Today was a day for the defense, which is a good sign of the Patriots plan on defending their Super Bowl title.
- Brady took the bulk of the reps and is the clear number one, so the offense is status quo, regardless of the looming suspension. Brady wasn't intercepted, but he didn't have as clean a day as Thursday. He went 7-10 in seven-on-seven and 18-26 in full team. Garoppolo finished 5-10 in seven-on-seven and redeemed himself in team with a 15-22 showing.
-Bradley Fletcher looked excellent today, providing strong coverage and breaking up passes. Robert McClain, Malcolm Butler, and Tavon Wilson all made plays; if they can carry this into the regular season, this group might be a lot better than people thought.
-We got to see the Mayo-Collins-Hightower trio in seven-on-seven drills today. There is clearly some rust and Mayo does look a little slower. As the season progresses, he'll get back up to speed.
- The battle for the third down back position is heating up with James White and Travaris Cadet both playing well. White took the reps with the first team and caught everything thrown to him. Cadet has more of a burst than White and is proven, so White has his hands full in this battle. White appeared to drop after the first hit last season; he needs to fix that this preseason or he might get cut.
- Ryan Wendell isn't practicing due to injury, so rookies Tre' Jackson and Shaq Mason are getting a good amount of reps, and they're also getting more reps than Josh Kline and Jordan Devey. Devey, as I stated on the 53-man roster projection, may be the odd man out. Sebastian Vollmer didn't partake in the seven-on-seven or team drills, which allowed Marcus Cannon to get a large amount of reps.
- Jake Bequette and his transition to tight end is going well; he looks comfortable making plays and he is now wearing number 85.
- There were some mixed defensive fronts featured today that showed the potential versatility of this defensive line group. With the amount of depth they have, they should be able to keep everyone fresh and hopefully healthy.
- LeGarrette Blount hasn't returned and still needs to pass his conditioning test. It is safe to assume that he'll take the test tomorrow morning before the 9:15 practice session. Dane Fletcher, Matthew Slater, and Dominique Easley were all present, but since they're on the PUP, they did not participate.
-Wide receiver Brandon Gibson looked good today and he has a strong grasp of the offense. Julian Edelman continued to make plays, but he appeared to be getting up slow a few times today. Edelman is the clear number one receiver, but he needs to stay upright because he is crucial to the offense.
-Saturday's practice is from 9:15am to 11:45am. The Fan Zone is open from 10:00am - 1:30pm. Practice is open to the general public.
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