Sunday afternoon practice notes: With no Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo gets more reps
|08.10.14 at 4:37 pm ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots wrapped up their 12th training camp session of the summer and the ninth in full pads Sunday afternoon. It was a really nice summer afternoon for the practice, which ran just over two hours in front of the media and was a relatively low-intensity affair. (Fans were not permitted.)
The following players were not on the field: quarterback Ryan Mallett, running back Tyler Gaffney, tight end D.J. Williams, linebacker Cameron Gordon, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, linebacker James Anderson, offensive lineman Chris Martin and defensive linemen Chris Jones and Sealver Siliga.
— In jerseys but no pads: defensive back Tavon Wilson, safety Kanorris Davis, linebacker Ja’Gared Davis and offensive lineman Bryan Stork. In sweats and T-shirts: wide receiver Aaron Dobson, defensive lineman Dominque Easley and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon. (The bulk of the players who were in shorts and sweats spent the start of practice working on the lower practice field, running sprints.)
— The two players who returned to action were running back Brandon Bolden, defensive back Jemea Thomas and tight end Rob Gronkowski.
— As previously stated, Gronkowski was back on the field with his teammates. (He didn’t make the trip to D.C. for the joint practices and preseason opener.) He held his regular workout with Brady and Darrelle Revis, as the quarterback fired passes at him and Revis provided resistance. There was no work in the 11-on-11s for him. (Later in practice, it was just Brady and Gronkowski together.)
— The same was true for defensive backs Alfonzo Dennard and Thomas, who were working together on footwork and technique off to the side during the session.
— With no Mallett on the field, Garoppolo got more reps. He made a couple of impressive connections in a passing drill early on, hooking up with Kenbrell Thompkins on a short route over the middle (a play where he beat Brandon Browner), and then on a deep ball for Brandon LaFell. Later in 11-on-11s, he made a really nice connection downfield with his BFF Brian Tyms against Logan Ryan. The low point? He had a ball picked off by defensive lineman L.T. Tuipulotu.
— Brady and Edelman combine to beat Revis in 7-on-7s over the middle. “Minitron” continues to have a great camp, catching everything thrown in his direction. Brady was really locked in for much of the session, but he had his best pass of the day in 11-on-11s near the end of practice when he connected with Thompkins, who was falling out of bounds but managed to make a really nice grab. Brady also had a couple of impressive connections with Danny Amendola on the afternoon.
— Roy Finch, Shane Vereen, Matthew Slater, James White and Josh Boyce all got work returning kicks. At this point, it appears that the job is still wide open. (Special teams coach Scott O’Brien was in fine voice all afternoon.) Edelman, Amendola and Finch got work as punt returners at the end of practice.
— There were some interesting wrinkles on the offensive line. Sebastian Vollmer spent some time at left tackle, while Marcus Cannon was at right tackle and Nate Solder was added as an extra tight end. Meanwhile, Dan Connolly was at center and Jordan Devey was at right guard. Ryan Wendell then rotated back in as the center in 11-on-11s later in practice, while Vollmer went back to right tackle and Cannon saw work at left tackle.
— In a drill that focused on the running game, Taylor McCuller got some work as a fullback.
— The new guys were all present. Former Patriots offensive lineman (back for another round in New England) Steve Maneri was wearing No. 86, while Ben Hartsock was No. 88, and Terrence Miller was No. 44. At least for the start of Sunday’s session, they got the bulk of their work on special teams. Miller was spotted late in practice working with the backups, catching a pass from Miller.