Patriots players get message about starting a drill the right way


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the notable moments of the third day of New England Patriots training camp came about midway through the session when, on one of the first plays in 11-on-11 drills, Tom Brady completed a pass to receiver Aaron Dobson up the left side. Dobson had the ball jarred away from him, the whistle never blew, and the defense returned it upfield as several offensive players slowed down.

Bill Belichick wasn't happy.

At that point, he called every offensive player into a large huddle and delivered a message that, we assume, wouldn't be fit for a family audience.

Then Belichick sent every offensive player on a lap around the goal post at the opposite end of the field.

"It shows great leadership, that he's got a hold of everything, and he's making sure that every period [of practice] starts off right and the team starts fast," relayed seventh-year veteran receiver Brandon Gibson, who is in his first season with the club after stints with the Eagles (2009), Rams (2009-12) and Dolphins (2013-14).

While Gibson wasn't part of the play, he understands why every offensive player was held accountable.

"We're all one team, we can only go as fast as our slowest player," he said. "We're all here together."

Added tight end Scott Chandler: "It's a team game. On offense, you have to have all 11 guys working together or the play doesn't work. That's the kind of focus we want to have out here -- that we do things as a team, and when it's the offense, we do things as an entire offense."

A few other observations from practice:

  • This was the first training camp practice in full pads, so there was naturally a heavy focus on the running game. On the goal line, running back LeGarrette Blount got the top reps. The defense stopped the offense on three of four plays (Blount had the TD), with plenty of spirited banter among players.

  • Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo signed autographs for fans after practice, going end to end. That produced arguably the loudest cheers of the day as another standing room-only crowd was on hand for the third straight day.

  • With 2014 first-round draft pick Dominique Easley (knee) practicing for the first time, I wanted to watch him to see if there were any signs of explosiveness that was a big part of the Patriots being drawn to him as a top talent. That lack of explosiveness was part of the reason he was placed on injured reserve last December. One of the first plays I saw from Easley, in one-on-one drills, was him blowing by offensive tackle Marcus Cannon.

  • First-round draft pick Malcom Brown is getting a lot of quality repetitions. One play I watched in one-on-one drills, he was stopped in his tracks by third-year guard Josh Kline. After practice, Brown drew a large media crowd, as this was a day in which all rookies answered questions from reporters.

  • Fourth-round draft picks Shaq Mason (left) and Tre' Jackson (right) continue to get extended work alongside starting center Bryan Stork.

  • Rookie outside linebacker/defensive end Geneo Grissom (third round, Oklahoma, 97th overall) and defensive end Trey Flowers (fourth round, Arkansas, 101st overall) took reps on the kickoff coverage teams as they work to build their versatility and value.

  • Reserve offensive tackle Kevin Hughes appeared to hurt his left shoulder and didn't finish practice. That could be the type of situation, if serious, that sparks a roster move as depth is thinned up front with starting right tackle Sebastian Vollmer (shoulder) not yet fully participating.