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Wednesday minicamp notes: Quarterbacks in focus on hot day in Foxboro

06.18.14 at 4:01 pm ET
By

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their second minicamp workout Wednesday on the fields behind Gillette Stadium. The practice ran nearly two hours, and was in steamy heat. Here are a few quick notes:

The following players were not present: wide receiver Aaron Dobson, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, defensive lineman Dominique Easley, wide receiver Wilson Van Hooser, defensive lineman Armond Armstead and defensive lineman Marcus Forston. In addition, tight end Rob Gronkowski, special teamer Matthew Slater and quarterback Ryan Mallett were part of a rehab group — Gronkowski and Slater later appeared roughly midway through practice and ran sprints on an adjoining hill.

– As some other colleagues have noted, there was some dispute about the status of cornerback Darrelle Revis. From this viewpoint, he was on the field with his teammates at the start of practice, but was not with the team at the end of practice. It’s worth noting that there was no singular incident that would suggest a red flag — practice didn’t stop, the medical staff didn’t call for a cart, etc. But on a practice field with almost 100 players and all of them not wearing numbers, it’s not a surprise that even a dynamic presence like Revis can occasionally fall between the cracks.

– There was a higher than usual level of intensity throughout the workout, as both offense and defense took turns woofing at each other throughout the session.

– As for the rest of the roster, the quarterbacks were certainly in focus. Starter Tom Brady — who spoke with the media at length after the session — had a series of really nice throws in the 11-on-11 drills, a sequence of passes to Kenbrell Thompkins, Michael Hoomanawanui and Julian Edelman. That was on top of an impressive play with Thompkins earlier in practice where he lofted a ball up and over the outstretched arms of cornerback Brandon Browner for a touchdown. A really well executed play by both the quarterback and receiver. (Browner did have a nice pass break up shortly after that on a Brady pass meant for Danny Amendola.)

– In addition, it was another day of progress for rookie Jimmy Garoppolo. Like Tuesday, he wasn’t razor sharp — was had a few ugly drops from his pass catchers — but there was improvement from the day before. He had a sweet connection with Justin Jones in 11-on-11s, and he also had great hookup with Reese Wiggins on deep ball late in practice.

– Three more rookie notes: one, guard Jon Halapio is getting more and more time with what appears to be a reasonable facsimile of the starting offensive line, and appears to be holding his own. It’s early, but it’s a good sign for the Florida product, who could be pushing for a spot on the interior of the offensive line. Two, running back Roy Finch had an awesome over-the-shoulder catch. And Jones had an up-and-down day at tight end, with some nice grabs and some bad drops.

– Midway through practice, Wiggins and cornerback Malcolm Butler squared off and started pushing and shoving at end of a play. It appeared that Wiggins took exception to a little extra swat from Butler and they got in each others face and started pushing. Nothing too major, and it was quickly broken up.

– Through early drills, new linebacker James Anderson was working alongside Dont’a Hightower, and he appeared to be picking things up quickly.

– Owner Robert Kraft was on the field for a portion of practice.

– The Patriots are scheduled to wrap up minicamp tomorrow with one session set to start shortly after 11 a.m. However, coach Bill Belichick has canceled the last day of minicamp workouts the last two years. We’ll see if he makes it three-for-three tomorrow.

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