Today was the last organized team activity (OTA) for the Patriots that will be open to the media. The team will have a closed session tomorrow and will reconvene next Tuesday for a media-open minicamp from June 17th to the 19th.
Seven Patriots weren't spotted today:
QB Ryan Mallett
WR Aaron Dobson, Brandon LaFell (the only two receivers taller than 6'1)
CB Alfonzo Dennard
DT Tommy Kelly, Armond Armstead, Dominique Easley
Here are some notes from around the web:
Chris Price from WEEI says that Jimmy Garoppolo had some ups and downs:
Garoppolo had a very good start, connecting on a few nice throws. There was one impressive floater he delivered to rookie running back Roy Finch in a passing drill. He struggled at times down the stretch. Not sure how much of that was because he spent some time under center (where he rarely was as a collegian), but there were some missed throws.
Jeff Howe from the Boston Herald points out that Tom Brady is on his "A" game:
Brady hit Amendola on a terrific touchdown throw on a post route. Amendola beat Kyle Arrington and both safeties for the score.
Brady also threw a majestic lob pass to the left corner of the end zone to Edelman. The ball left Brady's hand before Edelman even made his break, and it led Edelman to the far corner.
Brady was perfect today. Very few balls hit the turf.
Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston welcomed the return of Vince Wilfork to a more involved practice:
Because of the volume of players on the field, and the increased chance there could be a falling player that lands on a leg, ankle or foot, recovering players are often held out of 11-on-11s. That’s why the presence of defensive lineman Vince Wilfork (ruptured Achilles, Sept. 29) in some 11-on-11 work today was our biggest takeaway. He looks to be moving well, as we noticed him pushing off hard and exploding forward to put pressure on the left side of the offensive line. Wilfork didn’t participate in the full practice, but it seemed like a significant step.
Zuri Berry of the Boston Globe lauded Shane Vereen, while noting that Jamie Collins has room to grow:
Shane Vereen was giving Jamie Collins hell in practice while catching passes out of the backfield. While Collins is considered the Patriots cover linebacker, he's still a step slow when it comes to covering the speedy Vereen.
Doug Kyed of NESN has plenty of reservations about the current state of the tight ends:
The tight end group continues to look shallow with Rob Gronkowski and D.J. Williams limited. Rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson haven’t done much to stand out.
Nick Underhill of MassLive thinks the wide receivers are making positive strides:
Brady threw [at Revis] at least three times, with Julian Edelman catching all of those passes. Revis wasn’t exactly in tight coverage on two of them, giving Edelman about a cushion of about six or seven yards, but the third attempt was legitimate.
Kenbrell Thompkins continues to stand out and received a lot of passes from Brady. Thompkins appears to have added some muscle mass this offseason. Josh Boyce had another decent day of practice, making a few nice catches of passes from Garoppolo.
Overall, we're seeing players that are recovering from injury getting back on the field (tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer are healthy enought that the team felt comfortable releasing R.J. Mattes), and those that are healthy are staying healthy.
The wide receivers continue to grow, while there's still trouble at the tight end position. Hopefully we'll see the defensive tackles emerge as half of the players competing for the roster are currently injured.
And, maybe most importantly, Brady has been on fire. Good to see.