The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles met for their third and final joint practice session this morning. With a preseason game tomorrow, the practice was essentially a glorified walkthrough in shells and helmets. Still, there were a few things to note:
1. Eric Scalavino of Patriots Football Weekly wrote that today's practice session was run at mostly half speed with the exception of one drill - the 7 on 7's. Again, being that this was the day before the game, no surprises here. Quarterback Tom Brady took the majority of the reps, with just a few left over for Ryan Mallett and Tim Tebow. Still no indication of whether or not he will suit up tomorrow.
2. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald made a note of an interesting package the Patriots ran on defense which included four safeties - Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Adrian Wilson, and Duron Harmon. Wilson and Harmon are bigger bodies and could be used in a linebacker-type role in dime packages. I'm interested to see if this is something we might see in the preseason.
3. There wasn't a lot to point out in terms of player performance, but Field Yates of ESPN Boston felt that Daniel Fells had a nice day catching the football. To this point, Fells has had a solid camp and seems to be in the mix for one of the top two tight end spots with Michael Hoomanawanui and Zach Sudfeld. At this point, Jake Ballard seems to have fallen behind on the depth chart.
4. There was one injury scare that came up in practice, as Nick Underhill of Masslive.com noted that cornerback Alfonzo Dennard left practice early with strength and conditioning coach Harold Nash. Dennard did return to the sidelines, but with a noticeable limp. At this point, you might as well write Dennard off for tomorrow night's game.
5. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe put rookie receiver Josh Boyce in his "up" category in his practice notes. Volin pointed out that while Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins have gotten the majority of the attention in training camp, it's actually been Boyce running with the first unit. During practice, Boyce caught a deep ball for a touchdown in the corner of the endzone with both Bradley Fletcher and Nate Allen in coverage.