Patriots-Jaguars joint practices: Brandin Cooks dominates, Belichick does push-ups
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The Patriots are wrapping up their joint practices with the Jaguars today. As the team's first joint practices of the year, these past few days have been one of the first opportunities to look at the Pats players against real competition. Here are some takeaways from the sessions:
First and foremost, Brandin Cooks continues to dominate. The wideout recorded some more unbelievable one-handed grabs, and caught a couple TD passes as well from Tom Brady. Nobody's been able to stop him so far.
Per CBS Boston, Brady was sharp with all his other weapons as well. Dwayne Allen, Malcolm Mitchell, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman all also scored. In particular, Gronk stood out for his red-zone dominance, reeling in six TDs on seven total catches:
Gronk caught seven passes, including six TDs. The seventh was a tightly contested back-shoulder throw to set up a FG in a late situation.
Rounding out the offense, Dion Lewis took the lion's share of first-team reps at running back and should be considered a lock to make the roster. It's still not quite clear who's at the bottom of the pile, but it's safe to assume that Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead, Lewis, James White, and fullback James Develin will all make the squad. That leaves Brandon Bolden, DJ Foster, Glenn Gronkowski, and undrafted rookie Leshun Daniels Jr. all on the outside looking in. Bolden will have a leg up to make the roster thanks to his special-teams work, but the team is running out of space fast at skill positions.
Defensively, Deatrich Wise Jr. continues to be one of camp's biggest surprises. Mike Dussault of Pats Propaganda reported that he's taken starting reps away from former third-rounder Geneo Grissom, and he could even end up as "an opening-night starter." But oddly enough, Dussault thinks that Kony Ealy, not Grissom, is on the roster bubble. "He’ll need to get going in a hurry. Guys are getting longer looks with the top teams, but Ealy seems like an afterthought right now." It's an interesting development for a guy who the Pats specifically traded for, but there's still plenty of time left for the former Panther to make a mark.
Finally, Bill Belichick takes no days off. The Pats scout team couldn't score at the end of practice Tuesday, and Belichick dropped and did push-ups with them as punishment:
Bill Belichick just dropped to do about 10 push-ups when the Patriots third-team "O" failed to get into the end zone on their final snap.