The New England Patriots put on the pads for first time in training camp Saturday morning.
Here are some observations from the third day of training camp:
Did not participate: WR Aaron Dobson (foot), CB Alfonzo Dennard, WR Matthew Slater, WR Jeremy Gallon, DT Dominique Easley (knee), LB Deontae Skinner, T Chris Martin, DB Jemea Thomas, WR Greg Orton, CB Daxton Swanson
– After starting training camp on the PUP list, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly was dressed in full pads and participated on a limited basis. Good news for the team.
– Rob Gronkowski was also in pads, although he did not participate in team drills as he continues to work his way back from ACL surgery. For what it’s worth, he looked great in limited action, with no noticeable limitations.
– Darrelle Revis was outstanding today. He picked off Tom Brady twice on passes intended to Julian Edelman, and got his hands on a number of other passes. His coverage skills are something we haven’t seen on this team since Ty Law–maybe better.
– The second best cornerback on the field today was undoubtedly Logan Ryan. The second-year man broke up a number of passes and looked fluid in coverage.
– Brandon Browner is clearly at his best when he covers down field. He uses the sideline well and uses his length to knock down passes. However, when receivers can escape his physical jam at the line of scrimmage–which is rare–and run a short inside route, he’s exposed a bit. I saw Edelman get the best of him in this regard a couple times.
– Speaking of Edelman, he had a really good day. Caught everything that was thrown at him and probably had the play of the day when he got behind the defense and made a leaping catch on a throw from Brady for a huge gain.
– Brandon LaFell dropped a lot of passes. Ditto for rookie TE Justin Jones. Jones actually got open a fair amount of times, he just seemed super surprised every time the ball came his way. LaFell seems like maybe he doesn’t have the timing down with any of the quarterbacks yet.
– Jimmy Garoppolo struggled today. Also seems like a timing issue with receivers. He’s a rookie, though. He needs time (no pun intended).
– After Brady threw an INT to Revis in 7-on-7s, he seemed pretty mad and came back with a laser throw to Kenbrell Thompkins, followed by three consecutive touch down passes to Josh Boyce, Danny Amendola and LaFell.
– Thompkins also had a good day. I’m really impressed with his feet and improved route running. He also looks like a much bigger guy than last season.