New England Patriots Training Camp Report: Kenbrell Thompkins Impresses, Gronk Present


The New England Patriots have finished up their first training camp practice of the year, and from what I can gather, it was a positive showing the for team.

First, the attendance report from Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald:

Nothing new there. We already knew that Dobson, Dennard, Easley, Slater, and Gallon had not been cleared to practice yet, although it is good news that they were at least getting in some conditioning on the sidelines. As for Gronkowski, there are no pads right now, so it is no surprise to see him practicing with the team.

With that said, it was reported that Gronk was limited today, and did not complete the entire workout.

Aside from Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski is probably the most important player on this offense, and when you have a guy that is seven months removed from major knee surgery, you want to start him off slow. I am confident that as we move towards the regular season, Gronk’s workload will slowly increase, but for now, play it safe, and make sure he stays healthy.

While we’re still on Gronkowski, Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston noted that the big man stayed after practice to work with Brady a little bit, running through a variety of routes with his quarterback.

These two haven’t been on the field together a whole lot over the last year or so, and while they certainly have a fine chemistry, it is plausible to think they need a bit of “brush up”. However once the games begin, I think they will look like they haven’t missed a beat.

One last nugget to note, is how second year receiver Kenbrell Thompkins performed in practice today. According to reports, he was very impressive, making a number of difficult catches. He was even praised by Brady after practice, who talked about Thompkins laying out to make a catch, which elevates the entire team. Christopher Price of WEEI had some nice words on Thompkins.

"Thompkins, who was wearing bright orange cleats, had a very nice morning. He was working with the starting offense throughout most of the session, and had a pair of really nice catches in 7-on-7 passing drills on the goal line, one from Brady and one from Jimmy Garoppolo."

He does mention that if Aaron Dobson were healthy, Thompkins may not have received so much time with the starters, but for now, it doesn’t matter. Dobson is injured, Thompkins is not. I really believe he is taking advantage of this unique opportunity to make a good impression on the coaching staff, to prove he not only deserves a spot on this team, but he deserves a chance to possibley start over Aaron Dobson once the season begins. He may not have the physical traits that Dobson has, but he works his tail off, and he has worked up a decent rapport with Tom Brady.

Football season has finally arrived, and we are one day in. Is anybody else shaking with excitement?