Patriots Training Camp: Jimmy Garoppolo Impresses, Shaq Mason Off PUP List
By Cyrus Geller
The Patriots opened training camp today, and we got our first chance to see how Jimmy Garoppolo might fare with the starting unit as he prepares to start the first four games of the season for New England…
According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (who was at practice), Garoppolo sure did impress:
"Garoppolo was 24 of 29 overall and an impressive 18 of 21 in 11-on-11s. Though he closed practice by completing his final seven passes in the two-minute drill, five went to Donald Brown and two were to Matthew Slater. It’s important for Garoppolo to move the ball with completions, but it’s also important for him to head downfield a bit more than relying on the running backs, at least during practice."
It obviously sucks that Tom Brady won’t start the first quarter of the season, but I think the Pats will be in good hands with Garoppolo. We haven’t seen him in real game action yet, but he has gotten quite a bit of practice reps under his belt over the last two years, and now that he is splitting reps with Brady as the starter, we can really start to see if he can shine under the lights..
Hopefully Garoppolo can continue to improve over the next month or so, and take that momentum into the season opener at Arizona.
In other notes, Shaq Mason was taken off the PUP list today, which is obviously good news as he is an incredibly talented young interior lineman that helps out the Patriots’ depth. According to Howe, the starting offensive line today from left to right was Nate Solder, Joe Thuney, Bryan Stork, Jonathan Cooper and Marcus Cannon.
Of course this was with Mason only riding a stationary bike, and both Tre’ Jackson and Sebastian Vollmer didn’t practice. However, I love how much depth the Pats have along the offensive line this year. I am expecting big improvements on that front, especially with Dante Scarnecchia back in the fold.
Lastly, here are the players that didn’t practice today:
"WR Julian Edelman (PUP, foot surgery), RB Dion Lewis (PUP, ACL surgery), S Nate Ebner (rugby exemption), G Tre’ Jackson (PUP, knee surgery), RT Sebastian Vollmer (PUP), WR Danny Amendola (PUP, knee and ankle surgeries), TE Clay Harbor (PUP), LB Jamie Collins, DT Alan Branch (NFI, hip injury)."
It should be noted that Jamie Collins’ absence was expected, and is not contract related.