Patriots Training Camp Observations: Cornerbacks Step Up On Second Day

FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots defense presented a much bigger challenge for quarterback Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo on the second day of training camp.

Brady and Garoppolo didn’t throw any interceptions Friday, but the Patriots’ defensive backs were giving receivers fits throughout the session.

— Brady was 7-of-10 passing in 7-on-7 drills and 18 of 26 in 11-on-11s. Garoppolo went 5 of 10 in 7-on-7s and 15 of 22 in 11-on-11s. Brady clearly was the No. 1 QB, with Garoppolo taking No. 2 reps.

— Veteran cornerback Bradley Fletcher stood out for the first time this offseason and made one pass breakup. He was close in coverage and prevented catches on other attempts.

— Safety Tavon Wilson and cornerbacks Robert McClain and Malcolm Butler also made nice plays during the two-hour session. Head coach Bill Belichick looked particularly fired up after McClain broke up a Garoppolo pass intended for receiver Jonathan Krause.

— Rookie cornerback Darryl Roberts, on the other hand, allowed three touchdowns — two to Julian Edelman and one to Danny Amendola.

— Quarterback Matt Flynn, running back LeGarrette Blount, offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann and defensive lineman Alan Branch remain on the non-football injury list and didn’t participate in practice. Wide receivers Matthew Slater and Brandon LaFell, linebackers Dane Fletcher and Chris White, offensive lineman Ryan Wendell, and defensive linemen Vince Taylor, Chris Jones and Dominique Easley remain on the physically unable to perform list and also were non-participants.

— Tight end A.J. Derby was spotted at practice Thursday and wasn’t on the field Friday.

— Linebacker D.J. Lynch hobbled off the practice field during individual drills. Cornerback Derek Cox jogged off the field early in practice. Neither player returned to the field.

— The Patriots wore numbers at practice for the first time since last season. They didn’t wear numbered jerseys Thursday or in the spring during organized team activities and minicamp.

— Rookie guards Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason are seeing a ton of reps with Wendell and Hauptmann out.

— Krause had a tough practice, fumbling during a strip drill and muffing a punt.

— Defensive end-turned-tight end Jake Bequette caught an end-zone fade over rookie Brandon King during three-on-three drills. Bequette’s transition to the new position appears to be going smoothly.

— Patriots fans continue to support their quarterback, and two “BRA-DY, BRA-DY” chants started during practice.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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