The Patriots kicked off their 2017 training camp yesterday, and already the observations are pouring in from writers across New England. Here's a full recap of Day 1:
First, the quarterbacks. Tom Brady was sharp, going 20-for-24, and he connected with Brandin Cooks for three straight passes--including a 30-yard TD that WEEI's Ryan Hannable called "the highlight of the day." Jimmy Garoppolo was solid, but threw back-to-back picks in 7-on-7s. Per Doug Kyed, he finished 12-for-18 with a 6-for-8 mark in 11-on-11s, and Jacoby Brissett completed 17 of 31 with an interception (9-of-15 in 11-on-11s).
First practice is in the books. Brady was 20 of 24 and completed his last 14 passes. Hit Brandin Cooks three straight times in final period.
The secondary was generally strong, though Cyrus Jones continued to struggle. He opened up camp with a fumbled return, and was burned by Brandin Cooks on the goal line. With so many contributors at cornerback, Jones may already be on the outside looking in. On the other hand, Malcolm Butler and Stephon Gilmore blanketed their men all day, and undrafted rookie Kenny Moore followed up a strong minicamp with an impressive start to camp. He took some starting reps in the slot (splitting time with Jonathan Jones) and finished with a pick and four total breakups. Kyed noted that "he was impressive during minicamp, but this was his best practice in a Patriots uniform."
Cyrus Jones opened up practice by dropping a kickoff. The crowd booed. He was clean the rest of practice
The pass-catchers had some highlights and lowlights. Aside from the aforementioned Cooks heroics, UDFA Austin Carr made a great toe-tapping snag in the back of the end zone. Rob Gronkowski also turned in an outstanding performance and was a full participant in practice for the first time in what feels like forever. But on the other hand, Malcolm Mitchell looked a little rusty after not practicing during minicamp. For a guy hoping to build on a very strong rookie season, Thursday's debut was a little bit flat.
This grab by Austin Carr might have been the catch of the day. UDFA was the Big Ten receiver of the year last season. pic.twitter.com/Llevs4p2FK
It wasn't all perfect, but overall the first day of Pats training camp was a successful one. As more players get on the field and the team continues to jell, New England will be a force to be reckoned with.