Patriots Training Camp Observations: Young Cornerbacks Continue To Stand Out


FOXBORO, Mass. — It wasn’t a fun day to be a young New England Patriots player Tuesday.

While the Patriots’ veterans took it easy in the hot, humid Foxboro weather, the third-stringers sweat it out, taking rep after rep after rep.

Rookie running back Ralph Webb carried the ball 10 times and had 12 overall touches. Rookie Danny Etling attempted 29 passes behind the Patriots’ young offensive linemen.

Here are our complete notes from practice:

— Quarterback Tom Brady went 4-of-7 in 11-on-11s and 8-of-12 overall, including 7-on-7s. Backup Brian Hoyer went 14-of-19 in 11-on-11s and 15-of-22 overall. Rookie Danny Etling was 19-of-29 with an interception.

—  Linebacker Dont’a Hightower picked off Etling, and cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe and safety Eddie Pleasant broke up passes from the rookie. Cornerbacks Ryan Lewis and JC Jackson and safety Damarius Travis had pass breakups against Hoyer. Jackson and Travis each had two deflections.

— Etling struggled mightily while going against the Patriots’ first-team defense.

— Wide receiver Chris Hogan didn’t have his best practice. Lewis, Jackson and Travis all had pass breakups over him.

— Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett dropped a pass from Brady. Webb, wide receiver Riley McCarron and tight end Ryan Izzo dropped passes from Etling.

McCarron beat rookie cornerback Duke Dawson on a long touchdown pass from Hoyer.

— The entire offense, including offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia, took a lap after a miscue from the third-teamers.

— Wide receiver Eric Decker, who has 10 career punt returns, was in on punt return drills early in practice. The Patriots will need a punt returner while wide receiver Julian Edelman serves a four-game suspension. McCarron, running back Rex Burkhead and wide receivers Julian Edelman and Braxton Berrios also returned punts.

— Decker caught a pass from Hoyer in 11-on-11s. Decker’s second target from Hoyer fell incomplete.

— Cornerbacks Cyrus Jones and Jonathan Jones and safety Nate Ebner passed their physicals to come off the physically unable to perform list. They practiced in a limited capacity, focusing on special teams. Wide receivers Kenny Britt and Matthew Slater, defensive end Trey Flowers and guard Jason King also were limited. Cyrus Jones took some time catching punts on a side field.

— Linebacker Harvey Langi, running back Sony Michel and offensive tackle Marcus Cannon weren’t spotted.

— Interior offensive lineman Brian Schwenke left practice early. It could have been a heat-related issue.

— Running backs Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee received extensive work with all three quarterbacks. Hill fumbled and had to take a lap but said after practice that it came as the play was winding down. Defensive end Keionta Davis stripped him. Hill and Gillislee are competing for what could come down to just one roster spot.

— Defensive end Adrian Clayborn dominated left tackle Trent Brown in a 1-on-1 rep.

Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN

Source: NESN

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