The New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles held their second of three joint training camp practices this morning. While the practice wasn't quite as heated or intense as yesterday's session, it did include a lot of good football, and a lot of team reps. Here are five notes from the day's session:
1. In his practice observations, Field Yates of ESPN Boston noted that while the Patriots offense wasn't quite as sharp as they were yesterday, they still had some strong moments. In particular, Yates praised the vertical passing game. Rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson had back to back catches over the top of the Eagles defense during 11 on 11's.
2. Staying on offense, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald really liked what he saw in the developing chemistry between Tom Brady and receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce. Howe, in his practice report, wrote that Brady and Thompkins are "consistently on the same page" and hooked up on a "variety of routes." Howe also highlighted how during one two-minute drill, Josh Boyce caught three consecutive Brady passes on three different routes (post, quick out, quick slant). One of my big takeaways thus far from training camp is how each of the Patriots' rookie receivers can make plays at different levels of the field. That makes each of them more dynamic, and should also allow them to see a lot of time on the field together.
3. Erik Scalavino of Patriots Football Weekly distinguished rookie free agent defensive tackle Cory Grissom as one player he would whose stock was up following today's practice session. He's only had a few days of practice time, but saw some reps with the first unit today, next to All-Pro Vince WIlfork. With the Patriots thin along the defensive line, Grissom will have his chances.
4. Zach Sudfeld is continuing to turn heads in practice. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe described two touchdowns Sudfeld had today - both difficult toe-tapping catches in the endzone. At this point, Sudfeld is looking closer and closer to being a roster lock. I'm really looking forward to seeing him on Friday night.
5. Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston detailed the excitement shown by cornerback Aqib Talib following an acrobatic deep reception by Kenbrell Thompkins. Talib has become a more vocal leader in his first full season in New England, and he explained his excitement over the Brady-Thompkins connection Wednesday:
It's fun, man. It's the NFL, man. You watch Tom Brady throw bombs. He's on my team. Hey man, that's fun. The young wideouts out there making plays - A.D. and K.T., they're downfield making plays on the ball, man. That's fun.
The Patriots return to the practice field with the Eagles tomorrow at 12:30. The session is expected to have a much lighter feel to it.