Postcard from camp, Day Eight: Scrimmage shows Garoppolo not yet in Brady's class

Postcard from camp, Day Eight: Scrimmage shows Garoppolo not yet in Brady's class

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took the opportunity on Day 8 of training camp practice to hold their first intrasquad scrimmage of the summer. Here's what we saw... 

* Nate Solder was not present, leaving LaAdrian Waddle and Cameron Fleming to take the first-group left tackle. Matthew Slater was not spotted for the second consecutive day. Dont'a Hightower and Alan Branch remain on PUP. Andrew Jelks remains on NFI.  


* Rex Burkhead, Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan joined the usual group of players who headed down to the lower field early: Duron Harmon, Mike Gillislee, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, David Jones and James O'Shaughnessy.  

* Joe Thuney left practice under his own power about halfway through the session.

* Deatrich Wise and Trey Flowers started with Malcom Brown and Lawrence Guy up front for the Blue team. Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty started in the secondary. David Harris, Shea McClellin and Kyle Van Noy started at linebacker.

* White's offensive line starters: Marcus Cannon at right tackle, Shaq Mason at right guard, David Andrews at center, Joe Thuney at left guard, LaAdrian Waddle at right tackle.

* Tom Brady complete to Dwyane Allen deep down the seam with Harris in coverage. 
* Brady complete to James Develin on back-shoulder throw with McClellin in coverage.
* Brady complete to James White in the flat.
* Lawrence Guy sack working on Shaq Mason. Harvey Langi got decent push on Marcus Cannon.
* Brady complete to Brandon Bolden in the flat. 
* Stephen Gostkowski field goal. 

* Jimmy Garoppolo incomplete to Austin Carr deep down the field. 
* Garoppolo complete to Jacob Hollister. 
* Dion Lewis run. 
* Garoppolo incomplete. Geneo Grissom pressure. 
* Lewis run. 
* Lewis run snuffed out on fourth down. 

* Brady complete to Rob Gronkowski. 
* Brady incomplete to Brandin Cooks, broken up by Gilmore.  
* Brady complete to Cooks deep down the field. Gilmore had his hand in there but Cooks caught it anyway. About a 45-yard gain. Brady would've been sacked by Van Noy.
* Bolden run. 
* Brady incomplete to Allen. Very close. I thought it was a catch. Malcom Brown sack. 
* Brady complete to White. Flowers pressure might've resulted in a sack. Was working on Fleming (who subbed in for Waddle at left tackle.)
* Gostkowski field goal. 

* Garoppolo complete to Carr over the middle. 
* Garoppolo incomplete deep down the sideline to Lewis. 
* Foster run. Nice play by Josh Augusta to cut through the line. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Carr. Miscommunication on the route. 
* Garoppolo complete to Carr on a screen. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Lewis. Ball thrown over his head. 
* Gostkowski field goal is good. 

* Brady complete to White. 
* Brady complete to Lucien with Rowe in coverage. 
* Brady complete to Lucien deep down the sideline for a touchdown. Jonathan Jones sold out for the PBU and didn't get there. Flowers would've had a sack.

* Garoppolo complete to Lewis over the middle. 
* Lewis run.
* Garoppolo incomplete to Carr. DJ Killings breaks it up. 
* Garoppolo scrambles after being immediately flushed by Kony Ealy. 
* Harvey Langi late onto the field and Blue called for a delay of game. 
* Ryan Allen punt.

* Brissett comes out to take a knee


* Garoppolo complete to Matt Lengel with C. Jones in coverage. 
* Lewis run. Kenny Moore looks a little gimpy. 
* Garoppolo complete to Tony Washington. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Jacob Hollister. Moore there in coverage. 
* Garoppolo complete to Lewis. 
* Garoppolo incomplete. Caleb Kidder pressure. Ealy broke it up.  
* Lewis run blown up by Roberts. 
* Cole Croston false start. 
* Garoppolo incomplete for Foster. Grissom pressure. 
* Gostkowski misses 47-yarder wide right. 

* Brissett hands to Bolden. Stopped by Valentine and Wise. 
* Brissett complete to Bolden. Trevor Bates would've had the sack. 
* Brissett incomplete for Cotton. Wise pressure. 
* Allen punt. (Brady, meanwhile, working on his drops and his footwork surveying the field.)

* Lewis run. 
* Lewis run. Gets around Grissom on the left side. 
* Garoppolo complete to Lewis.
* Conor McDermott false start.
* Garoppolo incomplete for Carr. Jason Thompson comes over from free safety for the breakup.
* Garoppolo incomplete for Washington. 
* Allen punt. Second time he's scooped a low snap to make a good punt. C. Jones slips on the return for the second time. Need new spikes?

* Brissett fumbles the Andrews snap. Trevor Bates recovers. Joe Thuney leaves practice a few minutes later. 

