FOXBORO (CBS) — The Patriots enjoyed their final practice of the week on the Gillette Stadium practice fields. The team is off Sunday and will hold the first of two joint practices with the Jaguars Monday at 9:30 a.m. in Foxboro.
Here are some of the notes/observations/thoughts from Practice Day 9, a day that the team once again practiced in pads:
–Some returning bodies as Nate Solder and Cody Hollister were present at the beginning of practice. Both left for the lower conditioning field after drills and were joined by RB Rex Burkhead, RB Mike Gillislee, OL Andrew Jelks, TE James O’Shaughnessy as well as PUP players LB Dont’a Hightower and DL Alan Branch.
–WR/ST Matthew Slater was the lone player not spotted at practice.
–Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, and Chris Hogan gave the banged-up wide receiver corps a boost as all three took part in the full practice.
–Lots of situational football Saturday. Late game, short yardage, field goal, etc. all worked on.
–Bill Belichick had to be smiling as it began pouring rain around 10:30 a.m. Bill always likes to have his team experience as many weather elements as possible in camp to help get ready for the regular season.
–Lot of emphasis on the running game also Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden, DJ Foster, and LeShun Daniels, Jr. shared the reps.
–There was a “Gronk” moment Saturday as number-87 had a false start penalty. He was the only one who moved as he took off on his route and went about 10 yards downfield before the whistle blew. He didn’t realize he had committed a penalty until he turned around and saw everyone else just standing there watching him. Gronk had to run a lap.
— Dwayne Allen had one of the highlight catches of the day as he made a nice adjustment/fingertips catch on a ball from Tom Brady that he didn’t see until he turned his head as the pass was upon him. Btw, Allen could be a sneaky number two tight end for Fantasy Football purposes.
–Jimmy Garoppolo looked better Saturday. He did have a pick (Nate Ebner, but ball came out of his hand wobbly as it was raining), but made some nice throws. His best completion was to 2nd-year wideout Devin Lucien, who beat Cyrus Jones and Nate Ebner. Lucien leaped for the ball catching it on his fingertips.
–Lucien, out of Arizona State, had a solid day and is one of those players that keeps “popping up” as camp goes on. He’s also received a ton of reps due to injuries at wideout.
–Watched Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels working with Jimmy G on throwing a certain pass. Garoppolo misfired on his first attempt, was corrected by Josh, and then fired some perfect completions. McDaniels was quite pleased.
–Jonathan Jones continues to make plays on the defensive side–although he dropped a ball on a kick-off return.
–The Pats ended practice with some hill runs as they continue to work on conditioning.
–after practice sightings: O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia having a long talk with lineman Tony Garcia out of Troy … QB Jacoby Brissett throwing to WR Austin Carr and CB Stephon Gilmore … Jimmy G working on his throwing … Tom Brady doing band work and then signing autographs for some kids in the Patriots Charitable Foundation tent … Jimmy G and Jacoby Brissett also signing … rookie DBs Kenny Moore II (Valdosta State) and Will Likely (Maryland) working on their coverage.
–The Pats are off Sunday. They will have the first of two joint practices open to the public Monday at 9:30 a.m. on the Gillette Stadium practice fields.
–The Pats open up their preseason Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. against the Jaguars. You can see the game on WBZ-TV and the Patriots Preseason network.