For the second straight day, the New England Patriots and the Chicago Bears met on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium for a joint practice session. And for the second straight day it was a rather emotional affair.
There were multiple instances when they were close to boiling over during the non-tackling session. Bears safety Harold Jones-Quartey knocked Patriots wideout Julian Edelman down after a reception during 7-on-7s, which led to Aaron Dobson coming over to defend his teammate. Receiver Josh Bellamy knocked Devin McCourty's helmet off.
And there was one instance when emotions did in fact boil over: center Bryan Stork was thrown out of the session after swinging at two Bears after the whistle. The two defenders were the instigators but throwing a punch will get you ejected every time as long as Bill Belichick is your coach. Definitely not a good look for a player in an open competition for a roster spot.
After practice, Bears head coach John Fox downplayed the recent incidents:
John Fox says last two days weren't fights, but "pushing matches." Clearly big difference between Pats-Bears philosophies.— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) August 16, 2016
Oh, and there was also some football. Here are our notes of that.
The Patriots were without RB Brandon Bolden (?) OG Jonathan Cooper (foot), TE Rob Gronkowski (lower body), RB Dion Lewis (knee), LB Shea McClellin (?), ED Jabaal Sheard (?), and OT Sebastian Vollmer (?).
S Nate Ebner made an appearance and worked with the players in conditioning.
The conditioning team consists of players that have been nicked up during camp, but are still out with the team. They spend their time together when everyone else goes through team drills: WR Danny Amendola, RB Donald Brown, S Nate Ebner, RB D.J. Foster, OG Tre Jackson, WR Keshawn Martin, WR Malcolm Mitchell, ED Rob Ninkovich, TE Bryce Williams
TE Clay Harbor worked with the trainers after landing awkwardly on a reception. LT Nate Solder had to get his foot looked at, but returned to practice.
Via Doug Kyed, the two teams’ quarterbacks performed as follows:
Brady went 4-8 in 11s, 11-15 overall.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) August 16, 2016
Jimmy 4-9 in 11s, 9-16 overall.
Cutler 5-6, 14-17
Hoyer 6-9, 9-13
Wide receiver Julian Edelman continued to expand his role in practice and participated in team drills for the first time. He looked excellent.
Tom Brady to Julian Edelman pic.twitter.com/coSJj4hshg— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 16, 2016
Julian Edelman just beat Super Bowl hero Tracy Porter so bad that Porter quit before Garoppolo threw the ball.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 16, 2016
Julian Edelman's making more DBs look silly. Next was Joel Ross in 1v1s— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 16, 2016
Edelman having a dynamite practice. Just caught TD from Garoppolo in 7-on-7s on ball that was tipped by Bennett.— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) August 16, 2016
Edelman just put a triple move on LB John Timu and beat him by 10 yards for a TD. So unfair it's almost uncalled for.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 16, 2016
Julian Edelman looking fast today pic.twitter.com/9MKryOVGx3— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 16, 2016
Center Bryan Stork was ejected for fighting, which certainly doesn’t help his cause against David Andrews. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if Bill Belichick made Andrews the starter after this. It’s difficult to win a starting role when you’re sidelined with an injury, but when you actively get yourself removed from practice, then I think Belichick will move on.
Andrews and Shaq Mason continue to receive first team reps at center and right guard, respectively. The two starting spots seem to be theirs to lose.
Tom Brady and Martellus Bennett were working together on a separate field. At one point, the quarterback showed his tight end exactly how he wanted a route run by demonstratively walking the in-cut himself.
Bears WR Alshon Jeffery got the best of CB Malcolm Butler after the two were ejected from practice yesterday. They made up, though, with a hand shake and just competed as football players today.
The Patriots cornerbacks came back to earth after a stellar first day against the Bears. Justin Coleman was beaten a few times, including for a 50-yard TD strike, after having four break-ups yesterday. Butler and Logan Ryan had break-ups, per NESN’s Doug Kyed. ProJo’s Mark Daniels noted a break-up for Jonathan Jones.
The Patriots continued to work on punt coverage after their ugly outing on Thursday.
More punt coverage work for the Patriots.— Christopher Price (@cpriceNFL) August 16, 2016
Lots of special teams work today— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 16, 2016