Postcard from Patriots camp: Day 17

Postcard from Patriots camp: Day 17
August 18, 2014, 4:30 pm
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FOXBORO -- The training camp practice on Monday was the last Patriots session that was open to the public and began a week of solo preparation after working in joint practices the previous two weeks. Here are the details from the workout:

Sunny and partly cloudy, about 75 degrees.

Full pads. Quarterbacks were wearing red no-contact jerseys.

Good news for the Patriots as linebacker Jerod Mayo was back on the field. He was, however, a limited participant and appeared to be moving with a bit of a limp in some walk-through work. Mayo missed all three joint practices with the Eagles last week.

Tavon Wilson was back on the field in full pads on Monday after missing time last week and all of the preseason game Friday against Philadelphia. Rookie receiver Jeremy Gallon -- a seventh-round pick out of Michigan -- was practicing for the first time in training camp. Newly-acquired defensive linemen Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass were also on the practice field for the first time.

Offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, running back Tyler Gaffney, tight end DJ Williams, linebacker Cameron Gordon and defensive tackles Tommy Kelly, Chris Jones and Sealver Siliga were not spotted on the practice field. (Kelly ambled onto the field at 3:15 p.m.)

Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, linebacker James Anderson, center Bryan Stork and offensive lineman Chris Martin were present and in pads but working in a rehab group on the Gillette Stadium lower practice field. Anderson later joined his teammates for 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 work.

After the standard warmup and stretching period, the Patriots broke off into individual position drills and then rejoined for an offensive-versus-defensive 4-on-4 drill where quarterbacks had three receivers (usually some combination of receivers, backs or tight ends) go against four defensive backs (or defensive backs and linebackers). For all intents and purposes, it served as a half-field 7-on-7 session.

Following that period, the team got into its 7-on-7 work in earnest, which was followed by some running-game work which focused on how the members of the defensive front seven, offensive line, tight ends and running backs worked against one another. While that went on, two receivers at a time worked with quarterbacks against sets of three defensive backs.

Ball-protection drills followed as offensive and defensive linemen did some sled work and Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski worked on Gronkowski's routes in a side session.

During punt-team work, quarterbacks, receivers and running backs ran plays against air. Aaron Dobson and Gronkowski filled in for regular reps.

An eleven-on-eleven period -- featuring some trick plays -- lasted for about 10 minutes and then more special teams work got underway. The team then got into some work that appeared to be game preparation for the Carolina offense, which the Patriots will see on Friday. After that, the first-team offense and first-team defense squared off. 

Stephen Gostkowski and the field-goal unit got a little bit of work and then the day finished up with some conditioning runs from sideline to sideline.

* Gronkowski was back to participating in 7-on-7 work after not taking part in team work in three practices against the Eagles last week.

* At one point in a side session between Brady and Gronkowski, Brady lofted one high and to the back of the end zone. Gronkowski made a half-hearted attempt after losing the ball in the sun. Brady checked the sun at the same angle then waived his arms at Gronkowski as if to say "What's the deal?"

* After much talk of Darrelle Revis not going all-out in practice, there was a sign early on Monday that he flashes significant effort when he so chooses. In individual position drills, we caught him diving for a pick on a ball that was thrown up and over a tackling dummy.

* Interesting to watch corners and safeties work together on passing off receivers. It was the continuation of a drill that corners and safeties did separately two weeks ago prior to joint practice with the Redskins. In Monday's version of that drill, one of the combinations we saw had Logan Ryan working as a safety with Alfonzo Dennard and Brandon Browner as the corners.

* In the early 4-on-4 period, Gronkowski caught one up the seam from Ryan Mallett. He then participated frequently in 7-on-7 work. On his first 7-on-7 snap, Brady went right to him.

* Gallon and Roy Finch fielded in during punt-team work. Gallon has an uphill battle ahead of him to make the 53-man roster after missing the first four weeks of training camp practice.

* While New England's defense appeared to get in some game-plan work for their upcoming game with Carolina, Brady and many of the offensive starters worked half-speed against air on some plays.

* On field goal attempts at the end of practice, it appeared as though James Develin was in as the blocker on the right side. That has been a spot inhabited by Chandler Jones in the past. The Patriots could have been simply trying a new look with that setup.

* Dominique Easley got some work in 11-on-11 periods later in the practice and appeared to be moving well on his surgically-repaired knees.

* Brady complete to Gronkowski who got behind Dont'a Hightower and in front of Duron Harmon for a long gain.
* Brady complete to tight end Steve Maneri.
* Brady incomplete to Kenbrell Thompkins on a short cross. Ball hit Thompkins in the hands but was dropped.

* Mallett complete to Julian Edelman on a shallow cross. Good lunging catch by Edelman.
* Mallett incomplete deep down the sideline to Amendola. Kyle Arrington nearly had an interception but Amendola did just enough to break it up.

