The biggest story in the New England Patriots training camp is the development with the quarterbacks, considering there will be a QB not named Tom Brady playing for a quarter of the season. Day three of Patriots camp was the first day in full pads, so most of today’s work was given to the running backs.
Out of the QB play that did occur Saturday morning, Brady seemed to have his best day so far. He went 4 of 5 in 7-on-7 drills and 4 of 4 in 11-on-11 drills. Jimmy Garoppolo, who is expected to take over during Brady’s four-game suspension, had his third strong day of camp. Garoppolo was 4 of 5 in 7-on-7 drills and was 2 of 3 in 11-on-11’s with his lone incompletion in 11-on-11’s having been a drop by receiver Chris Hogan.
Lastly you have the Patriots rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who had the worst day of any of the three QB’s at the camp. He started off 7-on-7 drills throwing an interception. His next four passes in 7-on-7’s were good but included one drop totaling him at 3 of 5. In 11-on-11’s, where Brissett was only given a real opportunity to perform in as camp was coming to a close, he went 3 of 6. All three of his incompletions were forced passes that were swatted away by the rookie cornerback out of Florida Atlantic, Cre’Von LeBlanc.
With the pads on for the first time there was some big hitting happening. Jamie Collins had one of the more memorable hits of the day when he powered himself through running back LeGarrette Blount.
Blount was having a fine day until he fumbled in a scrum during 11-on-11’s. Blount went on to do a lap. The best running back of the day was Donald Brown. Brown showed great burst through the holes and got a lot of time in with the starting line.
- Kevin Faulk joined the team on the practice field, giving hugs to Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, and others on the sidelines. He stayed for the duration of the practice and signed autographs after. Faulk, a former Patriots running back, is being inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Monday, August 1st.
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- Brandon Bolden, Malcolm Mitchell, and Vincent Valentine all missed their first practice today. Bolden and Mitchell were for unknown reasons, while Valentine was attending a funeral.
- Jonathan Cooper, an offensive guard who the Patriots acquired through a trade involving Chandler Jones, was carted out of the practice fields with what appeared to be a right lower leg/foot injury. Cooper injured his foot in a low-contact drill and could not immediately apply pressure to his leg while trying to stand. He remained on the ground for several minutes before trainers helped him off of the field.
- Chris Harper was the top receiver in camp today catching three balls from Garoppolo and one from Brady. Chris Hogan also had a good day, catching four passes including a nice ball that he laid out for in the middle of the endzone.
- Vinnie Sunseri caught the lone interception of the day off of a tipped pass from Brissett.
- Julian Edelman ran some routes after practice with the QB’s, which is a good sign that he could return to camp very soon.
- 21,781 fans attended the Patriots open practice Saturday.