Postcard from Patriots training camp: Day 3

Postcard from Patriots training camp: Day 3
July 26, 2014, 3:00 pm
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FOXBORO - Here's the postcard from camp for Saturday, July 26



Just perfect. Little breeze, puffy whites, warm but not hot – about 78 to 84. Real nice



Full pads. Quarterbacks in the red “don’t touch me” jerseys.



* Receiver Greg Orton (who was carted off the field Friday), defensive back Jemea Thomas, corner Daxton Swanson and offensive lineman Chris Martin were spotted at the start of Patriots practice. 

* Receiver Aaron Dobson, special teams star Matthew Slater, corner Alfonzo Dennard, linebacker Deontae Skinner, rookie first rounder Dominique Easley and receiver Jeremy Gallon were present but not wearing pads as they continue their rehab. 

* Tommy Kelly present and in pads, meaning he's been activated from the PUP list. Marcus Cannon was late to the session, but eventually hit the field and was a full participant.



On the field at 9:15 a.m, the 1s and 2s worked together on one field on half-speed 11-on-11 work with minimal contact prior to the stretching and warmup period. The rest worked on the other field doing the same stuff.

Coming out of stretching, the positional groups broke out and did some specialized drills. The defensive backs executed a drill in which a coach/qb took a snap, dropped two steps then did a reverse spin. The DB coming off the edge in a simulated blitz was charged with sighting the ball and slapping down on it. Where would that play arise? My guess would be on a defensive play call overloading the middle which could force the scramble.

A fair amount or work was done on turnover creation and recoveries. The linebackers and defensive lineman briefly did a drill where they took a tackling dummy to the ground. As they hit the ground, a coach rolled a ball in the area and the defender had to find the ball and pounce.

The wideouts ran short slants for a coach/QB. As the ball arrived, another coach flipped a towel up as a distraction to the receiver.

The safeties worked on high-pointing downfield throws unleashed by VP of Player Personnel Nick Caserio.

At around 10:15, we saw the first 11-on-11 work with running game reps.

At 10:25, there was a drill in which a quarterback hit a receiver working back toward the line of scrimmage from about 4 yards away. The receiver was then birddogged by a linebacker who tried to punch the ball out and a safety who peeled back and worked to hem the receiver in. Jamie Collins was able to punch a ball out during the drill.

At 10:35, daily red zone fade routes were worked on.

Team work began in earnest around 10:45 a.m. with 7-on-7 passing, 11-on-11 offense vs. defense and goal line work. Our guy Phil Perry documented all the team passing results (at the end). There was special teams work interspersed with field goals the last portion of the practice.



* Darrelle Revis owned this practice. The inability of anyone to get separation from him and Revis’ ability to erase space when it did present itself was remarkable.

* Danny Amendola made a diving, one-handed catch down the seam on a perfectly placed ball from Tom Brady. Kenbrell Thompkins has made some remarkable grabs so far, but Amendola’s is going to be tough to beat.

* Will Smith, the veteran defensive end, didn’t have a specific standout play as much as he just showed on rep-after-rep that he is fully back from his ACL injury that robbed him of 2013 and in position to make an impact on the Patriots front.



* Brandon Lafell had another day of dropped passes. Needs to tighten that up ASAP.

* Jimmy Garoppolo throws a beautiful ball. It just sometimes goes to the wrong guy. He also fumbled a snap during goal line 11-on-11 and had to take a lap.

* Kenbrell Thompkins tweaked his left knee and had to miss the final 30 minutes or so of practice. He did not appear to need  treatment.



* During stretching and warmups, Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett competed hard on all sprints. On the final one, as their teammates trotted through the finish line, Brady and Mallett were in an all-out, shoulder-to-shoulder sprint. Mallett threw his arms up signaling the win. Savvy move.

* It must be odd for Vince Wilfork during stretching to be a lone wolf after being accompanied by Pepper Johnson and Brandon Spikes at the end of the line for years.

* Huge crowd on hand Saturday who – because they’re damn happy to be there – will cheer anything including routine downfield throws with no coverage and penalty laps. 

*Bill Belichick’s pet peeve (one of thousands, probably) is players hitting the deck during team drills. He must holler “STAY UP!!!!” 25 times per practice.

*Roy Finch, Travis Hawkins and Derrick Johnson all got some kickoff return reps. 

* During 1-on-1s between the offensive and defensive lines, there was some good action. It went down on the opposite end of the field and since it’s impossible to tell wins and losses with certainty on all of them, we’ll stick with descriptions.

*Will Smith hammered into Marcus Cannon and got significant give when ramming into him.

* Rob Ninkovich accelerated around Sebastian Vollmer

* Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork got locked up in a hands-to-the-face stalemate.

* Michael Buchanan undressed rookie Cameron Fleming with a spin move.

* On one running play rep during 11-on-11, Marcus Cannon seemed to put a little extra mustard on a downfield block of Brandon Browner who gave very little ground when being hit.

* The throw of the day was a 25-yard out that Tom Brady lasered to a toe-tapping Kenbrell Thompkins on the left sideline. Absolute rocket.

* Brandon Lafell mistimed one leap and dropped a throw from Jimmy Garoppolo. He also was unable to hold a ball in traffic that ricocheted off his hands (thrown by Brady).

* The front-line kickoff team appeared to be (left to right) Kyle Arrington, Brandon Bolden, Michael Buchanan, Patrick Chung, Ja’Gared Davis, Kanorris Davis, Nate Ebner, Chris White, Tavon Wilson and Devin McCourty.

* With the wind blowing, Darrelle Revis took the Lucy role on kickoff, holding the ball for Stephen Gostkowski.

