FOXBORO, Mass. — Some notes and nuggets from Friday’s New England Patriots practice, which featured the first intrasquad scrimmage of training camp:
— Tom Brady seems to be having a ball working with new wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who’s impressed since coming over from the New Orleans Saints in an offseason trade.
Cooks has flashed since the first day of spring practice, showing off his elite speed and athleticism and fitting seamlessly into the Patriots’ offense. The 23-year-old also is the only one of New England’s top six receivers (Julian Edelman, Cooks, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola and Matthew Slater) who has yet to be limited by an injury this summer.
“He’s been great,” Brady said. “He’s just so fun to be with, so fun to work with. He comes in every day with a great attitude and wants to work hard and is unselfish.”
The quartet of Cooks, Edelman, Hogan and tight end Rob Gronkowski should form a matchup nightmare for defenses when all four are on the field together this season. Brady said he’s encouraged by the chemistry he and Cooks have built thus far, though he acknowledged they still have work to do.
“He’s been out here every day practicing and working on different things,” Brady said of the young wideout, who surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons. “He and I are building up a rapport, but that takes a lot of time to build. That goes all the way through the season. …
“So we’re working hard at it. We’re talking about things. There’s a lot of things to go on to try to improve the learning curve. But he’s just been so fun to be around. He really adds to a great group of other receivers that I’ve been fortunate enough to play with for a long time.”
— Cooks caught just one pass during Friday’s scrimmage, but it was the most impressive catch of the day: a heave down the left sideline that Cooks high-pointed over cornerback Stephon Gilmore and held onto as the two tumbled to the ground.
Gilmore disputed the call when speaking with reporters after practice.
“You think he caught it?” asked Gilmore, who broke up a pass intended for Cooks on the previous play. “I don’t know if he caught that one. I’ve got to see the film.”
— One player Patriots fans definitely should keep an eye on this summer is rookie defensive end Deatrich Wise.
Wise, a fourth-round draft pick this year, has been running with the first-team defense for a few days now, and he had an excellent showing in Friday’s scrimmage. The Arkansas product finished with two sacks — including a strip-sack of Jacoby Brissett — and batted down at least one pass while playing against most of New England’s starting offensive line for much of the day.
As they have following several training camp sessions, Wise and fellow rookie Derek Rivers remained on the field long after practice concluded, spending close to 40 minutes working on pass-rush moves. Third-year pro Trey Flowers worked with them for much of that time.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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