New England Patriots Training Camp: Observations from Day 1

TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 30: Tom Brady
TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 30: Tom Brady /

The wait is over! Training camp is finally here for the New England Patriots. Here’s what we learned from Day 1

The New England Patriots embarked on their first day of training camp Thursday. Hundreds of fans came out to celebrate as the defending Super Bowl champs took the field for practice.

Here’s what we learned from Day 1 of Pats camp:

Long snapper Joe Cardona, and defensive ends Rob Ninkovich and Kony Ealy were absent from the first day of training camp, per NESN’s Doug Kyed. Dont’a Hightower, Alan Branch, and Andrew Jelks also missed practice. They were placed on the physically unable to perform list earlier this week.

New England topped up their 90-man roster with two pre-camp signings. The team added former Jacksonville wide receiver Tony Washington and rookie defensive end Caleb Kidder.

According to NESN’s Zack Cox, tight end Rob Gronkowski will not be limited in training camp following his season-ending back injury last December.

Quarterback Tom Brady connected with new wide receiver Brandin Cooks on a 30-touchdown pass, per WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. According to the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe, Brady and Cooks had “three straight” completions in the final period of practice. Good chemistry has begun brewing between the two.

During seven-on-seven drills, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo fired “back-to-back” interceptions to safety Jordan Richards and cornerback Eric Rowe, per the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels. Daniels also noted that Rowe broke up a pass intended for wide receiver Julian Edelman.

Hopeful running back D.J. Foster “had another strong practice” according to Doug Kyed. Foster was named a ‘player to watch’ in last week’s edition of ‘Patriots Digest‘.

Cornerback Jonathan Jones manned the slot alongside Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler, per Mark Daniels. Jonathan Jones, Cyrus Jones, and Justin Coleman all earned reps in the slot during minicamp. The three players will duel for New England’s fourth cornerback spot throughout camp, read more about the group in Musket Fire’s ‘position battles to watch‘.

Undrafted rookie cornerback Kenny Moore collected four pass breakups and an interception in his first training camp session, according to Zack Cox. Cox shared this video of Moore deflecting a pass while covering wideout Malcolm Mitchell:

During minicamp, Doug Kyed said Moore “emerged most among the Patriots undrafted rookie defensive backs.” He was considered a ‘standout from Patriots minicamp‘ by Musket Fire.

Zack Cox also posted this video of undrafted rookie wide receiver Austin Carr, adding “[This grab] might have been the catch of the day.”:

According to Mark Daniels, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis, D.J. Foster and Cyrus Jones spent time returning kicks. Daniels added that Jones dropped a kickoff which was followed by boos from the crowd.

Next: Pre-Camp Roster Predictions

Quarterback results from Day 1 are below, courtesy of Doug Kyed:

"“Brady went 6-of-8 in 11-on-11s and 14-of-20 overall. Garoppolo went 6-of-8 in 11s and 12-of-18 with two interceptions overall. Jacoby Brissett went 9-of-15 in 11s and 17-of-31 with an interception overall.”"

The Patriots will return on Friday for their second day of training camp. Check back for more observations tomorrow.