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Garoppolo's short memory; Saturday Patriots camp notebook

Jimmy Garoppolo has had a couple tough days to open training camp in New England, but the rookie quarterback is focused on getting better with every rep he takes.

Jimmy Garoppolo is like an NBA three-point shooter. Or, in a comparison closer to his way of life, like a cornerback.

That is to say, the rookie quarterback has to have a short memory and put bad plays in the past as soon as they happen in order to move on to the next opportunity to prove himself.


The second-round quarterback threw a couple more interceptions on Saturday while taking part in his first padded NFL practice. He also had to take yet another penalty lap around the field for a botched snap.

Being a rookie at the most difficult position in the league to master as a young player, Garoppolo has dealt with early bumps this week on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. But he's not going to let those poor plays weigh him down mentally or cost him a chance to improve on each ensuing rep he gets.

"It's kind of that next-play mentality," Garoppolo said, parroting what he revealed is the best advice he's received so far from Tom Brady. "You can't really worry about it. You move on to the next play and every play is a new opportunity to get better."

Check out photos from day three of Patriots Training Camp at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

On a day when both Brady and veteran backup Ryan Mallett also threw multiple interceptions against a pass defense that's gotten the better of a lot of battles to open camp, Garoppolo seems quite adept at taking the learning process in stride.

"Just picking up the offense one day at a time, just bits and pieces here and there," Garoppolo said. "It's a process. There are going to be bumps along the way but you just have to learn and improve on that."

And while he may not yet nearly be ready to do as Brady does on the field, he's very capable of doing what the veteran says.

"You can't worry about the past," Garoppolo said of his various mistakes over the last three days. "You have to move on. Every play is just as important as the last play. So you kind of just have to move on."

Kelly off PUP

Veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly was on the practice field wearing helmet, shoulder pads and jersey, although he wore shorts rather than the practice pants the rest of the team sported. Kelly had been placed on the active/physically–unable-to-perform list (PUP) to open camp on July 21, but now is in the active mix as he works back from a torn ACL suffered last season.

Kelly took part in some drills and group work, although he obviously did not partake in any team action or contact work, other than being on the field for the field goal block unit to close out the workout.

Revis healthy, making plays

One day after telling reporters that he was in the best shape of his career, Darrelle Revis went out and impressed in his first padded practice in New England. The Pro Bowler cornerback had a pretty incredible body-control interception of Tom Brady in coverage of Julian Edelman deep down the right sideline. He also blanketed other receivers throughout the day, especially near the line of scrimmage, where he makes it very difficult to get free off the line.

Though he played all 16 games in Tampa Bay a year ago and earned a Pro Bowl nod coming back from his 2012 torn ACL, Revis has made it clear he wasn't at his best. He expects to return to form this season for the Patriots.

"They say it takes a year and a half or two. I think I'm at a point now where I'm there," Revis said. "This offseason was a full offseason for me where I could just focus on working out instead of doing rehab as soon as you get the injury. I'm fine. I'm in the best shape of my career, and I'm looking forward to the season."

One thing that was a bit curious regarding Revis in the workout was his seemingly cutting a number of plays short. On a variety of reps he simply stopped running and turned back to the line of scrimmage while the receiver he was covering continued down or across the field.

Happy Birthday Danny Nickerson!

The Patriots welcomed six-year-old Foxborough resident Danny Nickerson to Gillette Stadium for the second straight day. On Friday the boy, who has an inoperable brain tumor, celebrated his birthday inside the stadium in a meeting with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Pat Patriot as a Happy Birthday message was shown on the replay board.

Saturday Kraft invited Nickerson and his family onto the practice field at the end of the workout where the entire team sang Happy Birthday to the young fan. Rob Gronkowski was among those players who playfully interacted with the boy, who seemed a bit overwhelmed by the moment.

Nickerson made national news this week when he asked merely for cards for his birthday, which led to him receiving more than 100,000 pieces of mail in recent days.

Wilson working hard

Through the first three days of practice Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung and Tavon Wilson have all gotten plenty of reps at safety next to Devin McCourty. Wilson seemed to get a few more of those reps on Saturday. Though he's failed to carve out a role for himself on defense over his first two seasons, the former second-round pick is just taking his chances to shine as this come in his third training camp in New England.

"I'm just trying to make progress every day and be consistent," Wilson said on a day when he hauled in a deflected interception. "I just try to take advantage of my opportunities. There are a lot of moving parts back there. You can't read into it too much."

And while some may think this is a make-or-break time for Wilson in New England, he simply ignores that noise.

"I don't really know what people say. I don't really read it too much," Wilson said. "I just try to focus on trying to become the best football player I can and being the best teammate, trying to bring everything I can to the team."

Stock Watch

Buy: Julian Edelman – Tom Brady's top target from a year ago has had a very good start to training camp catching seemingly everything thrown his way. Edelman has also held his own in battles with Revis and Brandon Browner, although unsurprisingly he's fared better against the latter than the former. And Edelman has bested Kyle Arrington with seeming regularity, including on a deep ball in one-on-one drills on Saturday.

Sell: Brandon Bolden – The running back was banged up this spring, has been limited to open camp and had a bad drop in pre-practice work on Saturday. There are jobs to be won in a wide-open backfield committee but Bolden doesn't seem ready to claim one at this still-early point.

Play of the Day: Though the defense continues to get the better of the battle in the passing game early in camp, Danny Amendola put forth play of the day on Saturday with a one-handed, diving grab down the left seam. The impressive play saw the shifty receiver beat Arrington to make the big play from Tom Brady.


One of the largest crowds ever took in the first padded workout of 2014 as 13,819 fans converged on the Gillette Stadium practice fields. … With the donning of shoulder pads, there was more work on the running game than in the first two days of practice. That included some bruising blocks by fullback James Develin, who met Dont'a Hightower in the hole on a couple different occasions. … Those players not taking part in the workout included Matthew Slater (PUP), Aaron Dobson (foot/PUP), Alfonzo Dennard (knee/PUP), Jeremy Gallon (PUP), Dominique Easley (ACL/NFI), Chris Martin (NFI), Deontae Skinner (NFI), Jamea Thomas, Greg Orton (leg) and Daxton Swanson. … All of the PUP/NFI guys other than Martin were once again seen on the field in sweats working with the rehab staff. … Kraft watched the bulk of the practice session, as he's done each day to open camp. … According to the New York Post, prior to signing with the Patriots Revis had his representatives first contact the Jets about a possible return to New York. His former team was apparently not interested in the reunion. … The team did not fill the roster spot vacated by the release of veteran tight end Nate Byham late Friday. … Kicker Stephen Gostkowski continues to be perfect on his camp field goal attempts. He was once again 7-for-7 to close out practice and is 21-of-21 in team field goal attempts to open training camp. … Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio will hold a press conference Sunday morning at 9:00 am at Gillette Stadium. … New England will return to the practice field Sunday morning at 9:15 am for what is expected to be another padded session. The workout is open to the public.

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