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Patriots 2018 training camp: Quick-hit thoughts on the fourth day of practice

New England held its fourth session yesterday.

NFL: New England Patriots-Training Camp Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots held their fourth training camp practice yesterday, and once again wore full pads. And as has been the case during the first full-padded session on Saturday, Sunday’s practice also focused primarily on the running game. Let’s quickly dive into the notebook:

The defensive line was dominating goal-line drills

New England closed yesterday’s practice by working on goal-line runs and the team’s defense won all four attempts. With Danny Shelton, Lawrence Guy, and Malcom Brown as the top three options at defensive tackle, the group has a lot of beef available for situations like these and it showed up on Sunday. Shelton, who was acquired via trade this offseason, appears to be a nice addition to the group – a player that will not wow you versus the pass but one that occupies space and helps free up the linebackers behind him to make plays.

Jacob Hollister appears to enter Tom Brady’s circle of trust

After playing only a handful of offensive snaps during his 2017 rookie season, tight end Jacob Hollister appears to be ready to take the second-year jump – and also to enter quarterback Tom Brady’s circle of trust. Not only has he been on the receiving end of multiple of Brady’s pass attempts over the first four training camp days, he also has routinely worked alongside the greatest of all time during his side sessions. A good sign for his development and role in the Patriots’ offense.

Injuries at wide receiver continue to pile up...

New England is getting a bit thin at the wide receiver position with Jordan Matthews being the latest member of the group to suffer an injury. The free agency acquisition hurt his right hamstring during one-on-one work and ultimately had to leave the session. Matthews joins Kenny Britt and Malcolm Mitchell (and special teams ace Matthew Slater, for what it’s worth) as wideouts dealing with medical issues. While both he and Britt are expected back soon, other options will receive opportunities to rise up the depth chart or solidify their standings. Regular availability might be a deciding factor when it comes to cut-downs.

...but Julian Edelman gets better every day

Coming off a season spent on injured reserve because of a torn ACL, wide receiver Julian Edelman has not skipped a beat so far during training camp. The veteran was at his best on Sunday, making his usual quick cuts and displaying solid confidence in his surgically repaired knee. Eleven months removed from his injury, Edelman looks like he will be physically and mentally ready for the regular season – one that of course will not start before week five for him.