The New England Patriots held their last practice of 2013 training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The big story, of course, was Tom Brady’s return to the field.In 7-on-7 the teams went full speed, other than that, it was nothing more than a walk-through. Brady was wearing his knee brace again, the one he has worn the past few years.
Tom Brady has had a good training camp this year. A great one actually. Brady seems to be in mid-season form and developing chemistry fast with the new receivers.
Tim Tebow in the last few practices has looked better. His accuracy on intermediate throws has been better than usual, and has had more zip on the ball. Slow decision-making, and reaction time is still evident, but the Patriots are nicely developing him. He also brings a set of running skills that the Patriots love. In tomorrow’s game, I want to see Tebow to throw some short passes when they are there. Last Friday, he held on to the ball for too long, looking for the big plays instead of taking what the defense was giving him. He also has to learn to handle the blitz. I think Belichick wants to find a spot on the 53 man roster for Tebow, not only develop him, but also try to find plays for him in the game to utilize his running skills. The way Hernandez sometimes played RB for the Patriots, New England might do a few of that with Tebow, or have him go out as a tight end in-goal line situations like Mike Vrabel use to do.
Ryan Mallett is coming along as well. He hasn’t been able to show off his arm too much, but he has a cannon. His accuracy has been up and down through out training camp, and in the last preseason game, but he is a steady QB.
Stevan Ridley has been good in practice and the one game they’ve played so far. Ridley looks to be a star this season.
LeGarrette Blount doesn’t look great in practice, but looked great against the Eagles. He plays like this again tomorrow night, he might find himself a spot on the team.
Zac Sudfeld has been solid all camp. The rookie will make the team, and who would have thought that Jake Ballard might not. Jake Ballard is a great blocker though, not having a great camp as a catching tight end. Daniel Fells had a strong camp, and he will be number one or two with Sudfeld, until the return of Gronkowski.
Danny Amendola has been impressive. He is quick, fast, shifty, and posses great hands. He runs routes beautifully and has the potential to sneak behind the defense. Josh Boyce is an impressive route runner who has great speed. Very fast runner who can burn a defense on the long ball, but had an okay camp. Aaron Dobson has impressed with his hands through out camp. He is a legit deep threat, and redzone threat. Great hands, and jumping ability to go over or between defenders. Kenbrell Thompkins, an undrafted free agent, has really impressed. Brady went to him a lot in the first preseason game. Thompkins runs nice routes, good hands, and gets the first downs. A good player overall.
Jamie Collins, the rookie LB, has been big this camp. He looks great in pass coverage, and looks like the missing piece in a stacked linebackers field. Adrian Wilson is big, strong, and smart. That is clear just by looking at him, but he will do wonders for the young backfield. Keeping them set, being a leader, and helping them in coverage and run stuffing. Wilson can flat-out blitz, might be his best attribute. Hightower can pass rush along with Mayo, and Spikes is a beast at stopping the run. Tommy Kelly and Vince Wilfork is a lot of man power in the middle of the line for New England. They provide big pushes up front together to stop the run and get to the passer. Chandler Jones has had a good camp, showing off his pass rushing skills.
The Patriots will take on Tampa Bay tomorrow night at 8 P.M.