The New England Patriots hosted a rainy Tuesday practice open to the media where reporters were able to shed some light on the performances of a handful of players. OT Nate Solder and OL Andrew Jelks were the only two players not on the field at minicamp, although head coach Bill Belichick stated that every player reported.
DT Alan Branch, FS Duron Harmon, WR Malcolm Mitchell, and LB Dont’a Hightower worked away from their teammates, per NESN’s Doug Kyed. Harmon, Mitchell, and Hightower are believed to be returning from injuries, while Branch is making his first appearance after skipping the voluntary portion of camp and will likely have to go through some conditioning approvals.
Patriots running a revolutionary two-QB, two-football offense. John Harbaugh will have a heart attack. pic.twitter.com/CKt16xl2gP— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) June 6, 2017
Players struggled in the rain, but QB Jimmy Garoppolo went 4 of 18 (not a typo) in 11 on 11s and “was not accurate.” Garoppolo’s performance probably isn’t connected to his admission that “he would entertain” an extension with the Patriots if the team offered him one.
QB Tom Brady was 13 of 17 and QB Jacoby Brissett was 8 of 13. The Herald’s Adam Kurkjian notes that Brissett “looks more comfortable out there” with “better command in general.”
Brady made a nice connection with WR Brandin Cooks, as ESPN’s Mike Reiss caught on tape:
More of this to come in the future? Tom Brady connects with Brandin Cooks as offense works against air (no defense). pic.twitter.com/rX32sI33LN— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) June 6, 2017
WR Julian Edelman “made an impressive leaping grab over Malcolm Butler,” per MassLive’s Kevin Duffy.
TE Dwayne Allen suffered three drops in 11 on 11s, per NESN’s Zack Cox.
TE Rob Gronkowski declares himself “100%, good to go,” per ProJo’s Mark Daniels.
Sophomore CB Jonathan Jones was the star of the day with “multiple pass breakups” and “got the best of Brandin Cooks” on one of those attempts, per Duffy. Jones got “a lot of work at nickel corner,” per Kurkjian, breaking up a deep pass to Cooks and another to Amendola on the sidelines.
Duffy notes that “Stephon Gilmore also got his hands on several passes.”
SS Jordan Richards was the fifth safety on the field in “big nickel” with Duron Harmon not participating in team drills, per CSNNE’s Phil Perry.
Despite the bad weather, CB Cyrus Jones didn’t drop a punt, per the Herald’s Jeff Howe. That’s a good sign.