FOXBORO (CBS) — With the Patriots now starting their second week of training camp, here are a couple of things to pay attention to before we start to look ahead to games.
– Rookie running back James White has quietly looked very good. The running back group could use another set of sure hands, and the fourth-round pick could be it. He has showed speed and power, and I can’t wait to see how that translates when the games start.
– Jimmy Garoppolo has to make improvements. The rookie quarterback has his first week of training camp under his belt, and as expected, it wasn’t great. But now he has to take what he learned and improve; he can’t make the mistakes. It doesn’t have to be much improvement, just slow steps forward to show the team some progress.
– We need to see some of the injured guys getting more involved. Gronk has seen practice time, but he needs to see him take some hits soon. The same can be said for Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.
– The Patriots will begin to install hat they are planning to do against Washington at the end of the week. That will be interesting to watch as they take a step towards game preparation, and get ready for their joint practices.
– Bill Belichick spoke to the media early Tuesday morning and the coach was all business. He mentioned that the second week of practice is where they start the true evaluation. Guys have to make adjustments and improvements, and he likened getting guys into the right spots as to getting them on the bus. Everyone is trying to find a seat and you have to put the right people in the right spot. Players also have to earn their seats.
The talk shifted to Wilfork, who Bill is happy to have back and values everything that Vince brings to the table. Just like everyone else though, Wilfork has a long way to go, and maybe even longer after his season-ending injury last year.
Belichick was also asked about Ryan Wendell, who he said has shown a ton of progress — as big of a progression of any player that he’s had. Belichick talked about Wendell’s climb from not being on the practice squad to becoming a starter on this team. He has good skills and is very coachable, and Wendell has made the most of his opportunities, no question.
Coach called Wendell a great story, so the arrow is still pointing up.
Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid.
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