It was a Migos kind of day at Patriots training camp Thursday, with “Picasso,” “Modern Day,” and “Avalanche” pumping through the speakers during warmups. The former was a most appropriate selection, as it was a picture-perfect day weather-wise, with plenty of sun and no humidity.
Not participating: QB Jarrett Stidham (PUP); TEs Devin Asiasi (COVID-19 reserve list) and Dalton Keene (PUP); RB Rhamondre Stevenson (NFI); DT Byron Cowart (PUP); LBs Brandon King (PUP), Terez Hall (PUP), Cameron McGrone (NFI), and Anfernee Jennings; CB Stephon Gilmore (PUP); and safety Joshuah Bledsoe (NFI).
The only addition was QB Jake Dolegala.
Gilmore, who is rehabbing a partially torn quadriceps, was spotted leading a group of players working on the lower field.
Rookies Stevenson and Bledsoe watched part of practice in sweats.
DRESS CODE: Helmets and sweats. Many players opted for the cutoff game pants (well, let’s call them game shorts). Players can wear shells (soft pads) for the first time Friday.
CATCH OF THE DAY
Tight end Troy Fumagalli (which sounds like a possible menu special at Giacomo’s in the North End) figures to be battling for a roster spot all summer, and on this day, he was a real fighter and a popular target. He caught all five passes thrown his way and found the end zone twice during full-team drills, on throws from Brian Hoyer and Mac Jones.
▪ Brandon Bolden’s fingertip catch on the sideline from Cam Newton was top-notch — and probably Newton’s best throw of the day.
▪ Newton scored on a scramble and flipped the ball to a fan, getting big crowd reaction. That was a Newton staple in Carolina, but he wasn’t able to continue it at Gillette last season because of the pandemic.
▪ Hoyer recovered quickly from a bad snap and fired a bullet to a diving Devin Ross that also elicited a big crowd reaction.
ODDS AND ENDS
▪ Trent Brown and Lawrence Guy had a nice little shadow dance as Brown gracefully attempted to keep Guy away from Newton’s pocket without actually getting physical. They gave each other a low-key low-five when it was over.
▪ Mike Onwenu (false start), Deatrich Wise and Davon Godchaux (offside on the same play), and Gunner Olszewski (muffed punt) ran penalty laps. To be fair, the ball Olszewski dropped was one of Jake Bailey’s skyscraper jobs that was twisting in the wind for what seemed like a minute.
▪ Speaking of big legs, rookie kicker Quinn Nordin scared the life out of those in the media and family and friends tents with some of his blasts. Matthew Slater was not exaggerating when he said this kid has a cannon.
▪ Olszewski and others returning punts had to deal with Troy Brown firing pads in their direction as they waited for the ball. It’s a technique designed to sharpen concentration.
▪ Jakobi Meyers dropped a well-placed Newton laser in the back of the end zone.
▪ It’s been only two days, but Sony Michel looks a lot more comfortable catching the ball than he has in the past.
▪ Another nice day for Adrian Phillips, who had a breakup on a Newton pass headed toward Hunter Henry.
▪ Harvey Langi is in the linebacker mix and had a nice day, with a “sack” and a pass breakup on consecutive plays.
▪ Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Matt Patricia had an early chat with Tedy Bruschi after the Patriots great stirred the crowd with one of his “aww, yeah!” chants.