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Patriots 2018 OTAs: Day five recap; Brian Hoyer the top quarterback option with Tom Brady still out

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Notes and musings from the second open OTA practice.

NFL: New England Patriots-OTA Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

For the second day in a row, the New England Patriots held an organized team activity workout on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. Today's OTA session was the team's fifth overall but just the second one open to the media. Let's recap the action.


Attendance

Nine players were not spotted: QB Tom Brady, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Malcolm Mitchell, WR Cody Hollister, RB Brandon Bolden, OG Joe Thuney, CB Cyrus Jones, FS David Jones, SS Nate Ebner. (source)

The following players were spotted but limited: WR Braxton Berrios, OT Isaiah Wynn, OT Marcus Cannon, OT Trent Brown, DT Malcom Brown, CB Jonathan Jones, CB Keion Crossen. Furthermore, cornerback Jason McCourty did not participate in team drills. (source)

Trey Flowers and Jonathan Jones, albeit limited, returned after missing last week's open practice. (source)


Offense

The quarterbacks looked as follows during 11-on-11 drills (source):

Brian Hoyer: 12/18, INT

Danny Etling: 2/6

The quarterbacks looked as follows during 7-on-7 drills (source):

Brian Hoyer: 5/5

Danny Etling: 4/5

The Patriots' offensive line during team drills looked as follows (source):

LaAdrian Waddle - Jason King - David Andrews - Shaq Mason - Ulrick John

Both quarterbacks looked better than they did one week ago. (source) Hoyer in particular had a solid day. (source)

Two offseason additions at offensive tackle - first-round rookie Isaiah Wynn and trade acquisition Trent Brown - did positional drills but missed team work. (source)

Jacob Hollister had yet another good session. (source)

Julian Edelman's workload slightly increased when compared to last week: He did one team period, even though it was no full-speed drill. (source)

First-rounder Sony Michel did not have the finest day and running backs coach Ivan Fears let him know a few times. (source)


Defense

The Patriots' starting 4-3 defense during team drills looked as follows (source):

Derek Rivers - Lawrence Guy - Danny Shelton - Adrian Clayborn

Dont'a Hightower - Elandon Roberts - Kyle Van Noy

Stephon Gilmore - Patrick Chung - Devin McCourty - J.C. Jackson

Dont'a Hightower, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury, participated fully during the session. (source)

Second-year defensive back Damarius Travis registered an interception off a tip. The Brian Hoyer pass intended for Cordarrelle Patterson was broken up by rookie Duke Dawson and fell into Travis' arms. (source)

Cornerbacks Eric Rowe, Duke Dawson, and Jomal Wiltz had pass breakups in 11-on-11 work, as did linebacker Christian Sam. (source)

Rookies J.C. Jackson and Ja'Whaun Bentley had pass deflections in 4-on-4 drills. (source)

The defensive linemen worked with new coach Joe Kim on hand combat skills late during the session. (source)

Assistant coach DeMarcus Covington saw more time with the linebackers. He might be a candidate to take over once Brian Flores officially becomes the Patriots' defensive coordinator. (source)


Special teams

Rookie wideout Braxton Berrios saw time as a punt returner. (source)

Punter Corey Bojorquez displayed his strong left leg during the session. (source)

Undrafted rookie cornerback A.J. Moore saw work at gunner alongside Matthew Slater, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jordan Matthews, Duke Dawson and Ryan Lewis. (source)


The Patriots will return to the practice fields tomorrow for another closed session; the sixth and final one before mandatory minicamp starts on June 5.