Patriots Training Camp: Shaq Mason Returns, Tom Brady Celebrates Birthday
By Cyrus Geller
Yesterday was the birthday of the greatest human in the history of the universe (no, not Chris Baker) but it also marked the return of Patriots guard Shaq Mason to team drills…
Here is Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald:
"Shaq Mason participated in team drills for the first time in training camp. Mason worked as the right guard on the second unit, behind today’s starter Josh Kline. Though Cooper has missed three consecutive practices, Mason and Kline have reinforced the position. They were two of the Patriots’ best linemen from 2015 and are now finally back in the mix following offseason surgeries."
With Dante Scarnecchia returning, combined with Jonathan Cooper and Joe Thuney now in the fold, I am extremely optimistic about the Patriots’ offensive line this season. In Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer on the outside, they have one of the better tackle duos in the NFL. And on the interior, they can legitimately go six deep once every is healthy: Thuney, Mason, Cooper, Stork, Andrews, Jackson and Kline.
There is no other team in the league that has that kind of depth on the inside, and I am pumped to see how they look this season.
In other news, it sounded like the birthday boy got most of the first team reps in this practice, and he finished the session going 8 of 9 in the two-minute drill, with five straight completions going to Martellus Bennett. It is going to be damn near impossible for opposing defenses to stop the combination of Gronkowski and Bennett this season, especially once Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Dion Lewis are all 100% healthy.
Also of note: on his birthday, in typical Tom Brady fashion, he was putting in extra work on the practice field.