Patriots OTAs Observations: Julian Edelman, Jimmy Garoppolo Stand Out


Jimmy Garoppol, Tom BradyFOXBORO, Mass. — Tom Brady finally started to challenge newly signed cornerback Darrelle Revis during OTAs on Thursday.

The Patriots’ 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills were at half speed, but wide receiver Julian Edelman was able to beat Revis on three throws from Brady. Edelman dropped a pass from Brady and missed a pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, but last year’s team-leading receiver continues to show off well in OTAs.

Garoppolo started off hot, going 4-for-6 in 7-on-7s and 4-for-7 in 11-on-11s. But as the Patriots continued to work Garoppolo in 11-on-11 drills, he dropped to 13-for-24. Garoppolo spread the ball around well, targeting receivers and running backs. Garoppolo stayed after practice to work with rookie wideouts Wilson Van Hooser, Jeremy Gallon, Jeremy Johnson and Reece Wiggins.

Cornerback Daxton Swanson continues to impress at OTAs. He broke up a Garoppolo pass. He’ll fight for the fifth cornerback role with Justin Green and Jemea Thomas.

Brady went 9-for-12 in 11-on-11s and showed some emotion when Edelman dropped a pass and rookie center Bryan Stork missed a snap count. Stork went for a lap as punishment.

Rob Ninkovich, who spoke at length after practice about his and the rest of the defensive ends’ versatility to move to linebacker, participated in some pass-coverage drills with the rest of his group. The Patriots showed 4-3 and 3-4 looks last season, and if they want to do the same in 2014, they’ll need their defensive ends to have experience dropping into coverage.

It’s clear that no starting battles have been decided yet. The Patriots continue to rotate players at wide receiver, safety, defensive tackle, cornerback and running back.

The tight end group continues to look shallow with Rob Gronkowski and D.J. Williams limited. Rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson haven’t done much to stand out.

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