FOXBORO, Mass. — Expectations for Malcolm Butler are astronomically high going into the 2015 season, and so far, he’s living up to them.
The Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX hero had a stellar practice Monday with pass breakups. Butler broke up a pass from quarterback Tom Brady during 11-on-11 drills when he jumped wide receiver Josh Boyce’s route and knocked the ball away with one hand.
Brady targeted receiver Jonathan Krause earlier in practice during 7-on-7s on a deep ball down the sideline. Butler tracked the ball perfectly, jumped over Krause and knocked the ball away. All signs point to Butler taking the left cornerback spot previously manned by Darrelle Revis and Aqib Talib. If training camp is any indication, he’ll fit the role just fine.
— Brady was 7 of 9 with an interception in 7-on-7 drills. He was 9 of 15 in 11-on-11s.
— Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was 5 of 6 in 7-on-7s and 11 of 14 in 11-on-11s.
— Newly signed third-stringer Ryan Lindley was 5 of 9 in 7-on-7s and 4 of 10 with an interception in 11-on-11s.
— Linebacker Dont’a Hightower picked off Brady in 7-on-7s. Brady’s pass bounced off wide receiver Brian Tyms’ chest and into Hightower’s waiting arms.
— Safety Duron Harmon pulled in his second interception of camp. There appeared to be some miscommunication — or a very inaccurate throw — and Lindley’s pass went straight to Harmon.
— Left tackle Nate Solder left the field early in practice and never returned.
— Wide receiver Julian Edelman and defensive tackle Alan Branch were in full pads, but they were only limited participants. Both players participated in non-contact individual drills then left to do conditional work.
— Linebacker Jerod Mayo crushed tight end Rob Gronkowski over the middle during 11-on-11 drills. It looked like Mayo tried to hold up too.
— During 11-on-11s late in practice, Garoppolo worked individually with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels while Brady and Lindley took reps.
— Wide receiver Brandon Gibson continues to make the most of his opportunities with injuries plaguing the Patriots’ wideouts. He led the team with seven receptions in practice.
— Cornerbacks Tarell Brown and rookie Jimmy Jean had pass breakups during practice.
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