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Patriots 2017 training camp: Day 1 Observations

Some observations from what I saw in the first training camp practice for the Patriots.

The Patriots looked more like the well-oiled machine we see late in the season than a new team getting in there for the first time. Already coming off an exciting Super Bowl comeback win, the Patriots wasted little time getting back into the flow of things. Today was in shorts, although there were a couple physical plays in 11 on 11 drills. The team will put on the pads for the first time on Saturday.

The team started off with some kickoff and kick return practices, with Dion Lewis, DJ Foster, Danny Amendola, James White, Cyrus Jones, and Will Likely as the returners in practice. It took all of 10 minutes before Cyrus Jones muffed a kickoff and the fans voicing their displeasure. Later in the practice, he was able to catch a punt and got a set of sarcastic cheers from the crowd. They started with the jugs machine, then had Stephen Gostkowski do kickoffs later in the practice.

Tom Brady was still sharp and had pinpoint accuracy, although the top CB group made things hard for him anyway. Brady and Cooks weren’t on the same page early, but by the end of practice they were. Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett struggled a bit, but in Jimmy G’s case he had only really 1 bad 7 on 7 drill where he threw interceptions to Jordan Richards in the back of the end zone and misfired on an out route that Eric Rowe jumped and juggled before catching the pass. The Patriots returning receivers looked solid in practice, although Edelman dropped a pass on 7 on 7 drills, with Rob Gronkowski looking healthy and catching a couple TDs from Brady in 7 on 7.

The Patriots cornerback group had a solid practice in drills, keeping tight coverage and making Brady, Jimmy G, and Brissett go for their 3rd and 4th reads often even when they were able to complete it. Butler broke up a pass on 7 on 7 against Brady. Justin Coleman recorded an interception and a pair of pass breakups as well as he’s competing for the slot role with Jonathan Jones and Cyrus Jones. Cyrus Jones looked a step slow in practice and got burned on change of direction routes three different times.

Bottom of the Roster Special Performers:

One player that caught my eye in practice was CB Kenny Moore (#42). He was all over the field, knocking down passes and recording an interception against Jacoby Brissett. DJ Foster also made a few plays as well, showcasing his skill set as a receiver, including hauling in a TD when left wide open in 11 on 11 with Brissett finding him. Devin Lucien had a couple nice plays, although overall he wasn’t able to shake free from Moore very often. Austin Carr made a slick, twisting catch in the back of the end zone in 7 on 7 drills that drew loud cheers.