Minicamp Observations – Day 2

Following is the collection of reports from various Patriots beat writers about today’s Minicamp practice which was open to the media.


Absent: CB Darrelle Revis, WR Aaron Dobson, CB Alfonzo Dennard, DL Dominique Easley, DL Armond Armstead, WR Wilson Van Hooser (Note some say Revis was present early )

Limited: QB Ryan Mallett, TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Matthew Slater, WR Jeremy Gallon, CB Justin Green, LB Deontae Skinner, TE D.J. Williams


Boyce nicked up early.

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston gives his thoughts from the practice.

No sign of Darrelle Revis. The veteran cornerback, who has been a regular throughout voluntary organized team activities and the first day of mandatory minicamp, didn’t practice today. Kyle Arrington, who is at his best in the slot, moved to Revis’ spot on the outside while Logan Ryan also took some reps there. Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn’t elaborate on the reason for Revis’ absence. Third-year cornerback Alfonzo Dennard would also normally be part of that mix, but he is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, according to the Boston Globe. Dennard hasn’t practiced this offseason.

Ryan Mallett and a knee brace. The No. 2 quarterback provided reporters a clue of what might be keeping him out of practice by wearing a brace over his knee (and under his workout pants) during warmup drills. With Mallett not participating in team drills, it gave more reps to rookie Jimmy Garoppolo. At one point, Garoppolo and first-year center Braxston Cave ran a lap after a fumbled exchange. On Tuesday, we pointed out one excellent long pass from Garoppolo, but there wasn’t a standout play to point to today.

Josh Boyce nicked up early. The second-year receiver who has been building momentum this offseason, but after coming on to the field for early warmups, he appeared to tweak something (left leg) that drew the attention of the athletic training staff. Boyce stayed on the field but did not take part in any drills, his gloves tucked into his shorts. His status will be something to monitor in the days and weeks to come.

Punt block is special-teams focus. As is the case in every practice, the Patriots spend time working on one specific aspect of special teams and today it was punt block. Running back Brandon Bolden, who plays a key role in the kicking game, was one of the first players through the drill. Veteran linebacker James Anderson, formerly of the Panthers and Bears, was among a large group of players taking part.


Kenbrell Thompkins stands out

Doug Kyed of NESN likes what he has seen from CB Daxton Swanson and WR Kenbrell Thompkins so far.

The second-year cornerback had his fifth-straight impressive practice in front of the media, and after pulling in two interceptions on Wednesday, the Sam Houston State product is starting to look legit. Swanson has been physical with the Patriots’ wide receivers, and for now, he appears to have the inside track to the fifth cornerback spot on the roster — especially with fellow second-year player Justin Green sitting out with a hamstring injury.

Kenbrell Thompkins had a solid spring and summer last season, so it might be too early to get excited about the second-year receiver, but he continues to shine in practice. He caught a deep fade over Brandon Browner from quarterback Tom Brady for a touchdown, and he had an impressive back-shoulder catch, also over Browner.

-Linebacker Steve Beauharnais has gone consecutive practices with great plays in coverage. He tipped once of Swanson’s picks.

-It was a rough practice for Garoppolo overall, who threw the two picks and went 3-for-15 in 11-on-11s

Vereen  Up Browner Down

Jeff Howe of Boston Herald checks in with his thoughts

Gronkowski and Slater (unknown injury) emerged from the bubble after about 15 minutes and ran uphill conditioning sprints on the far side of the field. It’s the first time Gronkowski has done this drill in front of the media, so it can be measured as progress.

Tom Brady and Kenbrell Thompkins picked on Brandon Browner midway through practice. They connected on back-to-back comeback routes by the left sideline and later hooked up on a fade route for a touchdown. Thompkins was active all over the place and caught a lot of balls once again. He has really taken advantage of LaFell’s absence, and did the same without Boyce today.

Shane Vereen showed some acrobatic moves by leaping to catch a back-shoulder pass from Brady.

Once again, there was some good intensity during the workout. As has been the case over the past four weeks, wide receivers, defensive backs and linebackers are diving for everything thrown their way.

Next up: The Patriots are scheduled to practice tomorrow at 11 a.m., but Bill Belichick has canceled the final minicamp practice in each of the past two years. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.


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