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Notes from Patriots training camp 8/5/2016: New England holds its first scrimmage; QB Tom Brady dominates

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New England held its first intra-squad scrimmage today.

For the third straight day, the New England Patriots held practice on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. Overall, it was the eighth session of this year’s training camp. Once again, weather was perfect, while the team was wearing full pads.

Practice started about 20 minutes later than scheduled and mostly consisted of a spirited and competitive intra-team scrimmage (without live tackling). The top units on both sides of the ball were split up and the one team by Tom Brady "officially" won 17-9.

Attendance

The list of players that did not practice looked as follows: RB Dion Lewis (PUP), RB Donald Brown, RB D.J. Foster, WR Julian Edelman (PUP), WR Danny Amendola (PUP), WR Keshawn Martin, WR Nate Washington, TE Clay Harbor (PUP), TE Bryce Williams, OC Bryan Stork, OT Sebastian Vollmer (PUP), OG Tre’ Jackson (PUP), OG Jonathan Cooper, LB Jonathan Freeny, SS Nate Ebner.

Three players returned to practice today: RB Brandon Bolden, WR Chris Hogan (wearing a red non-contact jersey), WR Malcolm Mitchell, .

Of the 15 players to miss the session, Foster, Edelman, Martin, Washington, Harbor, Vollmer and Freeny were spotted but did not participate in drills.

Injuries

No injuries were reported. Hooray!

Offense

The quarterbacks performed as follows:

11-vs-11:
Tom Brady: 25 of 25, 4 TDs
Jimmy Garoppolo: 18 of 33, INT

Jimmy Garoppolo’s first pass of the day was a 20+ yard completion to Rob Gronkowski.

The big tight end later dropped a touchdown and also attempted a pass on a reverse (intended for Dobson). Unfortunately, it was intercepted by Devin McCourty. Gronkowski also carried the ball on a sweep at one point.

Garoppolo and James White connected on a quick slant to convert a fourth-down attempt.

Tom Brady was unstoppable today. On his first drive of the day, he hit Brandon Bolden for a 30+ yard touchdown. On the next drive, Brady connected with Martellus Bennett twice before hitting Chris Hogan, who looked very good today, on a slant for a touchdown. Brady also connected on a 50+ yard touchdown with Matthew Slater and a 60+ yard touchdown with Malcolm Mitchell.

Bill Belichick did not count the final two touchdowns and instead let his team work on redzone plays.

LaAdrian Waddle had some good battles with edge defenders Shea McClellin and Chris Long. Today, Waddle looked better than fellow offensive tackles Marcus Cannon and Cameron Fleming.

At one point, Thuney did a nice job picking up Jamie Collins on a delayed blitz.

Defense

Trey Flowers, who was a standout today, had a "sack" when he beat a double team of Nate Solder and Joe Thuney. Jabaal Sheard beat Cannon to quickly stop a screen pass in the backfield, while Rufus Johnson beat Fleming to record a "sack".

Malcolm Butler beautifully broke up two Garoppolo pass attempts; one for Dobson, one for DeAndre Carter.

Backup linebacker Kevin Snyder was in coverage on two touchdown catches (Bolden, Hogan), while Darryl Roberts was in coverage on another one (Slater).

McCourty, who intercepted Gronkowski, lined up at wide receiver at one point, while Collins lined up at running back one play later.

Collins intercepted Garoppolo on the last play of the scrimmage.

Special teams

V’Angelo Bentley returned the opening kickoff and got flattened (Ben Volin)/killed (Jeff Howe)/crushed (Mark Daniels) by linebacker Geneo Grissom.

Stephen Gostkowski made four of his five field goal attempts.