Patriots training camp notes: Day 8


Patriots training camp notes: Day 8

By Tom E. Curran and Mary Paoletti

FOXBORO -- The on-field heat has stayed pretty consistent with the temperature. For the second straight practice in pads, scraps broke out between players and stole the headlines.
As for the rest of it . . .

A bunch of guys returned to practice: Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney, Deion Branch, Jake Bequette. Nate Ebner and Nick McDonald made their training camp debuts. Bequette was sporting a black shield (like the one Brandon Spikes wears).

That left Alfonzo Dennard, Spencer Larsen, Tracy White, Jeremy Ebert, Matt Kopa, Visanthe Shiancoe, Daniel Fells, Logan Mankins, Brian Waters, Jonathan Fanene, Markus Zusevics, Sebastian Vollmer, Tony Fiammetta, Myron Pryor, and Jake Ballard as continued non-participants.

Chandler Jones seems really cemented in with the first team. Trevor Scott was rotating in for Rob Ninkovich at left end, leaving Jones to himself with the 1s.
Another rookie, Dont'a Hightower, also continues to assert his place on first team defense. Hightower seems to be taking more reps than Bobby Carpenter at No. 1 SAM linebacker.
Fellow rook Tavon Wilson saw some time blitzing in a dime package.

Derek Dennis, acquired off waivers Thursday, was in at left guard.

It was Julian Edelman's turn to show his "human" side, to steal a sentiment from Wes Welker. Edelman's had an excellent camp, but revealed he does indeed bleed when he muffed a punt during special teams drills.

Speaking of Welker, he botched a punt, too.

As did Aaron Hernandez.

Nate Solder ran a lap. So did Robert Gallery.

The very first sign of things getting chippy? Kyle Arrington broke up a pass intended for Edelman during 7-on-7 then stood over the prone receiver for several, I'm sure aggravating, moments.

Edelman and Wilson were the next to conduct a quick but heated tte--tte after a play in 11-on-11.

Jabar Gaffney drew cheers on one really great ball. He made an impressive adjustment at the end of his route, turning one way then quickly the other, to make the grab over James Ihedigbo and Tavon Wilson.

Some results from 1-on-1's: Hernandez beat Josh Barrett easily, Patrick Chung tackled Stevan Ridley hard (what else is new), Shane Vereen had an easy time with Sergio Brown, Ross Ventrone tried to grab Brandon Bolden around the ankle and still couldn't tackle the kid, Hernandez wrecked Sterling Moore with his trademark cutback, Jesse Holley actually had an impressive move to get by Ras-I Dowling, Will Allen actually bounced off of Tyler Urban.

Ron Brace was getting his lower body stretched out by a trainer on the sideline.

Birthday boy Tom Brady unleashed a very loud eff-word when Slater got space on a route but Steve Gregory quickly closed in and broke up the pass.

A pass intended for Edelman was broken up by Wilson.

The trials of Alex Silvestro continue. Brian Hoyer made the DE-turned-TE lay out for a deep ball and Silvestro didn't even come close.

Koppen met with trainers after the larger scuffle.

Dan Connolly broke off from the team laps and stood with trainers on the sideline. I'm not sure what's troubling him, but he did miss practice on Wednesday night. It's worth noting.

Tom Brady congratulates Jordan Spieth on British Open win with Facebook video


Tom Brady congratulates Jordan Spieth on British Open win with Facebook video

Jordan Spieth's wayward drive on the 13th hole was nothing more than a speed bump on his way to the British Open title on Sunday.

On Facebook, Tom Brady congratulated his fellow Under Armour endorser in a post shared with another world famous UA pitchman, the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry.

Brady quoted Curry and posted a short video of Spieth climbing the hill well off the fairway on the 13th hole at Royal Birkdale, where Spieth recovered from a wild tee shot and rallied over the final holes to win the Open Championship. A smiling Robert Redford from "Jeremiah Johnson" nodding in appreciation finishes off the clip.

Drive on #13? As Steph says, make that old. Congrats Jordan Spieth 🏆🏆🏆

Posted by Tom Brady on Sunday, July 23, 2017


Bean: The 2007 Patriots don't get nearly enough love

Bean: The 2007 Patriots don't get nearly enough love

Phil Perry has been running a series on the 2007 Patriots vs. the 2017 Patriots. He breaks everything down position-by-position and compares what should go down as two of the best teams in franchise history. It’s really good stuff. 

Also, a lot of people are idiots. 

    For some reason -- and it’s either because they’re rightfully excited for the upcoming team or because they’re still shell-shocked by 18-1 -- the 2007 Patriots have been shown a remarkable lack of love when it’s come to the reader votes. It’s insane. 

    2007 PATRIOTS vs. 2017 PATRIOTS:

    And before you start with the “This is Boston and it only counts if you win” nonsense, remember that the 2017 team hasn’t done a thing yet, so by saying the 2017 Pats are better than the 2007 Pats, you’re saying the then-greatest offense of all time is worse than a current work in progress.

    As if anyone should need the reminder, the 2007 Patriots rank as the No. 2 scoring team ever, and at the time they were No. 1. Their 36.8 points a game was dwarfed only by the 2013 Broncos, who averaged 37.9. Then again, the Patriots have four of the top 12 scoring teams ever, so there’s no reason to rule out what should be a loaded 2017 group registering high on that list as well. 

    But back to the ’07 team for a second. At the time of this writing, a poll of over 3,300 readers had 67 percent finding the 2017 receivers and tight ends being better than the group from 2007. If ever there were a poll that should be split 50-50, it’s that. In fact, I would take the 2007 group over the 2017, but that’s only because I saw Randy Moss play in every game and am not sure I will see Rob Gronkowski do the same. 

    Think about the options after the top guys in both groups. Donte’ Stallworth was a get in free agency -- a 27-year-old first-round pick with all the talent in the world and a few damn good seasons in New Orleans under his belt -- and the guy didn’t even have 50 catches for that 2007 team. No, it wasn’t because he wasn’t any good; it was because Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker were so busy putting up a combined 31 touchdowns together that there was barely time for anyone else. 

    Laurence Maroney was the ’07 team’s lead back, but given how much the team threw and the fact that he missed three games, his 835-yard season with an average of 4.5 yards a pop was a lot better than has been remembered. 

    The only thing you can give the 2017 team over the 2007 one is that they figure to be well-rounded. The Patriots’ defense should be better than that ’07 group, even though the 2007 Pats gave up the fourth-fewest points in the league. Damn, the 2007 Patriots were so good.  

    Yes, that ’07 team lost, but it was still the best team in the league by a mile that season. Bad Super Bowl game plan, bad execution, obviously. But overall? There wasn’t a team close to as good as them that season. 

    The expectation is that something similar could play out this season. The Pats are so much better than everyone else that you’d be nuts to rule out 19-0 talk. Yet that hasn’t happened yet, and for now, the most explosive offense the Pats have ever seen — and very well may ever see — will be that 2007 one. They aren’t held in the same regard as the five championships, and for good reason, but to slight that offense — or really that team at all — is foolish.