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Patriots 2017 Training Camp: Day 9 recap

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Some quick-hit notes on Saturday’s practice.

NFL: New England Patriots-Training Camp Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Saturday marked the ninth day of training camp for the Patriots. Following Friday’s blue vs. white scrimmage Bill Belichick kept practice short, and committed most of it to situational football and the running game. Much to his delight, a storm rolled in halfway through the session, drenching players, coaches, and fans.

2. A name that has popped up in recent days has been Adam Butler. The undrafted free agent from Vanderbilt is an interesting prospect in terms of size and versatility. At six-foot-five and 300 pounds, the former Commodore played every position on the defensive line in the ultra-competitive SEC.

Bill Belichick has been searching for a consistent interior pass rusher for his sub-packages since drafting and quickly releasing Dominique Easley. Anthony Johnson flashed in the role during 2016 training camp. He made the team out of camp only to be released, signed to the practice squad, and eventually poached by the Jets. Could Butler be this year’s surprise UDFA to make the roster?

3. Saturday’s quarterback stats from The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe:

  • Brady: 8 of 13
  • Garoppolo: 9 of 12, INT
  • Brissett: 2 of 4

After Friday’s pass-heavy scrimmage, and with the rain pouring down on the field, the offense focused primarily on the running game.

4. In what is becoming a daily occurrence, rookie edge defenders Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise were the last players to leave the field on Saturday, staying after practice to continue working on pass rushing moves. With the retirement of Rob Ninkovich, the edge-rushing unit is extremely short on veteran experience and leadership. With that being said, it’s extremely impressive to see Rivers and Wise taking it upon themselves to get better each day — a trait that the team clearly identified in each prospect during the pre-draft process.

5. To piggy-back on the previous point, the two rookie edge rushers are clearly making the extra post-practice work pay off.

Wise, the bigger and longer-armed of the two, has been turning heads since the start of camp. Rivers has shown flashes, but likely still needs to add to his slight frame.

6. Simply put, Gronk is the best.

7. Attendance:

  • Absent: Matthew Slater (unkown)
  • Limited participation (conditioning only): Solder, David Jones, Mike Gillislee, Burkhead, Mitchell (did positional drills), and Cody Hollister.
  • Full Participation: Edelman, Amendola, and Thuney.

8. The Patriots have Sunday off before welcoming the Jacksonville Jaguars to Foxborough on Monday for the first of two joint practices leading up to Thursday’s preseason opener. Monday’s practice is scheduled for 9:30am and is open to the public.

Follow Brian Phillips on Twitter @BPhillips_PP