At 78 degrees and sunny on Saturday morning the weather in Foxborough was ideal for another capacity crowd attending day three of Patriots Training Camp. It was also great for the players, who donned pads for the first time this offseason.
Before the team took to the practice fields, Patriots Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio held an 8:45am presser. Here were some of the major takeaways:
- Caserio announced that Sony Michel would be suiting up on Saturday for the first time this summer, removing his name for the PUP list.
- Caserio confirmed that DE Michael Bennett’s absences from the previous two days were excused for personal reasons, and that he wouldn’t be practicing on Saturday either. He did not comment further on the nature of those personal reasons, but did state that the veteran has been “great to work with, so we’ll leave it at that.”
- He was asked a few times about the Houston Texans situation and said nothing of note beyond the expected clichés, but he did finish by saying “I’m happy to be here, and I love what I do on a day to day basis”.
NFI List: WR Julian Edelman, T Yodny Cajuste
PUP List: CB Ken Webster, WR Demaryius Thomas, S Nate Ebner, OL Cole Croston
Injury: IDL Byron Cowart
Excused abscense: DE Michael Bennett
Back at practice
QB Tom Brady
C David Andrews
RB Sony Michel
T Isaiah Wynn
C David Andrews
RB Sony Michel
News and notes
(1.) Quarterback Tom Brady — who was given a scheduled day off on Friday, per Caserio — was back on the field and in pads with his normal red non-contact jersey.
(2.) A heavy contingent of former Patriots stars were on hand on Saturday, including Rob Ninkovich — who recently started a new gig with ESPN — Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison, and Randy Moss. All work for major television networks covering the game, and when you include Tedy Bruschi, it’s truly amazing to see how many former New England greats are in prominent content roles.
(3.) Saturday’s session was short, ending around 10:40am. The Patriots offense focused heavily on the ground and screen game — something we often see each year at the start of camp when the pads first go on. Runs and designed screens require much more timing and precise footwork, so it’s imperative that a sound base of muscle memory is built early on in the process.
(4.) The small workload over the previous two days and lack of participation in team drills on Saturday for second-year left tackle Isaiah Wynn shows that the team is definitely playing it safe with the former Georgia Bulldog’s recovery from last summer’s torn Achilles. However, the fact that he is not on the PUP list, and that he was mimicking team drills off to the side of the unit in an attempt to squeeze in as much work as possible is an encouraging sign, and speaks to where he currently is in his recovery process. He’s close.
(5.) Joe Thuney continued working as the first team left tackle in 11-on-11s, with James Ferentz slotting in at left guard and Ted Karras manning center. Ferentz’s chances of making the roster have received a shot in the arm over the first couple of days of camp as the retirement of Brian Schwenke and Cole Croston’s placement on the PUP list leaves just Karras, rookie Hjalte Froholdt, UDFA Tyler Gauthier, and the newly-signed J.J. Dielman behind him on the depth chart.
(6.) Patriots wideouts Maurice Harris, Jakobi Meyers, and N’Keal Harry continued to show out, with the latter two making contested catches in traffic. Harry’s was a high-pointed back shoulder grab in the end zone over talented second-year corner J.C. Jackson, who had a solid practice for himself on Saturday which included PBU on a Tom Brady deep ball early on in the 11-on-11 session.
(6.) Here’s how the QBs fared on Saturday, per NESN’s Doug Kyed:
Brady - 2 for 8
Hoyer - 3 for 3, including a TD to N’Keal Harry
Stidham - 3 for 4
The team takes the field again on Sunday at a time that has yet to be announced. On Monday evening the team has their Patriots Hall of Fame ceremony at 4:30pm, and their annual 7:00pm practice at Gillette Stadium — which typically involves a full-team scrimmage — all of which is open to season ticket holders and Foxborough residents.