FOXBORO, Mass. — The New England Patriots were back on the Gillette Stadium practice field Wednesday for Day 2 of their three-day mandatory minicamp.
Here are a few leftover notes, observations and nuggets from the session:
— After making a one-handed touchdown catch of a Jimmy Garoppolo pass on Day 1 of minicamp, wide receiver Aaron Dobson turned in another strong performance Wednesday. He finished the day with eight receptions, including at least one from all three Patriots QBs (Garoppolo, Tom Brady and Jacoby Brissett).
Shining in the summer is nothing new for Dobson, however, who has disappointed in back-to-back seasons after a promising — albeit injury-shortened — rookie campaign. Whether he can keep this up once the pads come on will determine whether he remains on this team, as New England is very deep at the receiver position following the offseason additions of Chris Hogan, Nate Washington and fourth-round draft pick Malcolm Mitchell.
Dobson, a second-round Patriots pick in 2013, appeared in just eight games last season, and his 13 receptions ranked 10th among New England pass-catchers.
— Donald Brown is looking to latch on with the Patriots after two underwhelming seasons in San Diego.
Best known for his time with the Indianapolis Colts, the UConn product knows he’ll have to prove his versatility in order to earn a spot in Josh McDaniels’ offense.
“I don’t want to be one-dimensional,” Brown said. “I want to help the team the best way I can, and that’s being ready for any and every opportunity.”
Brown deflected questions about his previous NFL stops — he has played seven seasons since the Colts drafted him 27th overall in 2009 — preferring to keep his focus on the task at hand.
“I’m just worried about the opportunity now,” he said. “I can’t worry about the past. It’s a great opportunity here for myself and for this team. But there’s a long way to go, and I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
— Minicamp is a great time for quarterback and receivers to begin to get on the same page. Brady did that Tuesday by working one-on-one with new Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett for a spell, and he did so again Wednesday by taking Bennett, Dobson and Washington aside during one drill.
But with the dress code for these sessions consisting of no pads other than helmets, it can be a little tough for players to work on the other, more physical aspects of the sport.
“It’s hard when there’s no pads,” running back James White said. “But right now, you work on your run reads, see how the linemen are going to block, know how they’re going to fit up against certain defenses. Just trying to learn the offense — know what other people are doing, so it helps make your job earlier.”
Linebacker Shea McClellin, who signed with the Patriots this offseason after four seasons with the Chicago Bears, is having a similar experience on the other side of the ball.
“You’ve just got to learn the details of the plays and make sure you learn from your mistakes,” McClellin said. “And whatever you do right, go from there and keep building on that. …
“In this league, it’s a passing league now, so definitely it’s great to get out here and work on (pass coverage).”
Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images
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