The New England Patriots held their third practice to open up training camp. The weather heated up, but more players were ready and able to participate.
Injuries and Activity
- Running back LeGarrette Blount passed his conditioning test and was active for the first time in training him. He has been removed from the Non-Football Injury (NFI) list.
- Defensive tackle Dominique Easley was also available and active on the day. He is now removed from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
- Linebacker Jerod Mayo was active and didn't feature a red no-contact jersey, which is a positive sign. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower was available and was in a red no-contact jersey.
- Rookie edge defender Xzavier Dickson was also in a no-contact jersey.
- Defensive tackle Alan Branch was still unavailable as he hasn't passed his conditioning test.
#Patriots Flynn, Slater, LaFell, Cox, Green, Lynch, D Fletcher, C White, Wendell, Taylor, Hauptmann, Derby, Chr Jones, Branch didn't practice— Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) August 1, 2015
- Quarterback Tom Brady ran onto the field to yet another round of "BRADY! BRADY! BRADY!" chants.
- Offensive lineman Josh Kline saw time at center to expand his skill set, in addition to his skill at guard, and help him possibly win the final roster spot for the positional ground.
- Tackle Marcus Cannon saw time at right tackle as Sebastian Vollmer recovers from shoulder surgery. Vollmer was available for the half-speed activities.
- Wide receiver Josh Boyce has had himself a day with a handful of catches and plenty of activity and involvement. Fellow receiver Aaron Dobson has been effective, too, and has done a great job of using his body to make plays over defensive backs.
- Rookie guard Shaq Mason had himself a day with a fantastic pancake block on sophomore Zach Moore.
- Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saw some time with the first team today, while Tom Brady spent time with the second team. This is standard in order to see how players react when surrounded by different personnel.
- Blount looked awesome in his first day back. He was quick, explosive, and clearly the starter when he returns from suspension.
- Running back James White also flashed his receiving skills when he lined up with the 1s.
- Rookie safety Jordan Richards, after missing rookie camp due to Stanford's late graduation, continues to turn heads. He is always around the ball and is in the right spot. He had a great break-up in coverage of tight end Scott Chandler.
- Linebacker Jamie Collins forced a fumble on wide receiver Aaron Dobson and the entire offense had to run a lap, much to the pleasure of the crowd.
- Rookie first round pick and defensive tackle Malcom Brown spent time rotating in with the first team defense.
- Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga had the hit of the day when he pancaked running back Tyler Gaffney.
- Fellow defensive tackle Dominique Easley showed off his quickness when rushing the passer in one-on-one drills. He needs to string together a couple days of quality work, but he's off to a great start.
- Cornerback Malcolm Butler picked up where he left off last season. He was the best cornerback on the field and had multiple break-ups and was in tight coverage.
Special Teams Notes
- Josh Boyce, Jonathan Krause, and Dion Lewis have been working on kick returns.
- The Patriots offensive line might actually take early form and it might not include Ryan Wendell. NEPD Staff Writer Mike Loyko noted that Wendell's roster spot is far from a lock and the rookies Tre Jackson and Shaq Mason are building a case to convince the coaching staff they can start on day 1.
- The Patriots have announced their offseason award winners: OLs Bryan Stork and Nate Solder, TE Michael Hoomanwanui, DL Antonio Johnson, DBs Nate Ebner and Devin McCourty, LBs Jonathan Freeny and Eric Martin. Solder has won the award in three of the past four seasons- the only year he didn't (2014) he was recovering from testicular cancer.
- The following players have been selected in the top four rounds of the past three Patriots drafts:
2013: Jamie Collins, Aaron Dobson, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Josh Boyce
2014: Dominique Easley, Jimmy Garoppolo, Bryan Stork, James White, Cameron Fleming
2015: Malcom Brown, Jordan Richards, Geneo Grissom, Trey Flowers, Tre Jackson, Shaq Mason
First off, every single one of these players are still on the Patriots roster. All of these players have been rotating with the first team and the majority have made positive headlines for their play. Drafting is crucial for team success and the Patriots have restocked their entire roster with a string of positive drafts (including Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower in the 2012 draft).