As baseball nears the trade deadline, football season is just starting up, specifically with training camp. Saturday, the Patriots held their first padded practice outside of Gillette Stadium. The practice was open to the public, and Pats fans took advantage.
21,781 fans attended the practice on Saturday, a crowd that was so big they needed to open up the ramps into the stadium to compensate for room. If you ever had any doubt that football is king in this country, just know that the Patriots practice attracted almost 3,000 more people than an average Celtics game.
The Most notable absence was star linebacker Jamie Collins, who was not present at camp. We're still not sure why Collins wasn't there, but he is currently in the last year of his deal with New England. With his absence, talks of a possible contract disagreement have begun, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Dion Lewis, Alan Branch and Nate Ebner were other players that did not make an appearance on Saturday. Lewis is still rehabbing his injured knee, Branch is recovering from a hip injury and Ebner is with the USA Rugby team
The first scare of the season came when Guard Jonathan Cooper went down awkwardly with what we now know is Plantar Fasciitis. Cooper came to New England from Arizona as part of the Chandler Jones trade.
Donald Brown led the running backs in team drills after Legarette Blount fumbled and was forced to run a lap.
After breaking his leg last year in a preseason matchup against the Panthers, James Develin made his return to the fullback position. While Develin was rarely used to carry the ball, he was receiving high praise for his run blocking abilities.
As for the QBs, Brady was 8-of-9 overall while Garoppolo was 6-of-8 and Brissett 3-of-6 with an interception. The most notable part of the quarterback play was Brady's visible frustrations when making a mistake.
By Matt Watts