The first day in pads for the Patriots lacked physicality and that is by design

Monday was the first day in pads for the Patriots and needless to say, it did not live up to the expectations of fans and media alike. People at Monday’s practice were expecting more contact and physicality. Much to their chagrin, they got neither.

Admittedly, the energy at practice for a first day in pads was not great. The practice lacked tempo and pace at times but it wasn’t because players weren’t flying around looking to knock each other out. It is day six of training camp. Players are starting to get tired. If your expectation of full pads in today’s football world is big hits and collisions, you will be disappointed. It is not going to happen.

Controlled contact is a way of life in the NFL now and football in general. Full pads at any level of football is no longer “full pads”. Gone are the days of violent collisions in the middle of the field or in goal line or short yardage situations. Those plays now only happen in games.

Football has become a game attrition and keeping players healthy for game day is the focus whether the pads are on or not.

Coaches do not want to get their guys hurt. That is what it comes down to. In fact, Bill Belichick stopped practice to reinforce this. Being overly aggressive and looking to take out your own teammates is a recipe for disaster and could derail your season if a star player gets hurt.

The Patriots have enough upper echelon talent not fully participating in practice as it is, they do not need anymore guys out.

The end of practice did feature some contact  with a goal line period that got physical and got the crowd on hand amped up but outside of that, there wasn’t much contact. That is fine. It is situational contact. You typically save it for team periods and specific group periods. You don’t hit all practice long. It is a practice, not a game.

Save the big hits and collisions for the opposing team on game day. I am o.k with not seeing the physically at practice. The focus should be on fundamentals and development, not administering big hits on your teammates.