COMMENTARY | The New England Patriots took to the fields behind Gillette Stadium under the hot July sun today (7/27/13) for their second practice of training camp.
Here are some observations and thoughts from the practice held in shorts, shells and helmets:
Not A Good Day for Tim Tebow
Let's get the Tebow stuff out of the way early. He didn't look good. He made a lot of inaccurate passes, including an interception to linebacker A.J. Edds, who seemed to be the only person in the vicinity. He also threw a handful of passes that hit the ground well short of his target.
The Tom Brady-to-Danny Amendola connection continues to develop. The two connected quite a few times today. They seem to be on the same page.
Big Day for Rookie WR Aaron Dobson
Dobson made a lot of impressive catches today, including one on a double move on cornerback Aqib Talib. On the outside, Dobson faked a come back and then continued down the sideline. Talib bit on the comeback and actually grabbed Dobson (would have been a pass interference call), but Dobson wrestled through it and made a nice grab over Talib. Impressive stuff from the rookie today.
Alfonzo Dennard Stands Out
Dennard had a fantastic practice, breaking up a number of passes and intercepting a pass from Ryan Mallett intended for rookie wideout Josh Boyce. The play that stood out the most to me was a breakup of a pass from Brady intended for Dobson. The ball was thrown high down the sideline and looked like it was put in a spot where only Dobson (6'3'') could grab it, but Dennard (5'10'') leaped at the last moment and got a hand on the ball. It was a very, very good day for the second-year cornerback.
The Catches of the Day
In addition to the the Dobson catch described above, rookie wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins also made a great catch on a deep ball from Mallett during practice. Thompkins has an intriguing blend of size (6'1'', 190 lbs) and athleticism.
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui caught a number of passes today, including a one-handed grab on a speed ball from Mallett--it was pretty awesome.
Lastly--and this was more a fluke than anything else--safety Tavon Wilson should have intercepted a deep ball to Boyce but bobbled it a bit only to have it bounce right into Boyce's hands.
Ryan Mallett at His Best
I've been watching Mallett in training camp closely since he entered the league in 2011, and today was the best I've ever seen him. His throws were quick and accurate, and he made a number of impressive deep passes, showcasing his arm strength.
- The recovering Rob Gronkowski made an appearance in shorts and a T-shirt during practice, creating roaring excitement from the crowd.
- At one point, Gronk was standing next to rookie tight end Zach Sudfeld and Sudfeld was noticeably taller than the gigantic Gronk. I didn't know they made people larger than Gronk.
- Vince Wilfork danced during some stretching/jogging periods. The man has some serious moves.
- The coaching staff continues to use large paddles during 7-on-7 drills to simulate defensive linemen like J.J. Watt's long arms and large hands.
- Though he didn't stand out the way that Dennard did, cornerback Ras-I Dowling looked sound in coverage. I don't recall a single pass that was completed into his coverage--and I was constantly looking.James DiMaio will be covering training camp up until the start of preseason, for more observations and thoughts, follow him on Twitter @JamesDiMaio.
James is a Yahoo! contributor who also covers the NFL and the New England Patriots for Bleacher Report.
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