We recap the New England Patriots’ second day of training camp.
The New England Patriots took the field for their second day of training camp Friday morning. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported after Thursday’s practice that 15,349 fans attended Day 1 of New England’s training camp. Don’t worry if you weren’t one of them, catch up on what you missed from the second day of Pats camp.
Here’s what we learned from Day 2 of Patriots training camp:
Ahead of practice, head coach Bill Belichick sounded off to reporters on premature evaluations of players. NESN’s Doug Kyed offered a transcript of Belichick’s ‘rant’ via Twitter:
As New England’s head coach stated, the team has “yet to put on pads”. Throughout training camp, and as the season moves closer, the level of competition and intensity in practice will increase. At this point in camp, it’s unlikely any players will earn roster spots based on their early contributions.
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Kyed also reported that wide receivers Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell were absent from practice, along with defensive end Rob Ninkovich and long snapper Joe Cardona. The ladder two players were also missing from Day 1 of camp. Defensive end Kony Ealy returned to practice after not participating on Thursday.
Belichick addressed Ninkovich and Cardona’s absences, telling reporters the two missed practice for “personal reasons”. Ealy’s reason for missing practice, however, was less clear. Doug Kyed quoted the defensive end saying:
"“Just something that me and coach — you’d have to ask Coach Bill (Belichick),” Ealy said. “Something that me and him had something going or whatever, but other than that, just excited to be back here and ready to go.” Ealy said “of course” he was OK with the situation."
As for wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe said, on Thursday, the wideout told reporters “he’d be a full go”.
Once Friday’s session got underway, it didn’t take long for things to get heated. According to NESN’s Zack Cox, cornerback Cyrus Jones and wide receiver Chris Hogan clashed after “Jones smacked the ball out of Hogan’s hand”. Jones, the Patriots second-round pick from a year ago, has faced an abundance of struggles with muffed punts and kickoffs since being drafted.
Cox also noted, cornerback Eric Rowe continued to make plays following a strong showing yesterday. Rowe collected three pass deflections and a “highlight-reel interception”, adding to his two pass breakups on Day 1. Rowe’s done a good job emerging as the favorite for New England’s third cornerback spot.
Other players who tallied interceptions include cornerback Malcolm Butler, safety Jordan Richards, and rookie defensive back, Jason Thompson, per Zack Cox. Three picks came at the expense of quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and one by Jacoby Brissett. Cox shared this video of Butler’s interception via Twitter:
Garoppolo has struggled at times throughout offseason workouts, being named to Musket Fire’s ‘risers and fallers from Patriots OTAs‘. According to Jeff Howe, the backup quarterback tossed four interceptions in the span of fourteen passes between New England’s first two training camp sessions. Howe later added that Garoppolo went on to complete “11 of his last 13 passes.” Fear not, Jimmy G’s hiccups aren’t anything to dwell over, but rather an indication of the Patriots highly-talented defense.
One of those many talented defenders is cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Jeff Howe pointed out that the former Bills corner has even managed to disrupt quarterback Tom Brady’s rhythm, Tweeting:
Mike Reiss shared this video of Gilmore exhibiting his coverage skills to deflect a touchdown pass intended for tight end James O’Shaughnessy:
According to Zack Cox, wide receiver Cody Hollister was aided by medical staff after he “landed awkwardly during passing drills”. Cox also noted that wide receiver Devin Lucien “received some medical attention”, but was able to walk off the field despite “limping a bit.” If Hollister and Lucien’s injuries are substantial, New England will enter the weekend with only seven healthy wide receivers.
Quarterback results from Day 2 are below, courtesy of Doug Kyed:
The Patriots resume training camp on Saturday, this time with their pads on. Check back tomorrow for observations from Day 3.