* Some of the highlights of the 1-on-1s between receivers and defensive backs. … 

* Julian Edelman froze Brandon Browner at the line and caught a quick cross.

* Revis showed some hands-on coverage of Josh Boyce on a sideline route, disrupting a throw by Tom Brady that Boyce uktimaely dropped. 

* Danny Amendola couldn’t get separation vs. Logan Ryan on about a 15-yard out.

* Revis picked off a Brady comeback throw intended for Edelman on the right sideline.

* Kenbrell Thompkins made a nice diving, rolling catch over the middle against nice coverage by Brandon Browner.

* Brady hit Josh Boyce with a perfectly thrown ball to the end zone on which Malcolm Butler had no chance. 

* Revis twice had good coverage for the early part of the route then, at the second part fo the double-move routes, let the receiver go.

* During 11-on-11, Revis easily broke up a comeback intended for Brandon Lafell. Josh Boyce took most of the reps after Thompkins went down.

* Tavon Wilson and Devin McCourty spent significant time as the top safety pairing.



* Josh Boyce came out of a wide receiver drill early, giving those in attendance ample time to wonder whether he had tweaked something. But he was back in line and catching passes a few minutes later.

* Rob Gronkowski looked comfortable during blocking drills. At one point he hit James Develin hard enough that Develin (holding a pad) hit the deck and did a reverse somersault.

* During warmups, the quarterbacks implemented hula hoops as they threw passes to coaching assistants. Not sure how the toys were used, but we'll try to figure that out.

* Kenbrell Thompkins had a bad drop when the offense worked on a series of plays against fellow offensive teammates acting as defenders. In that same period, Tom Brady completed a couple of long pass plays to Julian Edelman that got big reactions from the bleachers packed with fans. 

* Jerod Mayo with the first big hit of the day on Stevan Ridley as the offense and defense went head-to-head and worked a full-contact running-game period for the first time in training camp.

* Nice loud pop between Marcus Cannon and Brandon Browner during 11-on-11 work. Good amount of mass there for a lineman-on-corner collision.

* Jonas Gray dropped a pass after being smacked with a pad in a ball-security drill.

* James Develin worked on seam routes with tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui. Since OTAs Develin has seemed to be working exclusively with tight ends. 

* Develin in as a fullback on goal line work. He helped Ridley get into the end zone and celebrated with Brady after.





* Brady incomplete to LaFell deep down the middle of the field with Browner and McCourty in coverage.

* Brady complete to DJ Williams on an underneath route.

* Brady complete to Amendola for about a 20-yard gain in the middle of the field. The play was completed right in front of Wilson and McCourty.

* Brady incomplete to LaFell who leapt for the pass but couldn't get it. Logan Ryan was right there in coverage.

* Brady incomplete to Boyce, who beat Justin Green down the sideline but couldn't reel in the pass.


* Mallett intercepted by Duron Harmon. Pass was intended for Wilson Van Hooser on the sideline and Harmon read it easily.

* Mallett complete to Williams over the middle.

* Mallett complete to Thompkins for a short gain on the outside.


* Garoppolo pass deflected by Ja'Gared Davis but completed to Williams for a circus grab.

* Garoppolo complete to Van Hooser over the middle for a good gain.


* Brady complete to Hoomanawanui over the middle.

* Brady complete to Amendola as a last resort option.

* Brady incomplete to LaFell. Pass broken up by Revis who was on LaFell's hip.

* Brady complete deep down the right sideline to Edelman for a jumping grab in front of safety Devin McCourty.

* Brady complete underneath to Vereen.


* Mallett complete on a deep in-cut to Boyce.

* Mallett complete to Amendola on a an out-route.

* Mallett complete to Boyce for a short gain on the outside.


* Garoppolo complete to Stephen Houston over the middle.

* Garoppolo picked by Tavon Wilson after his pass deflects off of the hands of Justin Jones.


11-on-11 (results of pass plays sprinkled in among runs)


* Brady completes on long down the sideline to Thompkins as Thompkins taps his feet and falls out of bounds.


* Mallett completes a screen to James White, who shows some shiftiness for a nice gain.


* Garoppolo incomplete on a ball over the middle that LaFell had to jump for but should have had.

* Garoppolo screen complete to Vereen on a screen that was snuffed out quickly by Dont'a Hightower.


* Brady picked off by Revis deep down the right sideline on an attempt to Edelman.

* Brady incomplete to Boyce.

* Brady complete to Amendola over the middle.


* Mallett steps up in pocket and completes to LaFell over the middle.


* Garoppolo incomplete on a pass dropped by Jones. The big tight end should have had it, but he was open and had to reach high over his head for it. Not a great ball from Garoppolo.



* Brady incomplete to Williams on a short hitch.

* Brady complete to to White for a short gain in the flat.

* Brady complete to LaFell on a quick hitch.

* Brady complete to White short near the sideline.

* Brady complete to Amendola near the sideline.

* Brady complete to Edelman over the middle.


WR/DB 1-on-1 (highlights, not every repetition)

* Edelman beat Browner inside to catch Brady pass.

* Revis stuck to Boyce like glue down the sideline and deflected Brady's pass incomplete.

* Brady missed an open Thompkins for a long gain.

* Brady picked by Revis, who was all over Edelman (and appeared to have a handful of Edelman's jersey).

* Brady complete to Boyce deep down the field for a touchdown.

* Brady complete to Amendola for an impressive catch deep down the left side of the field.

* Garoppolo picked by Logan Ryan.

* Ryan breaks up a pass from Brady intended for Amendola.

* Edelman made Malcolm Butler fall down with a stop-on-a-dime hitch that was completed by Brady.

* Kenbrell Thompkins hit the turf and was worked on by trainers before jogging back to his teammates. He appeared to tweak something in his lower body.