The New England Patriots completed their first minicamp practice yesterday, and from what I can gather, it was another positive outing for the Pats.
Here is the attendance report, as per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
Absent: WR Aaron Dobson (foot surgery), CB Alfonzo Dennard, LB Darius Fleming, DL Dominique Easley (torn ACL), DL Armond Armstead
Limited: LG Logan Mankins, WR Brandon LaFell, DL Vince Wilfork (torn Achilles), DT Tommy Kelly (knee surgery), DE Will Smith (torn ACL), TE Rob Gronkowski (torn ACL), QB Ryan Mallett, WR Matthew Slater, TE D.J. Williams, WR Jeremy Gallon, LB Deontae Skinner, DB Travis Hawkins
Howe also noted that Vince Wilfork and Will Smith continued with their progress, as well as Tommy Kelly, who was there for the entire session.
This news doesn’t necessarily change our view on this situation, as I think Wilfork will be ready to go for week one, and his return to the Patriots defense will really benefit not only the run defense, but the group as a whole. Wilfork’s leadership skills are well known, and having him back in that huddle will definitely improve the morale of the unit.
Although this shouldn’t come as a big surprise, quarterback Tom Brady was on the money yesterday, drawing some high praise from the media:
Brady hit running back James White on a perfect pass up the left sideline in 11-on-11s. Brady, on the whole, was nearly perfect today, and the running backs continue to be active in the passing game.
Once again, even though Danny Amendola took a lot of heat last year, I think he had a decent season, and I expect him to continue this 2014. It has been well documented throughout this offseason that Amendola once again looks just awesome on the field, but what is really important, is his chemistry with Brady:
Brady’s chemistry is again on point with Danny Amendola, who caught a quick pass in 11-on-11s when the defense lined up in a unique formation. That’s a case where Amendola exected his hot route.
And finally, Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots highly scrutinized second round pick, had an up and down practice yet again. He made some excellent throws, but at the same time, he made some typical rookie mistakes. However I think that since backup quarterback Ryan Mallett has been limited in most of the drills this offseason, Garoppolo has really taken advantage of this, and proved that he deserves a shot at backing up Brady. I certainly like what I see (hear), and it will be interesting to monitor this situation going forward.
With No. 2 quarterback Ryan Mallett present but limited in drills, it provided rookie Jimmy Garoppolo with extended opportunity. As has been the case in each practice we’ve watched Garoppolo, there were some notable highs and lows.