BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots kicked off their 2017 training camp on Thursday, holding their first official practice of the season on the fields behind Gillette Stadium.
We have a long way to go before real football gets played, but there is plenty to take away from Thursday’s practice. Here are some observations from Foxboro.
Tom Brady Is Good And The Fans Kind Of Like Him
The five-time Super Bowl champ will turn 40 in just a few days, but he isn’t showing his age yet. Brady was a surgeon on the field once again.
And boy do the fans love him. Listen to the cheers as No. 12 took the field Thursday morning:
After throwing a mean pump fake, Brady hit newcomer Brandin Cooks over the top for a touchdownduring 11-on-11 drills.
According to Howe, Jimmy Garoppolo was 12-of-19 and finished his day with two straight interceptions. Jacoby Brissett was 21-of-34 and also threw a pick.
Gronk Is Back!
Bill Belichick said there are no limitations on Rob Gronkowski entering camp, and the tight end looked like his usual self out on the field. He put on a show in with some touchdown grabs, monstrous spikes and a little bit of dancing.
“I was just a little juiced up in that moment,” he said of his spike. “I didn’t even notice what I did. I’m just trying to make some plays out there.”
Pick A Corner
The Pats are pretty loaded at cornerback, with Malcolm Butler and newcomer Stephon Gilmore at the top of the depth chart. Butler had a pass breakup on Thursday, but it was another undrafted rookie that drew the most attention.
Defensive back Kenny Moore, signed as a rookie free agent in May out of Valdosta State, had an interception and four pass breakups during Thursday’s practice, his best day in a Patriots uniform after some impressive showings during the spring.
Eric Rowe also had a pick and pass breakup on Thursday.
Cyrus Jones Bounces Back After Bobbling First Kickoff Attempt
Booing at practice. Tough crowd.
In addition to Jones, Danny Amendola, Dion Lewis and D.J. Foster also fielded kickoffs on Thursday.
It Was Crowded At Gillette
The Patriots announced the attendance at an amazing 15,349 fans, a rather large number of people who went against Bill Belichick’s plea for “no days off.”
For comparison’s sake, just over 12,000 fans attended the first day of practice last season.
Full Pads This Weekend
If you’re heading to Gillette to see the team on Saturday, you’re going to see some hitting.
For updates on practice sessions, check out our Fan Guide To Patriots Training Camp.
Zolak & Bertrand Have Fun With All The Training Camp Tweets: