The New England Patriots finished up their final padded joint practice today, as they went after it with the Philadelphia Eagles in some pretty rough weather conditions. Practice was closed to the public because of the rain, and it really affected how the practice unfolded.
First, the attendance report, courtesy of Jeff Howe:
"Did not practice with team: WR Jeremy Gallon, T Chris Martin, RB Tyler Gaffney, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, C Bryan Stork, LB Cameron Gordon, TE D.J. Williams, DT Chris Jones, DT Sealver Siliga, S Kanorris Davis, LB Ja’Gared Davis, S Tavon Wilson, LB Jerod Mayo, LB James Anderson, TE Terrence Miller"
This is the second straight practice that Jerod Mayo has missed, and while this certainly is not the time to begin panicking, I think we should be monitoring Mayo throughout the remainder of the preseason. Mayo is one of the best linebackers in the game, and having him healthy will be vital to New England’s success. He is the leader of this defense, and the Pats would definitely struggle if he were to miss some time.
As I previously mentioned, this was a sloppy day for both sides. The rain was reportedly coming down pretty hard, which will caused a lot of problems for Nick Foles’ offense, and Tom Brady’s group. Here is NESN’s Doug Kyed’s take on the sloppy practice:
"The New England Patriots’ offense was uncharacteristically sloppy on Wednesday in their joint practice with the Philadelphia Eagles. Heavy rains and wet practice fields caused numerous errors in the morning session. Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady had a stretch with three incompletions and a fumble, when the football slipped out of his hand as he was going to pump fake."
The Eagles offense didn’t do too hot either, as between the weather, and the tight coverage from the Patriots secondary, they did not find many openings.
Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Dobson continued their usual spectating during team drills, as they attempt to get 100% healthy by week one. We don’t know if they will be able to get there, which brings the PUP list into play the closer we get to September seventh.
From Mike Reiss, it sounds like both Logan Ryan and Alfonzo Dennard had good days today, further showcasing how much depth New England has in the secondary. Darrelle Revis was beat by Jeremy Maclin for another long gain, although he seems to be going half-speed at times during practice. Jamie Collins played very well, showing how effective he can be in covering both tight ends, and running backs.
It also interesting that Michael Giardi noted that Patrick Chung may have jumped over Duron Harmon for the second safety spot next to Devin McCourty. Chung is a physical player, but from what I remember the last time he was in New England, is terrible at everything else. We will see how this situation plays out.
Danny Amendola, and Brandon LaFell also played well for the Pats offense, as Doug Kyed and Zack Cox discuss here. Behind Edelman and Amendola, I think LaFell is really making a strong case for that third receivers slot. Of course, when Aaron Dobson returns he will most likely take over in that area, but for now, LaFell is taking advantage of the opportunity.
The Patriots will now look ahead to Friday night’s matchup with Philly, in what will be their second preseason contest of the year.