FOOTBALL. THERE WAS ACTUAL FOOTBALL PLAYED TODAY.
Sure, it was just a practice, but after months of talking about air pressure in a football, and the insane stupidity of Roger Goodell, it was nice to see the New England Patriots back on the football field.
I was actually at camp today, and despite the crazy heat, it was a very fun experience. Here are some observations.
- Tom Brady was absolutely on fire. He was sharp from the beginning of practice, as he tore apart every defense he faced. Granted, this was a no-contact practice, so the defense was at a disadvantage, but it was still an impressive performance from 12.
- Jimmy Garoppolo took second team reps, and as many have noted, this speaks to how the Patriots view the Brady vs. NFL situation. They feel like he will be ready for week one, which is why he got all of the first team reps.
- Speaking of Garoppolo, he looked pretty good today, although he did have one pick to Jordan Richards, which he bounced back from very nicely. I have said from the day the Pats drafted Garoppolo that this kid had a lot of talent, he just needs time to develop it.
- Rob Gronkowski was abusing everyone as usual, but it was pretty cool to see Scott Chandler work in the same offense as Gronk, just because of how big they both are. Nobody in the NFL can cover Gronk, and when you double and triple team him in the red zone, that opens up 1-on-1 opportunities for the even taller Chandler to take advantage of.
- Julian Edelman had a great practice, as did Danny Amendola, who continues to impress from his third slot on the depth chart. I have been a big fan of Amendola despite some heavy criticism, but honestly, the Patriots don’t win Super Bowl 49 without Danny.
- The defense got shredded overall, but when there is no contact, that is inevitable. Once the pads come on the defense will push back.
- Ryan Allen got off a few nice punts…Garoppolo faked out the entire defense in goal-line work to get an easy two yard score for himself…Jamie Collins displayed his great coverage skills when he was isolated on the outside and made a nice play.
Also…THIS IS AWESOME: