As the Patriots take to the field for training camp, the competition begins. Every player, old and new, has to start from scratch and battle for a spot in the season’s starting lineup. After just a few days, the players made their initial first impressions on coaches, teammates, and spectators.
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Three Up: Tom Brady, Rob Ninkovich, Austin Carr
Trending up, it’s no surprise that quarterback Tom Brady’s performance is only getting better. Between Thursday and Friday, Brady completed 25-of-28 throws during team drills. The only incompletions were with Stephon Gilmore on defense.
Brady was able to slip passes in between the defense with ease. On Sunday he was 15-of-16 passes during team drills. It would appear that Brady took no time off post-Super Bowl 51.
Rob Ninkovich is also on the rise after announcing his retirement. The two time Super Bowl champ is ready to call it a career and will not play this season. Kind words and tears were present at Ninkovich’s press conference held Sunday. Even though Ninkovich’s performance isn’t why he’s trending up, he is at the center of sports media coverage.
Finally, rookie wide receiver Austin Carr is starting to make a name for himself. The play that has him trending up occurred on Friday. With Will Likely covering him during 2-on-2 drills, Garoppolo threw deep to Carr in the end zone. Carr caught the ball and twisted to the ground with it. His catch won the offense the drill as the defense immediately jumped to the ground for push ups.
First impressions are vital for newcomers and Carr is already starting to turn heads.
Three Down: Ryan Allen, Cyrus Jones, Jacoby Brissett
Some initial impressions during this first week of camp weren’t as beneficial. The first player trending down thus far is Ryan Allen. Saturday was a rough day for the punter who had quite a few shanks. From low line drives to sky high balls, Allen hit all over the place during drills. His most notorious kick was a bomb that went deep into the crowd on the right. Everyone has off days; at least his was at a practice.
There isn’t a particular player that started off camp horribly but there are signs of trouble headed towards Cyrus Jones. Jones struggled this past season as a punt returner and the loss of confidence still appears to linger. Although his performance as a rotating cornerback was fine, it wasn’t spectacular. Jones has much to prove but so far he hasn’t stood out among the other players vying for his position.
Jacoby Brissett takes the final trending down spot during week one of camp. There isn’t much to note except a couple bad passes by the backup quarterback. On Thursday, Brissett threw back-to-back “hospital passes” to Brandon Cooks and Cody Hollister. Hollister had to leave practice post-play due to hitting his head and shoulder on the turf in order to catch the pass. Brissett is thought to be the next heir after Brady so a lot rides on him during these upcoming months.