Postcard from training camp: Day 2

Postcard from training camp: Day 2
July 25, 2014, 12:15 pm
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FOXBORO -- Here's the postcard from camp for Day 2 of Patriots training camp.

Beautiful day for football. Sunny and in the 80s. A little humid, but nothing anyone would complain about.

Today it was once again helmets and shorts being worn by the players. A random smattering of players wore shoulder pads as well, but it seemed to be players' choice. There will be a change Saturday, when pads are introduced for everyone.

Rookies Chris Martin and Jemea Thomas were the only two players not spotted at practice. Rookie linebacker Deontae Skinner and receiver Jeremy Gallon were part of a rehab group that included Tommy Kelly, Aaron Dobson, Alfonzo Dennard, Matthew Slater and Dominique Easley.

The team warmed up with half-speed plays, which then took them into their stretching period. Wideouts and quarterbacks warmed up with some agility work.

Defensive backs worked on their coverage in the end zone while quarterbacks and receivers worked on making their connections with no defense in the red zone.

The Patriots got the hoses out to work on fumble recoveries in wet conditions. (And let's be honest, it's also just a fun way to spend some time early in camp. Morale is important.)

After some ball-protection drills and special-teams work, the offense and defense had a chance to get after each other a little bit with 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work.

The practice finished up with some two-minute hurry-up repetitions and some field goal work.

* Kenbrell Thompkins had another very good day. He made what might've been the play of the day when he hit the deck to catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady with Darrelle Revis in coverage.

* Ryan Mallett was much better on Friday than he was on Thursday. He didn't complete anything that looked all that out of the ordinary, but he hit the throws he should have.

* Brandon Bolden had another tough day. He dropped a pass put right in his bread basket by Brady and he fumbled an exchange from Jimmy Garoppolo.

* Garoppolo had two picks to go along with his fumble. Forgettable session for him.

* Players took part in the annual Slip-n-Slide-esque fumble-recovery drill off to the side of one of the practice fields. No injuries to report after the fact.

* Logan Mankins was told to run a lap after a mistake in an 11-on-11 period focused on the running game. (The drill did not pit the offense against the defense; 11 offensive players stood in as defenders.)

* Garoppolo and Bolden also were forced to run a lap when they fumbled a handoff exchange in that running-game period. Both when Mankins did his lap and Garoppolo and Bolden did theirs, they got huge cheers as they ran by the crowd in attendance despite the fact they were being punished.

* Brady had some fun about an hour into practice as he lined up as a nose tackle to give Ryan Wendell a look as the center worked on his quarterback exchange with Jimmy Garoppolo. He also caught a touchdown pass from Rob Gronkowski before getting into a goal-line passing session.

* Thursday's goal-line passing side session, which was essentially run by Brady, had a different look on Friday. Brandon LaFell replaced Danny Amendola in the group (though Amendola worked as a punt returner at the same time), and Bill Belichick kept a watchful eye on the group whereas he did not on Thursday. The coach even feigned being a linebacker coming off the edge in some reps. The other players involved in that group included Julian Edelman, Kenbrell Thompkins and Gronkowski.

* Edelman has been one of the best punt returners in the NFL the past few seasons -- he's near the top of the record books in career yards per return -- but we didn't spot him taking any reps as the returner on Friday. Rookie Roy Finch also fielded punts.

* Revis and Brandon Browner spent some extra time with defensive backs coach Josh Boyer on Day 2. In their first side-session meeting they worked with safety Devin McCourty. In a second similar session they worked alongside safety Duron Harmon.

* In some of the drills where quarterbacks worked against no defense throwing to receivers, it appeared as though there was a focus on corner routes to the back of the end zone. Stevan Ridley and Gronkowski made nice plays in those periods.

* The Patriots have run a sort of half-field 7-on-7 (which is really more of a 4-on-3) during their practices. Patrick Chung made a nice breakup of a Brady pass intended for Amendola. Thompkins dropped a pass from Brady, as did Shane Vereen. Edelman made a nice catch on a low pass by Brady and then dove for the pylon for a touchdown, putting on display once again his seemingly constant all-out effort. Big hit from Kyle Arrington on Greg Orton.

