Observations from the final Patriots mandatory minicamp practice

We’re on to the summer time, ladies and gentlemen.

The Patriots officially wrapped up the spring with the final mandatory minicamp practice on Wednesday morning and as usual, it’s tough to put too much stock into a lot of things we’re seeing so far, but there were a few things that stood out in the just-about two hour session.

For the final time until late July, here’s everything I saw from atop the hill…

-As usual, Deatrich Wise and Michael Jordan were two of the first guys out for practice with Bryce Baringer and Chad Ryland not far behind.

-The McCourty twins were on hand as Jason will be hosting the Brady Night red carpet event along with Wise. BC QB coach Jonathan DiBiaso was also on hand taking in practice.

-Absences included Tyquan Thornton, Jahlani Tavai, Kendrick Bourne, Cole Strange, Jake Andrews and Tyrone Wheatley.

-There was absolutely a last day of school, Field Day vibe to this practice compared to the others, but that’s mostly because of the Brady Night festivities I think. That’s not to say it wasn’t productive, but there was definitely an ‘ok, let’s get this over with’ type of thing that most of the reporters felt.

-After stretching the first bit of ‘indy’ was a very comical scene as Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper threw passes to the QB’s and linemen running routes. Some surprisingly acrobatic catches and some not-so acrobatic drops made for a fun viewing experience. I’d say Sidy Sow was probably the most athletic lineman and Maye showed his basketball ups at times. During ‘normal’ indy period, Joe Milton did a sick back flip in front of the media, no one got it on film unfortunately but I did get a pretty good pic of the very beginning of it (see below).

-First bit of 11-on-11 with tempo around 11:10 with Brissett once again repping first and Maye second…

Brissett: I missed the first two plays, but then saw a completion to KJ Osborn and a handoff to Jamycal Hasty.

Maye: Dump off to Hasty, swing to Stevenson, incompletion, interception by Azizi Hearn on what looked like a poorly ran route by JuJu Smith-Schuster.

-7-on-7 in the Red Zone followed…

Brissett: Dropped pick by Isaiah Bolden, quick out to JaQuae Jackson, PBU for Joe Giles-Harris, incomplete pass.

Maye: Quick out to Jackson, near pick on a slant (missed who it was), nice grab from Boutte on a sideline ball but only got one foot down, dump off to Hasty.

Zappe: Drop (didn’t see who), short pass to Hasty, TD to Deshaun Fenwick, PBU

-The offense struggled quite a bit early on in these two periods with the defense smothering receivers and tight ends, none of the QB’s looked particularly good.

-DB’s, WR’s and RB’s worked on some open field angle stuff for a few minutes.

-Field goals between 35-45 yards for Ryland and Sly. Ryland went 3-4, Sly went 4-4.

-11:30 team period.

Brissett: Outside run for Stevenson, Dan Ekuale ‘sack,’ Deion White forces an incompletion with a rush off the edge, incompletion on a roll right, run for Stevenson, ‘sack’ for Trysten Hill, incompletion, TD to Polk (with a big spike after), ‘sack’ for Matt Judon.

Maye: Handoff to Kevin Harris, incomplete slant to KJ Osborn, The team then moved into the Red Zone with the ball at the 10 and Maye continued his reps…

-This is where Maye and Boutte put on a show, abusing Alex Austin with two straight TD’s to the back left corner of the end zone. Great throws and great leaping grabs. The third came on an absolute dime from Maye into the back right corner where Boutte went up and snagged that one as well.

-Two minute 11-on-11 work followed…

Brissett: Shallow cross to Hasty, White forces another incompletion with his pass rush, hitch to La’Michael Pettway, pass to the flat to Hasty, slant to Hasty, spike to kill the clock, offside, incompletion.

Maye: Quick pass to Boutte, PBU by Hearn against JuJu, ‘sack’ for Armon Watts, Austin PBU against Polk. The final throw of the period and of minicamp was another dime from Maye in the back right corner to Polk, who hauled it in while falling down. After some referee discussion, the TD signal was given and the offense went nuts as the defense did pushups. Jabrill Peppers lobbied with the officials and was not happy about the call before doing his pushups.

Overall, it feels like this team is heading in the right direction. As we continue to stress, it’s hard to take too much away from non-padded practices, but the rookie receivers – particularly Polk – have looked good and Maye has clearly taken strides forward in just a month or so. The defense should still be very good and we’ll see what happens with the O-line and tight ends.

Thanks for reading and following along all spring, can’t wait to do it all again when the weather heats up and the pads come on in July and August!