FOXBOROUGH — Brian Tyms is always one of most noticeable guys on the field at Patriots practice. And it's not just because he has the best-looking outfits — his red tights and matching cleats were one of training camp's best ensembles.
It's also because the effervescent third-year receiver makes at least a couple of standout plays every session. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski elicit the majority of the ooohs and aaahs, but it's Tyms who invariably makes a play out of nowhere.
Whether he is using a quick shimmy to shake a defender, his impressive speed and body control down the sideline, or his sure hands, Tyms is almost always in position to make a play for his quarterback.
He's eager to take those highlight plays from the practice field to the game field.
"I want to be great at this,'' said Tyms. "I put a lot of heart, a lot of desire, a lot of passion into this.''
After a nomadic beginning to his NFL career — Tyms was originally signed by the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2012, and spent time bouncing around the Dolphins and Browns rosters — the 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pounder would like nothing more than to make New England, where he first signed in 2014, a more permanent home.
To make that happen, he will have to beat out the likes of Brandon Gibson, Chris Harper, Zach D'Orazio, Jonathan Krause, Aaron Dobson, and Josh Boyce to get into the permanent rotation with Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, and Danny Amendola.
With Edelman banged up and LaFell still on the physically unable to perform list, several receivers could stick around longer than anticipated.
"As an NFL player, you have to take advantage of all opportunities,'' said Tyms. "Whether somebody is down or not, any opportunity out there is a chance to get better.''
Tyms hit a minor speed bump early in camp, suffering a reported shoulder injury during a blocking drill. After missing time and then donning a red noncontact jersey (which coordinated well with his outfit most days), Tyms is back practicing at full speed.
His experience may give him an edge on some of the newer guys, but complacency is not on his agenda.
"I know the system,'' said Tyms. "My whole football IQ has gotten better, but every day I learn something new. I know a lot. But I don't know a lot.''
Tyms, who made his NFL debut in 2013 when he played in seven games with the Browns (two catches, 12 yards), made a big splash upon first arriving in New England.
Flashing his patented speed, Tyms caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Brady for his first reception against the Bills Oct. 12.
Though he finished with just five receptions in 12 games last season, Tyms was a valuable special teams contributor, playing a gunner role on punt coverage.
"[I want to] do my 1 of 11,'' said Tyms. "Do what I'm supposed to do when I'm out there, whenever I get the call.''
Ryan Groy made quite a first impression with the Patriots — but it's one he'd rather forget.
The second-year offensive lineman got into a scrum with rookie defensive tackle Malcom Brown during Saturday's practice, leading both to be banished from the workout by coach Bill Belichick.
"It wasn't great,'' said Groy, who was acquired from the Bears last week in exchange for rookie linebacker Matthew Wells. "I now know you can't do that. [In Chicago, it was] just go to the next play. I know now it shouldn't have happened. I let it get the best of me and we moved on. It's how it goes.''
The massive (6-5, 320) product of Wisconsin — where he blocked for current teammate James White — is trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible, saying the New England offense didn't "freak me out, but the terminology is totally different.''
Groy, who started Chicago's final three games at left guard last season, has experience playing all three interior positions. He has leaned on veterans Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer the first few days.
"I think I've got it down now,'' he said. "I talked a lot to those guys off the field. I haven't played too much next to them on the field. They're very smart guys, very helpful guys."
Belichick said experience and roster depth were the reasons the team acquired Groy.
"We'll put him in competition with the other players that we have there,'' said the coach. "In the end, we kind of felt he would give us a little more competition and was better able to compete at his position than the player we traded.''
Jackson carted off
Rookie guard Tre' Jackson left practice early on a cart after being attended to by several trainers for some time. It didn't appear that Jackson was hurt during contact drills, so it may have been a heat issue . . . Fellow rookie offensive lineman David Andrews, who has split time at center and guard, left just a tad before his teammates with no shoulder pads or helmet and appeared pretty steamy . . . Linebacker Dont'a Hightower (offseason shoulder surgery) shed his noncontact jersey for the first time . . . Devin McCourty continued to work at various positions. He's been a Pro Bowler at cornerback and safety . . . Edelman was spotted at the beginning of practice (and also on Sunday night's episode of "Ballers") but was among a group that retreated to the conditioning field after sprints . . . Tight end Scott Chandler, receiver Dobson, offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann, and running back Travaris Cadet also spent the majority of their time on the lower field.
Don’t mention it
Edelman said Deflategate has not been a distraction to the Patriots. "We don't really talk about it at all, we're focused on trying to get better and take advantage of this training camp to make our unit a cohesive unit,'' he said during an appearance on WEEI . . . Former Rutgers and Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano took in practice from the sideline. There are four Scarlet Knights on the Patriots: McCourty, Jonathan Freeny, Duron Harmon, and Logan Ryan.
Globe correspondent Anthony Gulizia contributed to this report. Jim McBride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org