As music legend, Andy Williams’ iconic vacation traditional states, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Anticipation is excessive and pleasure is in all places. A sea of colours starting from purple to white to silver might be seen at every look. Everyone appears to be getting ready for a celebration. It is the 25th of the month. It’s that point of 12 months; particularly right here in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Are we speaking in regards to the Holiday season?
Not precisely…however you’re shut.
For followers of the New England Patriots, this excellent time of the 12 months takes place in the midst of summer season. This 12 months, as destiny would have it, the ‘big day’ simply occurs to fall on the 25th…July 25th, that’s. Some would possibly name it ‘Christmas in July.’ However, the ‘Foxborough Faithful’ name it Opening Day of Patriots Training Camp.
On Thursday, the reigning Super Bowl Champions took to the fields behind Gillette Stadium for a two-hour observe session. Despite the observe being devoid of contact or pads, seeing Tom Brady and firm again in motion is actually sufficient to stir the keenness. Although evaluating the graduation of coaching camp to the Christmas vacation could also be greater than a bit melodramatic, the hundreds of Pats followers in attendance would agree that their hometown staff offered them with the last word reward on this explicit 25th of the month.
Without additional ado, ‘o’er the fields we go’ for Thursday’s highlights:
- Just days shy of his 42nd birthday, quarterback Tom Brady proved that he’s greater than able to conducting the ‘open sleigh’ that’s the Patriots offense. After his first try was intercepted by Jonathan Jones (meant for extensive receiver Braxton Berrios) the New England sign caller appeared usually sharp; finishing eight of 11 passes throughout 11-on-11 drills. Brady related with operating again Rex Burkhead for 3 and extensive receiver Phillip Dorsett for 2. Fullback James Develin and receivers N’Keal Harry, Damien Harris every had one. Reserve quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham went 5 of seven and three of 5, respectively.
- Stidham, a 2019 fourth-round selection, has been the subject of a lot offseason consideration. Many have speculated that he is perhaps poised to unseat Brian Hoyer as Brady’s main backup. While it’s nonetheless far too early to validate such a prediction, Stidham did present spectacular arm energy throughout his first efficiency on the observe stage. As the times progress, he’ll undoubtedly work on his launch velocity, which appeared a bit gradual at instances.
- Conspicuous by the colour of his jersey, Danny Etling inadvertently set off a gentle social-media storm to start the day. Etling, presumed to be the Pats third-string quarterback, took the sphere carrying a white jersey, as an alternative of the purple non-contact jersey often donned by quarterbacks. In a transfer that would solely be described as ‘typically Patriots,’ Etling spent the day working with the extensive receivers, and in some particular groups drills.
- With the departure of offensive sort out Trent Brown this offseason, many a watchful eye will likely be targeted on the person chargeable for defending Tom Brady’s blindside. By consensus, left sort out Isaiah Wynn appears to be the selection. The former first-rounder from Georgia returned to the sphere after lacking most of final 12 months as a result of a torn Achilles. While Wynn sat out staff drills throughout OTAs and minicamp, he participated in a lightweight workload on Thursday. By all accounts, the younger offensive lineman felt nice on the conclusion of observe and is anticipated to proceed his ease again into motion.
- The expectations surrounding rookie wideout N’Keal Harry are fairly excessive. Although nonetheless fairly early, Harry proved that he has the expertise to make a direct influence on this Patriots offense. Harry spent a portion of Thursday’s observe in one-on-one motion with Tom Brady, engaged on fade routes and jump-ball passes. In what garnered the most important ovation of the day, Harry made a leaping catch of a move from Brady in the again of the top zone. The chemistry between Brady and Harry appears to be creating fairly properly.
- The competitors at cornerback could also be among the many most intriguing storylines throughout camp. With his interception of Brady to begin the day, Jonathan Jones had a stellar efficiency working in the slot on Thursday. He will proceed to battle with Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen throughout staff drills all through camp. In protection, J.C. Jackson was the day’s standout participant in protection. Stephon Gilmore was not focused throughout staff drills.
- The Patriots all the time place a premium on constructing particular groups prowess. Brandon Bolden, Phillip Dorsett, Braxton Berrios, Gunner Olszewski and Jonathan Jones all hung out returning kickoffs on Thursday. Rookie punter Jake Bailey continued the place he left off throughout minicamp, engaged on kickoffs. Neither Bailey, nor incumbent Ryan Allen participated in punting drills.
- Patriots Hall of Famer Troy Brown was current on Thursday, serving to out the Patriots’ teaching workers. As was the case throughout spring practices, he labored with the extensive receivers. Brown was seen working with Danny Etling, in explicit, after observe had adjourned for the day.
- Jerod Mayo served because the play caller for the Patriots protection throughout components of 11-on-11 drills. It continues to look probably that Mayo may have a outstanding position amongst the defensive teaching workers.
- There had been some notable absences from observe together with OC David Andrews, DE Michael Bennett and OT Yodny Cajuste. It was later reported that Bennett was excused for private causes. Cajuste is at present on the Non-Football Injury (NFI) record.
- Six gamers had been current, however didn’t take part: WR Julian Edelman (NFI), WR Demaryius Thomas (PUP), RB Sony Michel (PUP), OT Cole Croston (PUP), DE Deatrich Wise Jr. (PUP), CB Ken Webster (PUP), SS Nate Ebner (PUP).
The Patriots return to the observe fields for Day Two of Training Camp at 9:15 am on Friday, July 26.
–Mike D’Abate is a Managing Editor and National Columnist for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the New England Patriots and supplies NFL editorial content material. Follow him on Twitter @mdabateFPC
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