BOSTON (CBS) — The “optional” OTAs are a thing of the past, as the Patriots are set to hold their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Though the sessions are closed to the public, the media will catch a glimpse of the team at work and will be talking to the coaches and players.READ MORE: Dartmouth College Requires Remote Employees Be Vaccinated
With that on tap, Felger & Mazz discussed what they’ll be looking for at this week’s mandatory practice session.
1. Malcolm Butler’s Attendance
“Honestly, I’ll be surprised if Butler’s not there,” said Tony Massarotti. “I’m willing to bet he shows up after the spin control that went out last week, when that thing started and the speculation came out starting with Mike Reiss about maybe he’s unhappy with his contract. If he doesn’t show up now, then we know definitively.”
Jim Murray said, via Jeff Howe, Butler’s attendance is expected.
Michael Felger said he doesn’t expect any loud protests at all from the entire Patriots roster.READ MORE: Veteran Sportscaster Bob Neumeier Dies
“There’s only been a handful of guys over the last 15 years who have been willing to do that,” Felger said. “You can count them on one hand: Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Logan Mankins, Deion Branch … who’s the last? Who’s the last guy to do it, to go public with it? Vince Wilfork, a little bit dipped his toes in those waters a little bit. So it takes a different kind of guy to really do it. I don’t think — we sat down with Malcolm Butler at the Super Bowl. He didn’t look like he was willing to pull a Ty Law, and say Bill Belichick lies to feed his family. That was Ty Law’s famous quote. Or Logan Mankins calling Robert Kraft a liar, saying, ‘I thought a man was only as good as his word.’ Like, does Malcolm Butler strike you as a guy who’s going to do that? Ditto for Jamie Collins. … Can you remember one thing Jamie Collins has ever said — good, bad or indifferent? Does he talk? It’s going to take that type to take it to that level, and I don’t think they have one. I don’t think they have a guy like that.”
2. Equal Reps For Jimmy Garoppolo At Quarterback?
Ah, yes. The bother of that looming four-game suspension on Tom Brady.
Jim Murray has not hid his excitement for getting to see Jimmy Garoppolo play some real, live football games this fall in Brady’s absence, and perhaps the practice reps will give an indication of how the Patriots are or are not preparing for such a scenario becoming real life.
“I want to know that [Garoppolo] is throwing to the likes of Chris Hogan, and I want to know that he’s throwing to Martellus Bennett, and Rob Gronkowski (if he’s out there), because I want to know that he’s getting his time if Brady has to serve those four games, which I think he’s going to end up having to do,” Murray said. “The heir apparent.”MORE NEWS: Beverly Man Dies While Hiking On New Hampshire Trail