FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots threw on pads for the first time Saturday morning, and two defenders made the most of the uptick in contact.
Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. beat left tackle Trent Brown twice in one-on-one pass rushing drills. He also swatted away a pass at the line of scrimmage during team drills. Wise has unique length for his position, and he definitely uses it in his advantage in multiple facets of the passing game.
Patriots safety Duron Harmon also was a standout. He picked off two passes — one apiece from Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer. Harmon’s interception was the first Brady has thrown in 11-on-11 drills through three practices.
— Brady was 6-of-10 with an interception in 11-on-11 drills. Backup Brian Hoyer went 10-of-12 in 11-on-11 drills, while rookie Danny Etling went 2-of-6 in observed sessions.
— Wide receiver Jordan Matthews made two impressive snags. He caught a ball out of the air off of a Stephon Gilmore deflection, and he made a falling, toe-tapping grab on the sideline.
— Cornerbacks Ryan Lewis (two) and Duke Dawson and safety Patrick Chung broke up passes. Chung’s was notable because it was in coverage against tight end Rob Gronkowski. Lewis got bullied in a punt drill by Harmon and cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
— The Patriots worked heavily on the run game with contact allowed. Wise blew up running back Jeremy Hill on one of the first snaps of practice.
— Rookie running back Sony Michel fumbled and had to take a lap during team drills. Michel fumbled 12 times in college and twice as a senior. Michel also got into the end zone on a goal line drill.
— Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine had a would-be sack during 11-on-11 drills against Hoyer if contact on quarterbacks was allowed.
— Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, defensive end Derek Rivers, defensive tackle Danny Shelton and guard Matt Tobin also stood out during 1-on-1 drills.
— Defensive end Trey Flowers walked off the field early with a trainer while holding a towel to his eye. He got banged up during a goal line drill.
— Wide receiver Kenny Britt (hamstring), who’s on the physically unable to perform list, wasn’t spotted at practice.
— Other players on PUP, cornerbacks Jonathan Jones and Cyrus Jones, wide receiver Matthew Slater and safety Nate Ebner, practiced on a separate field in sweats. Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell joined them for the second straight day.
— The Patriots will practice again in full pads Sunday before their annual night practice for season ticket holders Monday, which comes after the team’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Former offensive tackle Matt Light will be inducted this year.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images