Darrelle Revis gets flagged down by officials

Even Darrelle Revis might have a tough time adjusting to the NFL’s increased emphasis on calling defensive holding more closely.

The Patriots practiced Tuesday with real NFL officials for the first time this camp — the refs were in town to explain the new rules and points of emphasis to players, coaches, and media — and Revis couldn’t escape the wrath of the yellow flag.

Revis was flagged three times for defensive holding or illegal contact in the joint practice with the Eagles, all in coverage against receiver Jeremy Maclin. Revis also gave up a long touchdown to Maclin in 11-on-11 drills, and at times seemed to be practicing at half-speed.


Of course, Revis, wasn’t the only player flagged. Kyle Arrington was also busted for illegal contact, and the Eagles’ Brandon Boykin was flagged for a horse-collar tackle on Julian Edelman. Brandon Browner, who has the worst reputation on the Patriots as far as mugging receivers, surprisingly had a clean day.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The teams practiced for more than two hours on a beautiful afternoon in Foxborough, in front of 25,317 fans, the largest crowd ever to attend a Patriots training camp practice. The hitting wasn’t quite as intense as it was last week in Richmond, Va., but the Eagles and Patriots appeared to get in a lot of good work in the run game and on special teams, as well as in the two-minute offense.

The Eagles’ defense looks much improved from this time a year ago, when Tom Brady sliced up the secondary in a joint practice in Philadelphia.

With that, let’s get on with today’s practice report.


Physically unable to perform: WR Jeremy Gallon.


Non-football injury: OL Chris Martin.

Missing/not practicing: LB Jerod Mayo, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, DT Chris Jones, TE D.J. Williams, C Bryan Stork, DT Sealver Siliga, LB Ja’Gared Davis, LB Cameron Gordon, S Tavon Wilson, S Kanorris Davis, RB Tyler Gaffney.

Returned to practice: CB Brandon Browner, QB Ryan Mallett.

Non-contact: TE Rob Gronkowski, WR Aaron Dobson.


Full pads and full contact.



  In one-on-one WR/CB drills, Brandon LaFell had an excellent catch on a pass from Tom Brady, snatching it away from CB Curtis Marsh with his fingertips for a 20-yard gain.

  FB James Develin also made a really nice fingertip catch for a touchdown in 11-on-11 drills inside the red zone. The ball was thrown perfectly by Brady to a spot where only Develin could catch it.

  Also in 11-on-11 drills, WR Kenbrell Thompkins went up over CB Cary Williams and snatched the ball away on a deep flag route. Thompkins then held onto the football when he was shoved by Williams into the sideline.


  OL Dan Connolly: Injury to rookie Stork has given him the opportunity to get work at center, and he’s splitting reps with Ryan Wendell evenly as the two battle for a roster spot and the starting job.

  S Patrick Chung: Also getting a lot of work lately with the defense next to Devin McCourty thanks to Wilson’s minor injury, and might be able to sneak his way onto the roster.

  G Josh Kline: Second-year player continues to get a ton of work at right guard. Don’t be surprised if he’s the starting there, or at least the reason either Connolly or Wendell doesn’t make the team.


  CB Darrelle Revis: We’re not too worried about him, but this was the first time that he wasn’t dominant and gave up a few big plays.

  LB Dont’a Hightower: The Patriots will be in trouble if they are counting on him to cover running backs. He had absolutely no chance of sticking with LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. It wasn’t easy to watch.

  Stork: The longer he’s out — now two weeks and counting — the tougher it will be for him to make the team. A spot on injured reserve for his rookie season might be in his future.


Gronkowski took off the red non-contact jersey he wore Monday, but not because he was ready to go full Gronk mode. Just the opposite; Gronkowski was held out of all team drills and was mostly an observer. It’s highly doubtful we’ll see him in a preseason game, but he still hopes to be in the lineup for Week 1.


  First-round pick Dominique Easley participated in full practice for the first time, about 10 months after he tore his ACL at the University of Florida. Easley lost both of the OL/DL matchups we watched, but it’s a great sign that he’s out there participating in contact already. The Patriots hope he can be a rotational player and help improve the interior pass rush.

  Surprising not to see Mayo out at practice, and there was no word on his condition. Hightower, Jamie Collins, Rob Ninkovich, and Chandler Jones got a lot of work at linebacker when they went to a 3-4 front.

Speaking of Jones, it was fascinating to see him chase McCoy down the field on a wheel route in 11-on-11 drills. McCoy did beat Jones down the field, but the pass from Nick Foles was thrown too far. Jones has done a lot of coverage work this camp, mostly against tight ends.

  Browner doesn’t usually lose a size matchup against a receiver; at 6 feet 4 inches, he’s the NFL’s tallest cornerback. But he met his match in Eagles WR Ifeanyi Momah, a 6-7 receiver who plucked a jump ball out of the air over Browner for a touchdown in red-zone drills.

  S Cary Williams, who was ejected from practice last year after getting into a fight with the Patriots and who recently called the Patriots “cheaters,” had a fairly uneventful practice: no fights or jarring with any players. The Eagles secondary, with Williams, Boykin, and new safety Malcolm Jenkins, looks much improved from last year.

  WR Brian Tyms, who has impressed in his short time with the Patriots, actually got in some work with Brady, Edelman, and Danny Amendola in seven-on-seven drills. Tyms had worked almost exclusively with the backups before Tuesday.

  In OL/DL drills, Jones badly beat Eagles LT Lane Johnson around the edge.

  CB Malcolm Butler also got in some work with the defense in Browner’s place, and had a nice interception of Foles on a fade pass in the end zone in one-on-one drills. Butler is having a great camp and could snag one of the final roster spots.

  New Eagles QB Mark Sanchez looks great in a practice setting, showing really nice anticipation with his throws, particularly on a fade pass to Jeremy Maclin that went for a touchdown over Kyle Arrington.

  New TE Steve Maneri got a lot of work with the offense with Gronkowski on the sidelines, and even made a nice fingertip catch in team drills.


Wednesday: Joint practice with Eagles. (Closed to public.)

Thursday: No practice.

Friday: Exhibition game vs. Eagles at Gillette Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

Ben Volin

Ben Volin can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @BenVolin.