The Patriots wrapped up their final training camp practice open to the public in Foxborough Tuesday morning with a brief walkthrough that lasted about 70 minutes. The highlight of the session came at the beginning when Tom Brady broke out the fire hose and soaked down the field for the rookies, leading to some slip ’n slide fun for first-year players and coaches alike.
With the team surrounding the youngsters, coaches sent footballs rolling on the wet turf where they were recovered – at least most of them. There were occasional stumbles, and even the new coaches including Jerod Mayo got down and dirty in the mud. The players seemed to enjoy the brief respite from the normal camp grind based on the hooting and hollering coming from the onlookers.
Once practice got underway, the tempo was understandably slow given the walkthrough. Here are some observations from the final public workout of the summer and 12th practice thus far.
*Reports indicating the Patriots acquired a tight end from Atlanta on Monday are evidently true. Although the Patriots have yet to make any official announcement, Eric Saubert was wearing No. 48 in white and caught a handful of passes, including one deep down the seam.
*To make room for Saubert, the Patriots waived Danny Etling, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Etling was trying to make a transition from quarterback to wide receiver this summer but evidently hadn’t developed enough to earn more time.
*Elsewhere on the attendance list, N’Keal Harry (leg) and Matt LaCosse (ankle) remained out while Julian Edelman (thumb, NFI), Yodny Cajuste (quad, NFI), Demaryius Thomas (Achilles, PUP) and Cam Meredith (PUP, knee) are still unavailable. Patrick Chung and Lance Kendrick, who both wore red jerseys on Monday, were in regular attire for the walkthrough.
*Jonathan Jones spent some time early in practice returning kicks. Jones can absolutely fly and would seem to be a great candidate to fill a role that doesn’t have an obvious candidate. Several young receivers such as Braxton Berrios, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski all have handled kickoffs at times, as has Brandon Bolden. I wouldn’t mind seeing if Jones can add a dynamic element to the return game with his game-breaking speed. The only question would be his ball security, but the only way to learn that is by getting reps in the preseason.
*Members of the Cathedral High School football team were on hand to watch practice. A group of about 30 players made the trek from the South End and made their presence felt when the players made their way on the field.
*Brady spent time working in a group with Sony Michel, James White, Ben Watson and Phillip Dorsett early in practice when most of the team was involved in positional drills. Interesting to see the work in two-back sets, something that will be worth watching as the preseason moves on.
*After seeing his most extensive action of the summer on Monday, Isaiah Wynn rotated with Dan Skipper with the first group at left tackle. It will be good to see if Wynn can continue that development this week in Nashville and perhaps see some action in the game against the Titans.
*Nate Ebner and Matthew Slater worked together on the lower rehab field during practice. They were joined by the kickers during that time.
*Damien Harris’ lack of playing time in the opener was a mild surprise but he got some carries to start the team portion of the walkthrough Tuesday. Perhaps he’ll make his debut in Tennessee as well after waiting a week to get started.
*Michael Bennett went to the podium after practice to speak with the media. Dorsett also did some interviews while many members of the team spent time with their families following the final workout at Gillette Stadium.
*The Patriots boarded a plane Tuesday afternoon to prepare for two days of work in Nashville with the Titans. The teams will then square off Saturday night in preseason Game 2 with kickoff set at 7 p.m.
Check out photos of the Patriots from the final public training camp practice at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019.