Unlike last week’s joint practices with the Redskins, the New England Patriots did not obliterate the Eagles today. In fact, according to reports, they struggled at times on both sides of the ball.
One of the biggest storylines coming into this week of camp was the presence of NFL officials. This is the first time the Patriots will be practicing with officials present this year, and with a secondary that loves to be physical, it is definitely something to monitor.
Through one day of practice with Philly, the defensive penalties already appear to be piling up. Although they aren’t coming from who you would expect.
On the one hand, it is great to see Browner get through a practice without being called for a penalty, but at the same time, seeing those other three guys get called for a combined six penalties is not good. This Patriots defense likes to be physical, and while that is terrific, they have to be careful with these new rules. Playing physical and intimidating the opponent is fine, but you can’t give away free yards all game long. Hopefully they will figure out what they can get away with, and work on fixing it for the future.
The Patriots offense wasn’t nearly as efficient as it was against Washington, but that doesn’t mean they were completely ineffective. Danny Amendola had a good day, as did Tom Brady‘s favorite target, Julian Edelman.
Rob Gronkowski did not participate in team drills, after taking a few reps in 7-on-7’s yesterday. We will continue to monitor his injury situation going forward.
I also want to take a moment to give an apology to the Eagles’ defense. I have been really hard on them over the last few days, as I thought they would be just as bad as they were in 2013. But it doesn’t look like that is the case. They played fairly well against the Patriots offense, drawing praise from a number of reporters. Obviously this doesn’t mean they are elite, but I will give credit where credit is due. Props to them.
Some leftover nuggets I want to pass along:
Jimmy Garoppolo continued his good run today, putting together his best practice yet.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler is working hard to earn a roster spot with the Patriots. He had a nice interception today.
Kenbrell Thompkins beat Cary Williams a few times today, which is notable because of William’s ‘Spygate’ comments in early August.