Patriots Minicamp Observations: Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski Show No Rust

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FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski looked no worse for wear Tuesday after skipping the first seven weeks of the offseason workout program.

Brady and Gronkowski were back at Gillette Stadium for the first day of mandatory minicamp, and the offense as a whole was looking crisp.

Brady completed 10-of-12 passes in 11-on-11 drills and went 24-of-31 overall in team drills. Gronkowski was his normal goofy self as he excitedly squealed, running down the field after big gains on catches over safety Jordan Richards.

Gronkowski’s former tight ends coach Brian Ferentz, who’s now the University of Iowa’s offensive coordinator, was on hand with other coaches on his staff. Gronkowski acknowledged Ferentz, who was standing on the right sideline, after one grab.

Brady completed a long pass to wide receiver Kenny Britt down the left sideline, beating cornerback Eric Rowe. He threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Jordan Matthews.

Brady spread the ball around, hitting 15 different receivers on the afternoon. Brady didn’t attempt any passes during competitive drills to Gronkowski or Julian Edelman.

Here are the rest of our daily observations:

— Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer was 11-of-13 in 11-on-11s and  23-of-28 overall.  Rookie Danny Etling saw his reps significantly scaled back with Brady in the fold.

— Cornerback Cyrus Jones, safety Nate Ebner and wide receiver Cody Hollister returned to practice.

— Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, running back Brandon Bolden, safety David Jones, tight end Jacob Hollister and guard Joe Thuney were absent.

— Cornerbacks Jonathan Jones and Keion Crossen, wide receiver Braxton Berrios, defensive tackle Malcom Brown, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, Ebner, Cody Hollister and Cyrus Jones were limited to working on a separate field.

— Cornerback Jason McCourty continues to sit out drills but stay on the main field. Offensive linemen Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn also stayed on the sideline for competitive drills.

— Britt sat out the end of practice after appearing to suffer an injury midway through the session.

— Trent Brown is playing left tackle for the time being with Wynn at left guard. That could change once Thuney and Cannon are back to being full participants.

— Undrafted rookie cornerback J.C. Jackson continues to work heavily with the starting defense. For the last two practices, he’s been working across from starter Stephon Gilmore with rookie Duke Dawson in the slot.

— Tight end Will Tye and running backs Sony Michel, James White and Mike Gillislee all dropped passes.

— Safety Patrick Chung and cornerback Jomal Wiltz broke up passes on defense.

— The entire offense had to do a lap after some miscommunication led to a false start. Head coach Bill Belichick was heated. Coaches have been fired up throughout the offseason workout program. Special teams coach Joe Judge has been especially fiery.

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