Patriots Training Camp Observations: Malcolm Butler Stands Out On Day 6


FOXBORO, Mass. — Malcolm Butler will not be overshadowed in New England Patriots training camp.

The cornerback was fantastic Wednesday morning during 1-on-1 and team drills. He covered wide receiver Brandin Cooks so well during a 1-on-1 that quarterback Jacoby Brissett elected to eat the ball rather than throw it. He beat Cooks again during 1-on-1s and also forced a drop out of wide receiver Julian Edelman with some well-timed contact.

Here’s everything else we observed at practice.

— Tom Brady completed just 12 of 21 passes with an interception in 11-on-11 drills. Jimmy Garoppolo went 9-of-12. Brissett went 6-of-9 in 11-on-11s and 18-of-30 overall.

— Cornerback Jonathan Jones picked off Brady in 11-on-11 drills on a target to wide receiver Julian Edelman. Jones had a solid practice overall, also breaking up a Brady pass intended for tight end Dwayne Allen. Cornerback Kenny Moore also had a pass breakup.

— Defensive end Geneo Grissom had to take a lap for jumping early.

— Fullback Glenn Gronkowski, wide receivers Devin Lucien, Edelman and Austin Carr, running back D.J. Foster and tight ends Sam Cotton and Jacob Hollister dropped passes.

— Defensive end Deatrich Wise, linebacker Harvey Langi and defensive tackle Adam Butler are among rookies receiving first-team reps in practice. The Patriots need another pass rusher to step up in Rob Ninkovich’s absence, and Wise and Langi could be those guys. Butler also performed well in pass-rush drills, beating guard Jamil Douglas twice. Butler is a 6-foot-5 (generously listed), 300-pound undrafted rookie out of Vanderbilt.

— Wise is notably getting reps over veteran offseason addition Kony Ealy and 2017 top pick Derek Rivers. Grissom also is losing top reps to Wise and Langi.

— Good looks on the Cyrus Jones front: He still isn’t muffing punt or kick returns.

— Quarterbacks seem to love throwing to rookie wide receiver Austin Carr. He consistently catches a lot of passes from Garoppolo and Brissett.

— Safety Duron Harmon returned to practice after missing Sunday and Tuesday’s training camp sessions. He suffered an injury Saturday.

— Wide receiver Cody Hollister and defensive tackle Josh Augusta were the only absences.

— Harmon, safety David Jones, wide receivers Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell, tight end James O’Shaughnessy and running back Mike Gillislee worked on a lower side field away from teammates during most drills. Amendola returned to the main field for the end of the session.

— Defensive tackles Alan Branch (physically unable to perform list), linebacker Dont’a Hightower (PUP) and offensive tackle Andrew Jelks (non-football injury list) were present but wearing sweats. They worked on the side field with Harmon, Jones, Mitchell, O’Shaughnessy and Gillislee.

— Wide receiver/special teams ace Matthew Slater left practice with an apparent injury midway through the session and didn’t return. Wideout Chris Hogan suffered an injury late in practice and sat out the remainder of the session. Center David Andrews also appeared to get banged up late.

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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