Plenty of interesting sights and sounds at Pats camp
Today is the final day, fans, when you can zip down to Foxborough and see your favorite NFL football team in training camp practice.
It seems like you’ve been robbed a bit from being able to see your New England Patriots this summer. They were gone all last week in Detroit and had this past weekend off, and are leaving for Tennesse and more road joint practices. Oh well.
Well, to help you get your Pats Camp fix if you can’t make it down today, here’s some sights and sounds from Monday’s next-to-last public practice and post-practice of Pats Camp 2019:
— Tight end Ryan Izzo out there blocking up a storm and then getting some media attention after practice. Izzo was IR’d last year but is in the no-name mix for the job, especially as a blocker. His chances may have been enhanced when Matt LaCosse was hurt in the first preseason game vs. Detroit and the fact Ben Watson will be suspended for the first four games of the season due to a positive performance enhancing drug test result. Patriot fans are pining for a Rob Gronkowski return. Not happening anytime soon, sorry.
The six-foot-5, 255-pound Izzo and Watson will likely be joined Saturday night by Eric Saubert, acquired by the Patriots from Atlanta Monday for a conditional seventh rounder. Saubert played in all 16 games last year for the Falcons, was a fifth round pick out of Drake in 2017, and had a career best five catches for 48 yards last season. Atlanta had five other tight ends on the roster, so they could send the Patriots a body.
Right now, though, Izzo is under the spotlight.
“It’s good to have him out there on the field on a consistent basis,” Belichick said. “… He’s gotten better. Yeah, again, doesn’t have a lot of experience – one preseason game this year. We’ll see how it goes.”
“I’m just happy to be out there working,”
I’m trying to make the most of my opportunities – run game, pass game, special teams,” Izzo said.
Blocking is what he focuses on in the running game.
“I take a lot of pride,” he said. “I’ve got to block sometimes, and I take a lot of pride in it. You’re always working on your hands, it’s part of the job.”
Will the job be Izzo’s? We’ll see.
— Ah, some activity at left tackle. Isiah Wynn took part in full speed, full contract drills and was talking like he’s expecting to see some game action Saturday night vs. the Titans for the first time as a Patriot after being out all last year with a torn Achilles.
“It’s the closest you’re going to get to game speed,” Wynn said of practice. “I’m looking forward to (Saturday).”
Did he feel rusty?
“Of course you’re always working to get better at technique,” Wynn said. “If you consider that knocking off rust, yeah. … I’m back out here, so that’s the biggest thing. Just coming out here, taking it day-by-day and help any way I can.”
The way he can help is by becoming the starting left tackle that the Patriots had hoped when they drafted him in the first round in 2018.
— Speaking of left tackle, we saw the 6-9, 325 pound Dan Skipper, one of this summer’s unsung Patriots and right now the left tackle placeholder, get into it with Patriots pass rusher Michael Bennett. Bennett leveled him and Skipper responded with a double-barreled obsecne gesture. See if that spunk keeps him on the roster.
—- Fans just can’t seem to get enough of another no-name, undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers, who will no doubt have a spot on this team. He drew roars from the crowd (looked like anywhere around 3,000 to maybe, maybe 5,000) with a couple of lunging catches off Tom Brady thrown balls. Of course, he’s still getting the rookie treatment publicly.
“He’s got a long way to go in this league,” Belichick said. “I certainly wouldn’t put him into the seasoned veteran category.”
Sure plays like one.
— There were celebrity sightings, of course, beginning with Jon Bon Jovi, and in his honor, his song “This House Is Not For Sale” blared over the speakers early in the warmup session. Hmmm, interesting choice with all that’s going on with TB12 these days, don’t you think?
Also, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy was there with his family, and got the golf cart ride from the practice field to destination unknown. Bruins training camp is just month away and it seems like the Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Blues was just yesterday.
—- Injured receiver Julian Edelman (broken left thumb) was on hand, talking to a trio of young kids he towered over after practice. He, too, got the golf cart ride into the bowels of Gillette, and on the way high-fived two female staffers. With his right hand, of course.
—- Brandon Bolden attracted a lot of meda attention after his busy night carrying the football in the team’s preseason opening thrashing of Detroit. That was basically just to tune him up if needed later in the year and to take the load off the other backs like Sony Michel , etc. Bolden spent all of last season in Miami, after being cut by the Patriots at the end of camp. Night and day.
“It’s definitely different,” Bolden said. “Bill has that recipe of spells in that book of his and it defintely works.”
Did he miss it here? Yup.
“I miss it here,” Bolden said. “I missed the guys, the coaches, I missed you guys (the media), actually. … Everybody just as a whole, when you take the entire building, it’s just different. I was six years here. I knew the building inside and out. You go someplace else, it’s…just terrible.”
— After practice, Belichick was in a discussion with defensive back Keion Crossen, both listening attentively to what looked like a good exchange over positioning. Crossen is no sure bet with all the talent at defensive back, despite being a solid rookie contributor a year ago.
— We saw Danny Etling, once a quarterback, get some more work at wide receiver and a Jarett Stidham seemingly perfect pass down the middle went off his chest and into the hands of rookie JoeJuan Williams. Oops. Etling looks like if anything he’d be a practice squader again.
— Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was at it again, kicking field goals close to the direction of the media area. Thankfully, while he was on target through the goalposts, only one landed close, near our walkway on the hill. Not risking these golden hands, no way.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK, or firstname.lastname@example.org