After getting the day off on Monday, Bill Belichick had his team back out on the practice field on Tuesday afternoon. A later start at roughly 1:30 p.m, the crowd from the weekend diminished drastically, leaving fans in attendance with a much better view point for the practice. The practice schedule and routine was the same as the first four days, things are just slowly picking up as the days move on. Here are my three observations and evaluations from Tuesday’s session.
Injuries Pile Up: With players hitting mostly at full speed comes the increased risk of training camp injuries. At the end of Sunday’s practice, Julian Edelman came up limping after catching a low placed ball from Jimmy Garoppolo. Edelman was on the field in full pads to start Tuesday’s practice. However, after stretches he walked into the field house next to the practice field and never returned.
In addition, halfway through the practice during individual tackling drills between defensive backs and wide receivers, Brian Tyms was rocked by Robert McClain. It did not seem to be a cheap shot, but most players do not follow through with their tackles, except for McClain who took Tyms directly to the ground. Tyms was carted off the practice field with what looked to be an upper body injury.
Also, an injury that looked to slip under the radar at the end of practice was an alleged one to Rob Gronkowski. I first noticed when the first team offense was practicing goal line drills. Gronkowski was kneeling on the side, grabbing at his lower back. There was no sign of trainers looking at his back, but during the two-minute drills at the end of practice, Gronkowski sat out. He was walking okay at the end, so try not to panic to hard Patriots fans.
Jimmy Garoppolo Has His Best Day: Throughout the first four days of training camp, Jimmy Garoppolo was underwhelming to put it lightly. Nevertheless, on Tuesday he was pretty impressive. He started practice off slow, with his first pass being intercepted by Nate Ebner. However, his passes had some very nice touch on them, particularly in red zone situations.
His first two passes in live eleven on eleven situations were beautifully placed passes, hitting Travaris Cadet and Danny Amendola in stride in opposite corners of the end zone. His decision making still needs to speed up, but overall he is slowly progressing day by day.
Miscellaneous Notes: Malcolm Butler continues to build upon his Super Bowl heroics during training camp. During the first eleven on eleven session, Butler picked off a bullet pass from Tom Brady intended for Josh Boyce in the middle of the field. Also, he certainly does not lack in confidence as he continues to chatter back and forth with Tom Brady.
Practice for sure started off very chippy on Tuesday afternoon. It started off right away during seven on seven interior drills. Jonas Gray ran through the hole, only to be absolutely leveled by Jamie Collins from the right side. Gray got up a little ticked off and the two exchanged words for a moment.
In addition, Josh Kline was getting very scrappy as well early on, and Jordan Devey looks terrible as always. Kline was blowing back Jonathan Freeny and getting good contact on Jamie Collins. Especially on Freeny, pushing him all the way back to the sidelines. Devey looked as if he were on roller skates when Zach Moore made one move on him and blew up a run play in the back field.
Josh Boyce is also raising some eyebrows so far. I completely wrote him off from making the team, but he is seeing a lot of time with Tom Brady, and Jimmy Garoppolo especially loves targeting him. Boyce continues to burn seventh round rookie cornerback Darryl Roberts, on almost a daily basis.
The Patriots will have a light practice inside Gillette Stadium for season ticket holders, and residents of Foxborough and South Walpole on Wednesday night after the Hall of Fame induction of Willie McGinest. Stay tuned for more training camp updates on Goal Line Gazette.