* Lewis run. He looks quick. 
* Garoppolo complete to Lengel. 
* Foster run. 
* Foster run blown up by Darius Kilgo. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Lengel. Drop. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Foster. Killings PBU. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Foster. Killings PBU again. 
* Gostkowski kick is good. 

* Brissett complete to Lucien. Rowe arguing he broke it up. (Karras in at left guard for Thuney.)
* Brissett scrambles for a first down. 
* Wise strip sacks Brissett working on LaAdrian Waddle. 
* Allen punt. 

* Lewis run. 
* Lewis run.
* Foster run. 
* Garoppolo complete to Lengel over the middle. 
* Garoppolo incomplete for Washington. 
* Garoppolo incomplete for Hollister. Thompson PBU. 
* Garoppolo complete to Carr with Coleman in coverage. Good throw on the run.
* Garoppolo incomplete to Washington over the middle with Moore in coverage. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Carr. Moore in coverage. 
* Garoppolo incomplete. Bounced off of Carr's hands.
* Gostkowski kick is good. 

* Brissett complete to Cotton for a long gain. 
* Daniels run. Rivers chases it down from behind.
* Brissett incomplete. Harris pressure. 
* Brissett complete deep down the field for Lucien with Will Likely in coverage. Brady was one of the first ones down the field to celebrate.

* Lewis run. Kilgo tracks him down. 
* Garoppolo incomplete for Washington. Nearly picked by Demarius Travis.
* Garoppolo complete to Lewis. 
* Gostkowski field goal is good. 

* Brissett incomplete one. Miscommunication with Lucien. 
* Daniels run. 
* Waddle false start.
* Adam Butler sack. Wise was coming in from the edge for the pressure. 
* Allen punt.

* Garoppolo complete to Lewis. 
* Garoppolo complete to Lewis. 
* Garoppolo incomplete to Foster. Coleman PBU. Brady fist pumps.
* Garoppolo incomplete for Lewis. 


Brady: 10-for-12, touchdown
Garoppolo: 14-for-36 total
Brissett: 4-for-7, touchdown, two fumbles
TDs: Lucien (2)
Sacks: Flowers (2), Guy, Van Noy, Brown, Bates, Wise, Butler
Pressures: Grissom (2), Wise (2), Langi, Ealy, Kidder, Harris
PBUs: Killings (3), Thompson (2), Gilmore, Ealy, Coleman


Belichick on poor NFL offensive line play: It's hard when you can't practice


Belichick on poor NFL offensive line play: It's hard when you can't practice

FOXBORO -- When the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLPA limited the number of padded practices that teams could organize, it was seen as a win for player safety. And it probably was. But the shortage of padded reps has had other ramifications that is hurting the on-the-field product. 


When Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about what is becoming billed as an offensive-line-play epidemic in the NFL, he told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that it's hard to expect linemen to be able to execute their techniques when the amount of time they have to practice those techniques is so limited.

"I just think in general, fundamentally it’s difficult to play on the offensive and defensive line," Belichick said. "You’re playing a contact position with pads, and you’re practicing it without pads the majority of the time. That usually develops a lot of bad habits, and a lot of the techniques that a player would have the chance to work on and improve with pads, that opportunity just isn’t there without pads. So, it’s hard to improve at those positions when, a lot of times, you’re practicing techniques that are really not the ideal technique or, in some cases, incorrect, and it just develops bad habits, especially on the offensive line.

"I think that . . . without being able to practice, favors the defensive players a little more, whereas the offensive unit has to work together and be able to block things at more of a game tempo with pads and penetration and combination blocks and things like that. It’s just hard to simulate those and hard to get the timing of those when you’re just standing up watching each other without pads on a lot."

The Patriots are in pretty good shape. They have an offensive line unit that returned all five starters from last year's Super Bowl-winning squad. They have two experienced tackles. They have three athletic and intelligent interior offensive linemen. The results in 2017 haven't been perfect, but how many teams around the league would get on their hands and knees and beg for a group like the one in New England?

Take a look at Seattle, where one of the best quarterbacks in the game resides. According to Pro Football Focus, he has the third-worst offensive line in the league when it comes to pass protection, and in two games the Seahawks have scored 21 points. 

The worst pass-blockers in the league? They currently reside in Houston, where starting left tackle Duane Brown is still holding out for a new contract. 

There are multiple factors that are impacting line play in the NFL. Coaching could be one. College players coming into the league from spread programs with no pro-style offense experience could be another. 

But practice time is right up there near the top of the list, if not right at the top, according to Belichick.

"I mean, look, we’re all coaching under the same rules, but I think it’s harder, especially at that position, to improve when you really can’t practice your skill," Belichick said. "It’s like, you go out to the driving range and hit drives and hit balls, but you can’t go on the putting green. And then, to think that your putting is going to be at the same level as your driving when you can’t really practice it, it’s not really realistic.

"But, again, all teams are operating under the same set of rules, so it is what it is. But, it’s hard. It’s hard at that position. It’s hard to tell a guy, ‘This is what you should do,’ but he really can’t go out and practice it."