* Brady complete to Gronkowski short on the outside. Gronkowski fumbled when Malcolm Butler strips him soon after the catch.
* Brady complete to Shane Vereen deep down the sideline with Chris White trailing in coverage.

* Garoppolo complete to Edelman short on the outside.

* Brady complete to James White in the flat.
* Brady complete to Amendola over the middle with McCourty in coverage.
* Brady complete to Josh Boyce on a quick receiver screen?
* Brady hand off to White.
* Brady hand off to White. Good hit by Ja'Gared Davis brought down White.

* Mallett complete to Thompkins.
* Mallett complete to Brandon Bolden in the flat.

* Jimmy Garoppolo complete to Bolden on a screen. Darius Fleming makes a nice play to get off Josh Kline's block and make the stop.
* Garoppolo incomplete to Vereen who had to readjust his route with Tavon Wilson in coverage.
* Roy Finch run up the middle.

* Brady complete to Julian Edelman deep down the field on a play that featured a bit of trickery. (Media is not allowed to report on the particulars of trick plays.)
* Ridley run up the middle.
* Brady incomplete on a screen to White that was snuffed out by the Patriots defense. Brady didn't really attempt

* Mallett incomplete for Edelman. Ball overthrown.
* Pass complete to Amendola deep down the sideline on even more trickery.
* Mallett incomplete.

* Garoppolo complete to White on a screen.
* Vereen run up the middle on a trick play.

* Brady hand off to Vereen.
* Brady complete over the middle to Thompkins.
* Brady hand off to White.
* Brady incomplete to Maneri. Ball hit Maneri in the numbers and should have been caught.
* Brady hand off to Ridley.
* Brady complete to Develin on a quick out.
* Brady hand off to White. White hits the ground again after getting through the line.
* Brady complete to Vereen short.
* Brady hand off to Vereen.
* Brady complete to Jonas Gray short.

* Mallett hand off to Gray up the middle.
* Mallett complete to Maneri deep over the middle.
* Mallett hand off to White up the middle.

* Garoppolo hand off to Gray.
* Garoppolo hand off to Finch.

(Yellow pennies out with jersey numbers for offensive players. Perhaps defensive game-plan work for Carolina.)

* Mallett hand off to Gray.
* Mallett incomplete to Brian Tyms.
* Mallett sweep toss to Gray.
* Mallett incomplete over the middle.
* Mallett complete to Taylor McCuller on screen. Jamie Collins there for the stop.
* Mallett hands off to White who fumbles.
* Mallett complete to Finch over the middle.

* Garoppolo hand off to Finch for run up the middle. Fleming there for the stop.
* Garoppolo complete to Gallon deep down the seam, who made a juggling catch.
* Garoppolo complete to Justin Jones on a short out.
* Garoppolo hand off to Gray up the middle.
* Garoppolo incomplete for Jones. Ball was overthrown but appeared as though there was some miscommunication between quarterback and tight end.
* Garoppolo hand off to Finch.
* Garoppolo incomplete to McCuller. Ball was dropped after hitting McCuller's hands.

* Mallett picked off by Browner when attempting a pass for Tyms. Browner caught the ball about 40 yards downfield and ran back untouched. (Offensive players were going after Browner only at about half-speed.)

(First-team offense versus first-team defense)

* Brady complete to Gronkowski over the middle for a good gain. Today is Gronkowski's first 11-on-11 work of the season.
* Brady incomplete.
* Brady complete to Gronkowski with Rob Ninkovich trailing in coverage and McCourty converging on the tight end.
* Brady picked off by Anderson who returned it for a score and then laid the ball at Ryan Wendell's feet as he crossed the goal line.  Collins was in Brady's face as the ball was thrown after Collins easily discarded Vereen who was in to pass protect.
* Brady complete to Develin.
* Brady complete to Vereen on a screen. Anderson there for the stop.
* Brady incomplete deep down the sideline to Brandon LaFell with Revis in coverage.
* Brady hands off to Vereen who is ripped down by Revis.
* Brady hand off to Vereen.

* Gronkowski participated in 11-on-11 work for the first time and showed good hands on several throws his way. He did fumble once, but it was a step forward on Gronkowski's path to recovery. He was, essentially, a full participant for the first time this summer.

* Malcolm Butler (see above) is making himself very hard to ignore by always being around the ball the way he is.

* James Anderson had a good return back to practice as he picked off Tom Brady and appeared to move well in defending the passing game. He was right where he needed to be on a screen pass to Vereen at the end of the practice.

* James White went down to the ground relatively easily a couple of times. It seems as though he has a hard time gaining yardage after contact, something that was apparent against the Eagles on Friday. He also fumbled once late in the session, something he did only very rarely in college.