Patriots OTA’s: Tight End Martellus Bennett Shines
By Cyrus Geller
The Patriots opened up OTA’s yesterday, and as expected, one of the top storylines was how the team elected to handle the quarterback situation with Tom Brady‘s pending suspension.
Here is Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston on the subject:
"One of the hot-button topics for the New England Patriots since Deflategate began 494 days ago is how the team handles its quarterback repetitions in practice.So that was a big part of what I watched during Thursday’s organized team activities, and they were divided as one would expect, with Tom Brady mostly leading the way, followed by Jimmy Garoppolo and then rookie Jacoby Brissett. Each received an equal amount of work, which I’d sum up this way: When you have three quarterbacks who can rip it, a “passing camp” type of practice (players are in shorts and no pads) usually goes pretty smoothly.Brady is still Brady, Garoppolo’s lightning-quick release remains impressive to watch (this was a notable difference from last year’s five-interception day) and Brissett held his own from a pure throwing perspective as maybe the best initial No. 3 the team has had in Bill Belichick’s 17-year tenure."
As Reiss notes, the Pats handled it just about as expected, although if it becomes clear Brady will have to serve his suspension as the season nears, Jimmy Garoppolo will certainly start to get more snaps.
It’s nice to hear Garoppolo looked sharp, because if he does have to start the first four games of the year for New England, he will be going up against some tough defenses in the Cardinals, Texans and Bills. His greatest attribute is probably his quick release, and since all three of those teams excel at getting after the quarterback, that will definitely help him.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald said his biggest takeaway of practice was how great former Bears tight end Martellus Bennett looked.
Obviously this is just OTA’s, so we can’t put too much stock into these practices, but I really can’t wait to see Bennett and Rob Gronkowski on the same offense this year. We know how dominant Gronk is, but Bennett is just as big, and he is very athletic to boot. Teams can double team one of them, but not both, and the results should be explosive, specifically in the red zone.
Here are the players who didn’t practice, per the terrific Mike Reiss:
Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis , Danny Amendola, Duron Harmon, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, LeGarrette Blount, Nate Ebner, Joe Cardona, Tre’ Jackson, Josh Kline, Shaq Mason, Frank Kearse, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder and Alan Branch.
Also, keep an eye on D.J. Foster throughout training camp, because this dude is ridiculously quick. He might just sneak on to the final roster.