FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots’ 2014 offseason is almost complete, with Thursday’s minicamp session serving as the final practice before the team breaks for five weeks in advance of training camp at the end of July.
The offseason program is just about complete, after 10 weeks of workouts, non-contact practices, and rehab work for the injured players, and Bill Belichick is pleased with how his team has come together.
“Overall the players have worked hard,” he said after Wednesday’s practice. “In relatively good condition, and they’ve worked hard this year.”
But before they can break for summer, the Patriots still have to finish their mandatory minicamp. Some observations from Wednesday’s session, which was open to the media and a select group of ticket holders:
NOT IN ATTENDANCE
■ WR Aaron Dobson (foot), CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), DE Dominique Easley (knee), WR Wilson Van Hooser (unknown), DT Armond Armstead (unknown), DT Marcus Forston (unknown).
LIMITED IN PRACTICE
■ CB Darrelle Revis (unknown), QB Ryan Mallett (unknown), WR Matthew Slater (unknown), TE Rob Gronkowski (knee), LG Logan Mankins (unknown), LB Deontae Skinner (unknown), DB Justin Green (unknown), TE D.J. Williams (unknown), WR Josh Boyce (unknown).
■ Inconsistent day for QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who ripped some beautiful throws to TE Justin Jones over the middle and had a great corner fade to RB James Develin over double coverage for a touchdown, but was also picked off twice by DB Daxton Swanson. When Garoppolo has a clean pocket, he makes some gorgeous throws. But if he has to hesitate in the pocket, the pass is almost always incomplete.
■ Revis was present at the beginning of practice but nowhere to be found at the end. It is unclear whether he was working with the rehab group or whether he tweaked an injury during practice. Logan Ryan took Revis’s spot opposite CB Brandon Browner in the defense.
■ New LB James Anderson got some work with Jerod Mayo and Donta Hightower in the defense, while LB Jamie Collins was in the offensive huddle on goal line plays during one drill. Collins played quarterback in high school and might be the Patriots’ best pure athlete.
■ Browner got beat twice in the end zone — one time by WR Josh Boyce on a goal line throw from Tom Brady and once in the corner by WR Kenbrell Thompkins, who did an incredible job leaping and making the catch over the 6-foot-4-inch Browner. Browner also dropped an interception in the end zone.
■ Jon Halapio got a little work with the starting offensive line at Mankins’s left guard spot, while second-year player Josh Kline continued to get most of the work in Mankins’s place.
■ Brady threw a beautiful corner post to WR Julian Edelman for a touchdown over S Duron Harmon, and connected a couple times with WR Danny Amendola in 11-on-11 drills, including one for a touchdown. His best throw-and-catch may have been a diving play by TE Michael Hoomanawanui down the right seam in team drills, with Mayo in coverage. Brady also worked with the rookies and second-teamers during one of the 11-on-11 drills.
■ Thompkins looked great. In addition to his touchdown over Browner, he also had an awesome back-shoulder catch in the two-minute drill at the end, earning daps from Brady and other teammates. Thompkins, listed last year at 195 pounds, looks as though he has added 5-10 pounds of muscle to his frame.
■ K Stephen Gostkowski attempted several 64-yard field goals toward the end of practice, and connected on at least one.
PLAY OF THE DAY
■ Rookie WR Reese Wiggins beat double coverage and made a phenomenal diving catch on a deep ball from Garoppolo for a 45-yard gain.Ben Volin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin