goodell was in the Krafts’ box for Thursday’s game. The crowd seemingly was not aware that he was present, and there certainly was no announcement of his attendance to which they could react. He supposedly still plans to be there for the season-opener on Sept. 7. He’ll hear it then. 

POOR CYRUS JONES

After a dreadful rookie season, the Patriots seemed willing to give the Alabama product a clean slate for this season. It’s already dirty again. 

With the Jaguars on their own 3-yard line, the 2016 second-round pick was torched by undrafted wide receiver Keelan Cole down the field for a 97-yard touchdown. There were no fancy moves or ankle-breaking at play -- just one guy blowing past another. 

Jones was also beaten for a 42-yard touchdown in the second half.

As he did in college, Jones was also given reps in the return game. He was tackled immediately on a punt return, but totaled 97 yards on six kick returns, including a 27-yard return in the third quarter. 

GOSTKOWSKI SHORT 

Stephen Gostkowski missed five field goals last season. He missed one field goal Thursday. 

That miss came in the form of a second-quarter 56-yard attempt that landed short. Two drives earlier, he put a 43-yarder through the uprights. He converted all three of his PATs. 

FOSTER GIVES IT UP, RUNS IT IN

The Patriots were marching down the field on a third-quarter drive, but D.J. Foster fumbled while racing past the 10-yard line after a six-yard reception from Garoppolo. It was the only turnover of the game of the Patriots. 

Foster made up for it in the fourth quarter with a three-yard touchdown run. 

STARTERS

Offense: LaAdrian Waddle, Jamil Douglas, Ted Karras, Cole Croston, Cameron Fleming, Dion Lewis, Tony Washington, K.J. Maye, Austin Carr, Jacob Hollister, Jimmy Garoppolo 

Defense: Deatrich Wise, Woodrow Hamilton, Darius Kilgo, Adam Butler, Elandon Robert, Harvey Langi, Jonathan Freeny, Cyrus Jones, Justin Coleman, Jordan Richards, Damarius Travis

GUYS WHO DIDN’T PLAY 

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, James White, Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Butler, Patrick Chung, David Andrews, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Stephon Gillmore, Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney, Vincent Valentine, Trey Flowers, Lawrence Guy, Nate Ebner, Marcus Cannon, Kyle Van Noy, James Develin, David Harris, David Jones, Rex Burkhead, Matthew Slater, Nate Solder, Mike Gillislee, James O’Shaughnessy, Malcom Brown, Cody Hollister, Dwayne Allen, Eric Rowe, Alan Branch, Matt Lengel, Antonio Garcia, and Shea McClellin.

Hightower happy to be back in New England following free agency

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Hightower happy to be back in New England following free agency

FOXBORO -- Dont'a Hightower met with reporters to talk football on Wednesday morning at Gillette Stadium, the first time he had done so since signing an extension with the Patriots back in March.

About five months later, no regrets.

"It’s good. I’m glad I didn’t have to relocate," Hightower said with a smile. "Stressful, but glad it’s over with. Glad I’m here. I’m glad I’m back on the field now."

Hightower, who was removed from the physically unable to perform list on Wednesday, explained that there was a point during the free agency process at which he believed he might end up playing elsewhere. 

"Yeah, it’s free agency," Hightower said. "But it is what it is. It’s over and done with now. I’m here."

On spending his career to this point in New England and being a member of the Patriots, Hightower added: "It’s meant a lot. I’ve been here my whole career. It wasn’t a hard change for what I had in college, so I was definitely used to it. So it wasn’t a big change. I feel like I’ve had a lot of success in programs like this. Alabama and New England are not too far different. The culture around here, the teammates, the coaches is second to none anywhere. When it came down to my decision, it wasn’t too hard of a choice."

Brady recalls scrubbing rooftops, cleaning industrial parks during summers at Michigan

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Brady recalls scrubbing rooftops, cleaning industrial parks during summers at Michigan

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady's not sure if he'll be able to get back to Ann Arbor as he and the Patriots spend some time this week in the state of Michigan leading up to their preseason game against the Lions on Friday. He's hoping he'll be able to sneak over at some point. Maybe he'll have an opportunity to talk to the football team.

On Wednesday, Brady described his time at Michigan as the "pit stop" of his life's journey from California to Massachusetts. It's also representative of the midpoint of his life now in a way since he spent 18 years growing up on the West Coast, and now he's in his 18th year in New England. 

As part of his college experience, Brady learned what it was like to work a job that didn't involve throwing a football. As it turned out, those experiences didn't provide much in the way of on-the-job training for his eventual career. But he didn't know he was going to become a Hall of Fame quarterback. When the fifth round came and went in 2000, he said on Facebook back in 2014, he figured those summer internships during his Michigan days and the resume they beefed up might help him land a gig that would pay the bills. 

"Those were good experiences," he said Wednesday. "I was at Michigan in the summer. You work different jobs, you get a scholarship check, but you're trying to afford -- like all of us were -- our coll experience. I worked in construction. Worked at a golf course to play free golf. That's what I liked to do. Worked at a festival at night so I was working two jobs. It was good experiences. It really was hard work."

And it might have taken his appreciation for playing football -- something he plans to do at an age when most players have been retired for a decade or more -- to a different level.

"I've been so fortunate to do something I love to do," he said. "I've said for a long time, working out and training and being on the practice field never feels like work for me. That definitely felt like work when you're cleaning up industrial parks and scrubbing the tops of roofs and stuff like that. Man, I was pretty tired at the end of those days."