Patriots OTAs: Six Questions We’re Asking Before Final Open Spring Practice

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Even the New England Patriots must go on vacation at some point in the year.

The Patriots will conduct three more spring practices before they disperse for a five-week break before training camp. Tuesday’s organized team activities session will be open to the media and will serve as the team’s final chance to answer some burning questions before training camp.

Here’s what we’ll be looking for during the voluntary practice session:

WILL JIMMY GAROPPOLO SHINE IN FINAL SHOWCASE?
It would be a stretch to say Jimmy Garoppolo has struggled this spring, but he hasn’t been as sharp as expected so far in the organized team activities and minicamp sessions open to the media.

Garoppolo completed just 55 percent of his throws in team drills during minicamp and less than 50 percent of his passes in 11-on-11 drills. He was better last spring, and while his low completion percentage is nothing to fret over, it would be nice to see him stand out Tuesday.

WILL CYRUS JONES FINISH STRONG?
Jones struggled as a punt returner in the first practice open to the media, didn’t drop a single punt during the first two days of minicamp, then muffed another one Thursday.

What Jones does on the field during the preseason when the reps actually count matters most, but Patriots coaches probably would like to see the second-year pro string together some solid practices as a returner before the five-week break.

WILL DWAYNE ALLEN FIND HIS HANDS?
So far, it seems Allen left his hands in Indianapolis. The tight end, who had just two drops last season with the Colts, has struggled catching passes this spring.

It’s probably just new-team jitters, but Allen wouldn’t be the first pass-catcher to struggle to catch on with the Patriots. New England gave up a fourth-round pick for Allen and a sixth-rounder, so he’s a lock for the roster. He’ll need to earn Tom Brady’s trust for targets, however.

WILL ANOTHER UDFA GET A SHOT WITH VETERANS?
Cornerback Kenny Moore quickly shot up the Patriots’ depth chart and was earning reps with the veterans. Linebacker Harvey Langi also took defensive reps against the first-teamers.

We’ll see if another undrafted free agent joins them in taking reps with Brady and Garoppolo. Wide receiver Austin Carr, tight end Jacob Hollister and safety David Jones are the top candidates.

WILL TOM BRADY TALK?
Brady hasn’t spoken to the media yet during the offseason workout period. We’ll see if he meets with reporters Tuesday. If he does, he’ll undoubtedly be asked about the concussions his wife, Gisele Bundchen, said he has suffered throughout his career. Those questions could be what’s keeping Brady from holding a news conference.

WILL PLAYERS RETURN?
Cornerback Malcolm Butler and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy were absent Thursday in minicamp, and defensive end Kony Ealy left practice early. Will they be back Tuesday?

We’ll find out when the Patriots take the field at 11 a.m. ET

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

Have a question for Doug Kyed? Send it to him via Twitter at @DougKyed.

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