Patriots Daily: Minicamp day two, news and notes

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Patriots Daily
Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen (83) on a second half first down reception against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Just yesterday saw the revival of the Patriots Weekly column. Less than 24 hours later, it has a new name. Patriots Daily will now be the DAILY wrap of everything Patriots. News, notes and random thoughts will fill this column, just about every day.

Wednesday saw the completion of the second day of Patriots’ mandatory minicamp. The weather was noticeably better than day one, which saw sloppy play from the offense because of the rain.


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Nate Solder returned after missing the first day of camp, however, Lawrence Guy sat out while undrafted free agent Andrew Jelks missed his second day of minicamp. Today’s session focussed more on situational football with some 11-on-11’s mixed in.

Dwayne Allen continues to work on his chemistry with Brady

Allen had a tough first day of minicamp, dropping several passes on a rainy Tuesday. Wednesday saw some improvement, however, there is still work to be done. Mike Reiss of ESPN noted a play against no defenders that showed that Allen and Brady aren’t quite on the same page yet. But that is what June practice is for. Especially for a newcomer like Allen who expressed his frustration at times.

“There’s a standard of excellence, so if you drop a pass, that’s not excellence,” Allen said via Mike Reiss. “It’s always frustrating when you don’t do your best, whenever you don’t play to the standard that is set here. That’s exactly what that was, a lot of frustration, because I know I can play better.”

The second tight end spot on the Patriots comes with immense responsibility. Allen will look to fill the void left by Martellus Bennett, who had a very productive lone season with the Patriots. In Bennett’s case, he was at the top of the depth chart by midseason because of injuries to Rob Gronkowski.

Allen still has plenty of time to find a rhythm as it is only June. However, it will be interesting to see how he does on Thursday, the final day of minicamp.

Brandin Cooks is fitting in just fine

According to Ryan Hannable of WEEI, one of the highlights of the afternoon was a near 60-yard bomb from Brady to Cooks. Cooks caught the touchdown, beating the coverage of Devon McCourty and Jordan Richards. Albeit it in 7-on-7 drills, every day we see more and more of how good the Brady-to-Cooks connection can be.

Jimmy Garappolo improves; Tom Brady puts in extra work

Garappolo had a much better day two than day one. On Tuesday, Garappolo had a forgetful 4-for-18 day in 11-on-11 drills. On Wednesday, Garappolo looked very comfortable throwing the deep ball according to Ryan Hanable.

To no one’s surprise, Tom Brady was one of the final players on the field after Wednesday’s practice. The soon-to-be 40-year-old continues to amaze teammates as he regularly outworks players half his age. Trey Flowers, via Mike Reiss, talked about Brady’s work ethic and how great of an example it is for himself and all his Patriots’ teammates.

“You see him out here every day working hard, and you just have to think about it; he’s staying after every day for the last 18 years,” he said. “Just showing what hard work equals, and how to be successful, he’s a great example.”

Bill Belichick speaks again

Belichick again met the media on day two of minicamp. This time it was without the backdrop of pouring rain. Belichick opened the presser highlighting the first day of action.

“Alright, so this is No. 7 for us here,” said Belichick per Patriots.com. “Just kind of grinding through it, you know. We got a few things done yesterday. I’m hoping we’ll get some more done today and tomorrow and move into next week. Conditions were good for us yesterday. We had some good work in there with the wet field, wet ball and so forth. A little different today. We’ll take whatever comes and try to make the most out of it.”

Belichick shared his thoughts on the newcomer, Kony Ealy:

“I didn’t really know Kony much at all. Great kid, works hard, really accountable, tries to do everything right,” said Belichick.

He continued to talk about the overall defensive line play:

“Yeah, I mean, the line play is definitely tempoed down,” said Belichick. “You know, we’ve gotten some batted balls. Good for the defense, bad for the offense because, obviously, we can’t throw it through them. Length plays a part of that, but that’s not really a big emphasis point out here. We don’t want to have a lot of contact in the interior line play. It’s a teaching camp. Skills guys can run around, but we don’t have many run plays – hardly any – and the passing plays, we don’t want to power rush the linemen into the quarterback and things like that. We’ll see more of that in camp. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal right now.”

He went into great length on what attracted him to free agent Lawrence Guy:

“Yeah, he’s come a long way from Arizona State,” Belichick said. “He was a young player. You know, he’s been in the league whatever it is, seven years, six years, and he’s only 26, 27. He was a 20-year-old rookie, basically, when he came out. He’s developed quite a bit. We’ve seen his growth both on and off the field from our interactions with him back at Arizona State. Obviously, we had a lot of respect for him playing against the Ravens, but I’d say more the total body of work and improvement and progression that he’s made through the course of his career.”

All quotes courtesy of Patriots.com

Day two one-liners:

– Jonathon Freeny is on the field, but wearing a red non-contact jersey.
– The receivers and corners worked on combo routes during the session.
– Brady hit Rob Gronkowski for an easy touchdown during the two-hour practice.
– Cyrus Jones had another strong day fielding punts.
Elandon Roberts continues to impress in his second year.
– Trey Flowers stayed was one of the last players on the field Wednesday.

Random thoughts

In cover32’s official poll, Patriots’ fans seem split on whether or not to sign former Jet, David Harris. It seem’s as though most people would take Harris, only on a one year deal. However, there is still time to vote and voice your opinion!

What’s next?

The Patriots conclude minicamp on Thursday. Once again it will be closed to the public but will be open to the media. Expect more tidbits coming out of Thursday’s practice, including a third interview with Bill Belichick.

– Ian Glendon is the Managing Editor for cover32/Patriots and covers the NFL and New England Patriots. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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