Observations from Day 1 of Patriots mandatory minicamp

The third ‘first’ of Jerod Mayo’s coaching career took place on an absolutely beautiful day in Foxborough on Monday.

The first mandatory minicamp practice of the Mayo era lasted two hours and while it wasn’t pretty at times – especially for the offense – there was still some good stuff to take away from the non-padded session.

As usual, here’s everything I saw from high on top of the hill…

-Michael Jordan was once again the first player out. It’s either been him or Deatrich Wise throughout voluntary OTA’s. Chad Ryland and Bryce Baringer weren’t far behind. Referees were also on hand too. Mayo told the media before practice that he didn’t want the referees to hold back and throw the flags…they listened. Whether it was a false start or defensive holding (mostly false starts) the Pats were a bit sloppy, but it’s still June and the first full team day.

-As people start to trickle into New England for Brady’s big night on Wednesday, Julian Edelman, Vince Wilford and James White were all in attendance today. Wilford strolled in with RKK beside him.

-Absences included Sione Takitaki, Jahlani Tavai, Josh Uche, Cole Strange, Jake Andrews and Kendrick Bourne. Everyone but Uche is working back from an injury.

-Extensive indy period for like 35 minutes after stretching and then QB’s worked with receivers for a bit. During the WR’s indy drills, Ja’Lynn Polk had a sick one-handed grab. He also had a great day in team periods as well, more on that later.

-First bit of 11-on-11 at 12;46. Brissett took the first drive before the ball was placed inside the red zone at the 12, where Brissett took the reps again.

1st drive: Drop for Tyquan Thornton, quick out to KJ Osborn, Jalen Reagor crosser (Reagor had a great day, showing his speed and quick burst after catches, I don’t think he had a drop when targeted), screen to Hunter Henry, run for Antonio Gibson, would-be sack for Deatrich Wise.

2nd drive: Rhamondre Stevenson TD run, false start, slant TD to Demario Douglas. Pop let out a visceral yell when he scored on a great throw from Brissett. I feel like players have made it a point to be more enthusiastic about scoring, there’s been a few of these types of reactions to scoring. Either they just forgot what it’s like after last season or coaches have made it a point to acknowledge when you make a great play at all times.

-During the TD, Matt Judon was doing a lot communicating with Christian Barmore, eventually having him move from inside to outside while he went the other way. It wasn’t a huge deal and the offense scored, but found it interesting that it looked and seemed seamless even though Judon hasn’t been around this spring. There’s already enough continuity there for this defense to pick up where it left off pretty quickly.

-7-on-7 and Drake Maye started things off (I think) in the red zone or just outside of it. We were on the opposite end of the field so it was a bit tougher, but slant for Mitchell Wilcox, dump off to Stevenson, nice scramble up the middle where Maye immediately felt the pressure coming and stepped up without hesitation, overthrow on a deep corner.

-From my vantage point – and I was standing next to Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports – it looked like they quickly went to two 11-on-11 snaps where we saw a dump off to JaMycal Hasty and then a great leaping catch in the end zone by La’Michael Pettway.

-Quick bathroom run for me so missed a bit of Brissett’s 7-on-7 reps, but did see him complete a nice comeback to Reagor. I did see Zappe hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on an out though, it was one of two highlight for Zappe on the day, but things got much worse for No. 4.

-DB’s and WR’s took like five minutes to work on open field angles with some half speed 1-on-1 work. Kickers worked on the opposite field, first time seeing Joey Sly kick this spring.

-7on-7 Red Zone work around 1:15…

Brissett: incomplete right corner of the end zone (couldn’t see who it was intended for), great grab by Austin Hooper in the back of the end zone, incomplete on a quick out (couldn’t see who it was intended for), great throw and a nice TD catch for Polk on a bang-bang kind of play. Brissett went 1/2 on the last two, the incompletion was out over the back right pylon.

Maye: Quick TD out to the left to JuJu, tight throw. TD on a slant to Jaheim Bell. TD to the right (either Boutte or Bell, couldn’t see the other number after an 8). Zappe had one completion during his quick reps, with Polk making another great play, jumping up over the middle and plucking a ball over the defender.

Two minute drill time. 1:32 on the clock and both Tyler and I were pretty sure we heard Mayo say ‘no timeouts’ as well.

Brissett: Quick completion to Henry, PBU by Jabrill Peppers on Henry, bad drop by Pop on a slant (wide open), false start, quick completion to Pop, defense kept the offense out of the red zone.

Maye: Would-be sack for (I think) Oshane Ximines (although Maye did get a dump off to Gibson completed), slant to JuJu, incompletion, slant to Reagor, incomplete deep down the right sideline, slant to Pettway, quick out to Gibson, would-be sack for Jeremiah Pharms Jr.

Zappe: Immediate interception to Kyle Dugger basically at the line of scrimmage. Dugger just squatted and baited Zappe. It was his only rep until the very end of practice.

Milton: Back-to-back quick completions to Bell, incomplete towards the left sideline, would-be sack for Arron Watts, great sliding catch on the left sideline by JaQuae Jackson as he came back to the ball in front of Christian Gonzalez. One final throw was incomplete out to the right.

-Field goal time for the first (maybe second?) time this spring. Right around 35-40 yards…

Ryland: Good, no good, good, no good.

Sly: Good, Good, Good, Good. The kickers rotated before each attempt.

-Back to 11-on-11 with 0:58 on the clock…

Brissett: Defensive holding, nice grab by Thornton on a deep-ish out, offside on (I think) Judon, PBU by Azizi Heran against Henry, slant to Reagor, clock, outside run for Stevenson, clock. Ryland then banged home a 52 yard FG to end the drive.

Maye: Dump off to Hasty, PBU by Kaleb Ford-Dement against JuJu, false start, another nice grab on the sideline by Polk, but the throw was equally as impressive from Maye, stepping up and across his body. Would-be sack for Trysten Hill soon turned into an aggressive shoving match with Jordan, but it quickly ended. Maye hit JuJu on a slant to wrap up the period once things settled back down.

-It just felt like there was a little bit of disorganization amongst the staff and the players at this point. A lot of mulling around until Zappe took one set of reps in the same scenario. He was ‘sacked,’ had a really bad low throw to Kawaan Baker on a slant and Brendan Schooler nearly had a pick on the back end on a tipped ball.

-The players headed to ‘The Hill’ for conditioning just before 2:00.

Although scheduled to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, Mayo did tip off the media that the team won’t be practicing Tuesday. Instead, there were being told later today or tonight what was happening Tuesday, but Mayo did say he thought it’d be something fun and ‘good for the community.’ The media wasn’t told either but were given a heads up to wait for a press release later in the evening. Right now, with the Brady HOF induction on Wednesday, practice is moving up to the morning.

Should be an interesting next few days in Foxborough before the final break prior to training camp.

 

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