By: Steve Balestrieri
The Top WR/CB having some great battles
The Patriots conducted their fourth practice of training camp on Sunday morning in full pads once again in front of a large vocal crowd.
They haven’t announced their schedule yet for the next few days
MIA List: The following players were spotted on the field as the injured list grows:
Quarterback Matt Flynn (NFI)
STs Gunner Matthew Slater (PUP)
WR Brandon LaFell (PUP)
LB Dane Fletcher (PUP)
LB Chris White (PUP)
OL Ryan Wendell (PUP)
DL Vince Taylor (PUP)
OL Caylin Hauptmann (PUP)
TE A.J. Derby,
DL Chris Jones (PUP)
DL Alan Branch (NFI)
RB Tyler Gaffney – Gaffney was present yesterday but took a bone-jarring hit from Sealver Siliga…this will bear watching. Taylor could be seen riding the bikes at the far end of the field with Hauptmann?
Joe Vellano limped off in the first hour and didn’t return.
Linebackers Donta Hightower and Xzavier Dickson were wearing red non-contact jerseys, although each took part in much of
Butler – Edelman Duel Entertaining: Much like the Edelman – Revis duel last summer, this one between the two standouts is very entertaining and getting a buzz from the crowd. There is a lot of trash talk going on between the two.
Butler broke up one play in the end zone but just moments later Edelman came down with a hotly contested ball. In the collision, Butler hit the turf. Edelman, much to the delight of the crowd, spun the ball in front of the prostrate Butler.
Brady loved it, racing over for a chest bump with Edelman and then even giving a high five to Butler. Brady was also giving the defense the business after LaGarrette Blount scored on a goal line run. For what it’s worth, the offense scored on three of four goal line plays, with Jamie Collins breaking up a pass to Scott Chandler on the only stop which was on first down.
Tarel Brown Turns it On: Brown had his most active day and was providing good tight coverage consistently through the session. He had a nice pass breakup during the positional drills against Boyce, and in team drills against both Dobson and Tyms.
He was playing with confidence and looked pretty solid out there, with lingering injury effects. He was even used as a kick returner…I don’t recall ever seeing him do that with the Niners or Raiders…whatever it takes to help the team…makes the team.
Tom Brady looked very sharp in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work today…we weren’t charting exact numbers but he was completing most of his throws. Jimmy Garoppolo got one series with the top offensive unit and looked sharp.
Bryan Stork continues to impress, the second year center won some big one-on-one battles during positional play. During the goal line portion, he was doing a good job on Malcom Brown. With the play of the Stork and the two rookie guards, things are looking good for the offensive line.
Shaq Mason and Tre’ Jackson continue to get most of the reps at guard, Jackson has been very consistent while Mason had some issues in pass protection in one-on-one. Geneo Grissom beat him cleanly and Trey Flowers did as well.
Antonio Johnson is quietly having a solid summer; the eighth-year veteran has had plenty of starting experience and is making the most of his snaps. During goal line work, he shot a gap untouched and stopped LaGarrette Blount cold, Jerod Mayo came in and helped him clean it up for no gain.
Blount had a pretty good day, in short yardage he’s making some decisive, quick cuts and has always had that second gear if he can get to the second level. He’s showing nice burst getting to the line. Jonas Gray has been solid as well.
James White continues to get most of the reps as the third down back, although today we saw the most of Travaris Cadet that we’ve seen so far. Both had their moments. Dion Lewis flashed in a few reps.
On the tight end front, Rob Gronkowski continues to look like vintage Gronk. He’s nearly unstoppable in 1-on-1 drills. Scott Chandler had a quiet day; I didn’t see him catch a pass in team drills. Jake Bequette is working hard and had a few moments but is battling for reps.
Play of the Day: Aaron Dobson made another standout play in team drills catching a Brady pass deep down the right sideline over Malcolm Butler. It looked like Butler had a bead on the ball and it would be picked off. But Dobson came down with it for an impressive play.
Dobson is rebounding from his nightmarish sophomore season and although it is early, (we will keep repeating that), he’s got the inside track on the #4 WR position over Tyms and Brandon Gibson…for now. He seems to be finding his way back in the most trusted of the Brady receivers ….always a good thing. He’s making steps every day.
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