Patriots Minicamp Day 1 Observations: How QB Reps Were Divvied Up


FOXBORO, Mass. — Sorry, Danny Etling. Tom Brady took your reps in Day 1 of New England Patriots minicamp.

Brady’s return to practice Tuesday meant special-teams and mop-up duty for fourth-stringer Etling. We wondered how the Patriots would divide their quarterback snaps with Brady reporting for duty after skipping the first two weeks of organized team activities. Brady obviously was on first-string duty, with Brian Hoyer as the backup. Jarrett Stidham took over the No. 3 role from Etling.

It was inevitable Stidham, a 2019 fourth-round pick, eventually would pass Etling on the depth chart. The Patriots might as well get it out of the way as early as possible.

Here’s our full list of observations from Day 1 of minicamp:

Absentees: Safeties Patrick Chung and Nate Ebner, running backs Sony Michel and Nick Brossette, offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr.

— Returnees: Quarterback Tom Brady, defensive end Michael Bennett, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, punter Ryan Allen, long snapper Joe Cardona and offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn.

— Van Noy was limited and worked on a side field early in practice before taking part in team drills late. Wynn also was limited.

— Former Patriots wide receivers Troy Brown and Deion Branch assisted the coaching staff.

— Undrafted wide receiver and former Division II college cornerback Gunner Olszewski was the first player on the field.

— Running backs coach Ivan Fears beat Olszewski onto the practice field, however.

— During punt return drills, wide receiver N’Keal Harry, tight end Ben Watson and running back James White worked with quarterbacks Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer. Rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham had 1-on-1 time with assistant quarterbacks coach Mick Lombardi, while QB Danny Etling was on the punt team. Catching punts were wide receivers Braxton Berrios, Julian Edelman, Gunner Olszewski, Phillip Dorsett and Maurice Harris.

— Berrios had perhaps the best catch of practice, diving for a deep ball from Hoyer with rookie cornerback Joejuan Williams in coverage. He also caught a touchdown pass from Hoyer during 11-on-11s.

— Slot receivers Ryan Davis and Gunner Olszewski had some quality moments. Olszewski has soft hands for a college cornerback. Davis looked quick out of the slot. Olszewski did muff a punt, however.

— Tight end Ben Watson and running back James White dropped passes, and cornerbacks JC Jackson, Keion Crossen and Duke Dawson registered breakups. Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley intercepted Hoyer on a pass batted by Van Noy.

— I’ve been much more impressed with Maurice Harris than Dontrelle Inman after two practices of watching the veteran wide receivers. Harris made some nice grabs Tuesday in team drills.

— Brady was 12-of-15 in 11-on-11s and 21-of-27 overall. Hoyer was 5-of-9 with an interception in 11-on-11s and 11-of-17 with an INT overall. Stidham was 5-of-9 in 11-on-11s and 11-of-16 overall. Etling only worked in one 11-on-11 session and went 8-of-9.

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