Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Sunday Patriots training camp report: Defense has step up on offense

Ryan Hannable
July 29, 2018 - 12:43 pm
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FOXBORO -- The Patriots held their fourth training camp session of the summer and second in full pads on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium on Sunday morning. There was some cloud cover and it wasn't as hot and humid as the previous couple of days.

The pace and intensity still seems to be lacking, but it did pick up a bit Sunday.

Who didn’t practice: Malcolm Mitchell, Jonathan Jones (PUP), Cyrus Jones (PUP), Nate Ebner (PUP), Kenny Britt (PUP,  Matthew Slater (PUP), Keion Crossen, Mike Gillislee

Who returned: Trey Flowers (left practice with cut on head Saturday)

Who was injured during session: Jordan Matthews (apparent hamstring)

Play of the day: Cordarrelle Patterson had a nice grab on a back shoulder throw from Tom Brady that bounced off Eric Rowe and then Matthews reached over him to grab it.

Here are more observations from the session.

-- In previous days Mitchell has warmed up with his teammates and then departed for the lower fields with other players rehabbing injuries, but that didn't happen Sunday. Gillislee and Crossen weren't out there, which isn't good for both as they are competing for roster spots. According to a source, Crossen has back tightness and is day-to-day.

-- The same goes for Matthews, who left the session with what looked like a hamstring injury. He walked down the back hill by himself with his cleats in hand.

-- Overall, it was a run-heavy day with extensive work in the red zone. The defense stood out by keeping the offense out of the end zone on a number of players. The defensive line has looked strong over the two days in pads. It would be said the defense is further along then the offense at this point.

-- Elandon Roberts, Danny Shelton, Adrian Clayborn, Malcom Brown and Deatrich Wise were standouts Sunday. Shelton and Clayborn stood out in 1-on-1 drills.

-- On offense, Trent Brown continued to stand out, and not just because of his massive size. Besides running a lap for a false start in 1-on-1s, he had another solid day Sunday. He even showed his athleticm by getting in front of the play on a screen.

-- The quarterbacks didn't get much work, but Brady did have his best sequence of camp as in the middle of the session as he had four or five throws that were very impressive. With the lack of passes, it's been hard to gauge just where Brady is with his receivers. He did show some anger when he missed Chris Hogan on one pass.

-- It was another quiet day for Rob Gronkowski, but that's because there were just a lot more running plays than passing plays.

-- Julian Edelman still continues to look good as he works his way back from a torn ACL. He looks almost as shifty and quick as he did a year ago.

-- Off to the side, Brady worked with Hogan, Jacob Hollister, James White and Phillip Dorsett.

-- Dwayne Allen has looked much better than he did in the spring, both as a pass catcher and an effective blocker.

-- Stephon Gilmore continues to show he's the best cornerback on the field, as it seems every day he has a great pass breakup.

-- Duke Dawson had a nice deflection on a Brady pass and got some 1-on-1 time with Bill Belichick.

-- Eric Rowe had an interception of a Danny Etling throw.

-- Former Patriots wide out Tiquan Underwood was on hand for a third straight day. He's the wide receivers coach at Lafayette.

-- Monday night is the in-stadium practice, which is usually a casual practice with lots of special teams work.

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