* Orton went down in 7-on-7 work and was face-down for several moments. He was carted off the field. Hard to know what the injury was since he was on the opposite end of the field.

* Gronkowski was not involved in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 work once again on Friday. Here are the results of those offensive/defensive periods that we were able to track:


* Arrington breaks up play to Amendola at last second. Arrington had fallen down and recovered nicely.

* Brady overthrew Edelman in the back of the end zone with Devin McCourty in coverage.

* Brady hit Brandon Bolden in the chest with a dump-off that was promptly dropped by Bolden.

* Brady hit Thompkins with a touchdown -- another corner route -- with Malcolm Butler in coverage and Jamie Collins converging on him. With pads on, it was a play that might've made for a big hit.

* Brady hit Amendola on an easy underneath route. Looked like Brady's third or fourth option.

* Mallett incomplete to Asa Watson. Some miscomminucation on a comeback route.

* Mallett complete to LaFell underneath.

* Mallett complete to Wilson Van Hooser underneath.

* Garoppolo to Vereen in the flat.

* Garoppolo completed to Derrick Johnson in the flat, but the ball was knocked loose by a defensive back.

* Brady to Michael Hoomanawanui for an impressive diving grab as he went out of bounds in the end zone.

* Brady to Amendola with Collins in coverage. Tight window. Good throw and good hands shown by Amendola.

* Brady to Thompkins for yet another diving catch for a touchdown. Butler in coverage.

* Brady to LaFell on a cross in the back of the end zone with Arrington in coverage.

* Brady hits Thompkins for another -- yes, another -- diving catch in the end zone. Revis was in coverage on the play and Brady went to his receiver after to celebrate.

* Mallett incomplete to LaFell with Daxton Swanson in coverage.

* Mallett to Justin Jones for a touchdown with Tavon Wilson in coverage.

* Mallett to Van Hooser in the flat for a score.

* Garoppolo incomplete to LaFell -- way short. Looked like a miscommunication on the route.

* Garoppolo with a bit of a Tim Tebow rep. He held, and held, and held, and finally fired out of the back of the end zone incomplete.


* Brady incomplete deep down sideline to Josh Boyce with McCourty in coverage.

* Brady hits Amendola across the middle with Browner in coverage for a touchdown. After the play Edelman and Arrington got into a brief spat.

* Nate Solder false started and took off for a lap before he even had to be told.

* Brady to Amendola for a short completion underneath. He had tons of time. In pads, that play probably doesn't extend so long.

* Brady incomplete to James White on the sideline. Miscommunication between Brady and the rookie.

* Mallett complete to Vereen in the front corner of the end zone.

* Mallett to Vereen for a nice grab in the back of the end zone where Vereen went up and over James Anderson in coverage.

* Mallett incomplete to LaFell. Overthrow out of the end end zone.

* Mallett to Van Hooser underneath.

* Garoppolo complete on a screen to Edelman.

* Garoppolo picked by Chris White. Easy catch by White. Garoppolo hit him right in the hands in the middle of the field.

* Garoppolo complete to Jonas Gray underneath.

* Brady complete to Edelman in the flat.

* Brady to Vereen for a touchdown over the top from about 10 yards out.

* Brady incomplete over the middle.

* Brady complete to Thompkins on a slant near the goal line.

* Brady to Boyce in the back of the end zone.

* Mallett incomplete into the end zone. Off an unknown receiver's hands.

* Mallett complete to Vereen for a score.

* Mallett play-action-pass completion to Edelman wide open in the middle of the end zone.

* Mallett nearly picked by Nate Ebner. Pass broken up.

* Garoppolo picked by Swanson in the end zone.

* Garoppolo incomplete to Thompkins in the back of the end zone.


"I don't know what that means." -- Bill Belichick discussing how he interprets it when he's told there will be a renewed emphasis on a particular rule.