FOXBORO, Mass. — Someone alert Lane Johnson: The New England Patriots had fun Tuesday.
The Patriots opened practice with a loose football “drill.” Rookies (and first-year coaches including Jerod Mayo and Troy Brown) dove for loose footballs while quarterback Tom Brady sprayed them down with a hose. Needless to say, there were a lot of laughs among the veteran players. If a player or coach failed to corral the ball, they had to do it again.
Hopefully, for Chase Winovich’s sake, that’s it for rookie hazing. The Patriots rookie linebacker wants to keep his long blonde locks.
Here’s everything else we saw at practice:
— The Patriots were in helmets, shorts and jerseys with no pads. This was the final open training camp practice at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots leave for Tennessee on Tuesday for joint practices with the Titans on Wednesday and Thursday before the teams’ preseason game Saturday.
— New England’s projected left tackle Isaiah Wynn increased his workload Monday. Don’t be surprised if he makes his preseason debut Saturday. He rotated at the top left tackle job with Dan Skipper during Tuesday’s walk-through sessions.
— Edge defender Shilique Calhoun keeps taking first-team reps.
— Wide receiver N’Keal Harry, offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste (non-football injury) and tight end Matt LaCosse (ankle) weren’t spotted at practice. The Patriots waived quarterback/wide receiver Danny Etling to make room for new tight end Eric Saubert, who was in attendance.
— Saubert isn’t known for having the best hands, but he had no problem catching the ball for most of Tuesday’s walk-through speed practices and even caught a touchdown pass from Brady. The last pass of practice, while high, did clang off Saubert’s fingertips.
— Fullback Andrew Beck and wide receiver Ryan Davis did drop passes.
— Wide receivers Julian Edelman (NFI), Demaryius Thomas (physically unable to perform) and Cameron Meredith (PUP) were present but not in uniform. They worked on a side field to do conditioning work. Tight end Stephen Anderson was limited and also worked on a side field.