The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles held their first of three joint training camp practices this afternoon. The practice session was predictably intense (even resulting in "ejections" for Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson and Eagles cornerback Cary Williams), and gave coaches and media a good chance to evaluate the roster. Here are five notes from the session:
1. Tom Brady stole the show in Philadelphia, putting on a passing clinic. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald detailed Brady's prolific day breaking it down by drill. In 1 on 1's, Brady's went 20 for 20. In 7 on 7's, Brady went 7 for 7. And in 11 on 11's, Brady went 17 for 21. That's a total of 44 for 48. It's only one practice, but it's awesome to see Brady so sharp at this point in camp.
2. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe highlighted the performance of tight end Zach Sudfield, saying that he ran "exclusively with the first unit" and caught "everything thrown his way." Sudfield as well as Michael Hoomanawanui have stood out thus far in camp. And it seems like those two, especially Sudfield, compliment what Rob Gronkowski does very well.
3. From all accounts, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard had a rough day, getting burned several times by Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson. Jimmy Kempski from Bleeding Green Nation noted as much in our comments section. Dennard has had a reasonably good camp, and it's good to see him back there after he was banged up last week. Still, his down performance is something to note.
4. Another down performance to note: that of Tavon Wilson. Field Yates of ESPN Boston noted that Wilson was burned deep by DeSean Jackson, on a play where he had deep responsibility in the cover 2. At this point, it's been disappointing that Wilson, whom many expected to emerge as a starter this year, hasn't been able to move up the depth chart. Meanwhile, safety counterpart and rookie Duron Harmon has been seeing a bit of increased time with the top groups.
5. Patriots receiver Danny Amendola also had a strong performance, as Nick Underhill of Masslive.com wrote following the session. At this point, he looks like the Patriots unquestioned number one receiver, and it seems as if the Patriots will rely on him heavily in 2013. The rookies also had good days from all accounts. Aaron Dobson had an impressive back shoulder one-handed grab in 7 on 7's, while Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce reportedly stood out in one on one's.