Brian Fluharty/USA Today Sports

Thursday Patriots practice report: Most intense practice of summer with lots of hitting

Ryan Hannable
August 02, 2018 - 1:09 pm

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their seventh training camp practice of the summer Thursday morning on the grass fields behind Gillette Stadium in hot and humid conditions. It was held in full pads.

The practice was certainly the most intense of the entire summer with plenty of hitting taking place in multiple 1-on-1 drills, as well as more competitive 11-on-11 drills than we’ve seen thus far.

Who didn't practice: Malcolm Mitchell, Jonathan Jones (PUP), Cyrus Jones (PUP), Nate Ebner (PUP), Kenny Britt (PUP), Marcus Cannon, Sony Michel, Nate Theaker

Who returned: Mike Gillislee (red non-contact jersey), Matthew Slater (off PUP), Keion Crossen

Who was injured during session: Derek Rivers (unknown, returned), Jason King (lower body, did not return)

Play of the day: Cordarrelle Patterson had a long touchdown reception from Brian Hoyer of roughly 60 yards.

Here’s more observations from the session.

— Michel and Cannon were absent after leaving Thursday’s practice early with injuries. The team did get some good news with Gillislee and Slater being back on the field. Gillislee didn’t do much, but he said he’ll likely be cleared for contact Friday. Slater being on the field indicates he’s likely off PUP. He was a limited participant spending most of his time on a different field working on his agility.

— Overall, it was the most upbeat session of the summer for the team. There was a lot of linemen 1-on-1 drills, which set the tone. There was a lot a lot more emotion shown by the players with Tom Brady leading the way. He was very vocal with his receivers — both positive and negative. While he’s been working hard with them throughout camp, we haven’t seen the emotion towards them like we saw Thursday.

— Brady saw the most reps, followed by Brian Hoyer and then Danny Etling filling in at the end. In Brady’s last practice as a 40-year-old, he made several nice throws and has put aside any rust he had last week. He’s looked like his typical self the last couple of days. 

— Phillip Dorsett had another good day getting a lot of reps and makes the most of them.

— Besides Patterson’s long touchdown catch, he also had a terrific one-handed grab in 1-on-1 drills against the defensive backs.

— James White made a nice shoe-string catch as Brady falling back in 11-on-11s.

— Riley McCarron continues to see more and more reps.

— Trent Brown continues to dominate 1-on-1 drills. If he stays consistent he will be a force this season. Trey Flowers and Isaiah Wynn are two players who were expected to do well, but haven’t stood out in these drills.

— The session ended with offense playing defense and defense playing offense for a few plays at the goal-line. The offense playing defense won the round, which the players all seemed to enjoy.

— Robert Kraft strolled out to practice midway through and mingled with a few players.

— Agent Drew Rosenhaus was also in attendance and he spoke with Kraft, Nick Caserio and a few of his players, including Rob Gronkowski after practice.

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