It looked like it was going to be another day dominated by the defense when Tom Brady took matters into his own hands. Shocker, right? Brady completed his final seven passes of the day, capping it with a deep touchdown to Phillip Dorsett.
Here are some observations from Day 7 of training camp:
■ Tight end Lance Kendricks, who left Wednesday’s practice early for an undisclosed reason, was the only active player not spotted.
■ Receiver Julian Edelman (NFI), safety Nate Ebner (PUP), and cornerback Ken Webster (PUP) all were present but didn’t participate outside of stretching and did the majority of their work on the conditioning field.
■ For the second straight day, running back Rex Burkhead, in full pads, retreated to the conditioning field after jogging and stretching.
DRESS CODE: Full pads.
CALL TO ARMS
Brady’s sizzling finish (6 of 6 during a full-time, no-huddle drill) erased most of the memories of the early struggles. His last pass was a picture-perfect dime in the corner of the end zone that Dorsett soared over Jason McCourty to snag. Brady finished 14 of 19 in full-team work . . . Jarrett Stidham was just 3 of 4 but had a nice three-snap sequence midway through. The rookie completed passes to Jakobi Meyers (who jumped over Patrick Chung and Keion Crossen to tip the ball to himself for a TD — the play of the summer so far) and then N’Keal Harry, who made a diving stab for a TD. Meyers actually made another nifty catch on the third throw but got only one foot inbounds . . . Brian Hoyer went 4 of 5, including the first catch by Dontrelle Inman during team drills this camp.
Meyers was sensational. In addition to his above-mentioned catches, he also made another leaping grab over Jason McCourty on a pass from Tom Brady. The undrafted rookie has been smooth as silk and beat J.C. Jackson twice during one-on-one drills . . . Nice bounce-back day for Harry. He had that diving scoring strike from Brady but also had a nice diving catch on a Hoyer rollout and followed that up with a deep TD pass from Hoyer . . . Harry beat the coverage of fellow rookie Joejuan Williams and raised his arm in celebration after the catch.
Rough day for Crossen, who had outside coverage on that three-play sequence in which Stidham targeted Meyers, Harry, and Meyers . . . Jackson had a breakup on a Brady pass to Damoun Patterson during one-on-ones and also hung with Meyers all the way down the field . . . Stephon Gilmore has not allowed a catch during competitive play this summer.
THE ETLING EXPERIMENT
Danny Etling worked his way around the field as always, doing some throwing and catching. He appears to be getting crisper with his cuts during receiving drills. As always, he was the last player off the field and made the day of some diehard fans by signing a few autographs well after his mates had headed for the showers and ice tubs.
ODDS AND ENDS
■ The offense’s strong finish was perhaps sparked by an ugly sequence in which three penalty laps were run. First, right guard Shaq Mason had to go for a run after a false start. On the next play, Marcus Cannon jumped, which meant the whole offense had to run the lap (and credit to coach Dante Scarnecchia for finishing second). After Bill Belichick addressed the troops, Brady and Sony Michel mangled a handoff leading to a fumble and, yes, another full-team lap.
■ Edelman, who is on NFI and had finished his conditioning work, joined his teammates and coaches for the lap.
■ The defense played offense and the offense played defense late in practice. Gilmore played quarterback and had one of those Wildcat-like drop handoff/passes to Jonathan Jones for a score.
■ The defense had a terrific goal line stand in which Danny Shelton, David Parry, and Lawrence Guy prevented rushing touchdowns by shooting gaps.
■ There were some excellent trench battles during the one-on-one pass-rush drills. Byron Cowart blew past fellow rookie Hjalte Froholdt and David Andrews pancaked Mike Pennell. Deatrich Wise Jr. put Dan Skipper on his back with a late surge. When both players got up, there was a split-second stare-down before Wise gave Skipper a big hug.
■ Brady pulled the quarterback sneak, arriving to practice via the lower-field entrance and catching the crowd off-guard. The fans finally spotted him and gave him his usual ovation.
■ Michel was easy to spot in powder-blue-and-white cleats.
■ It took seven practices, but a Tim Tebow No. 5 jersey was finally spotted.
■ Robert Kraft took in part of practice and spent some time with some fans.
■ Etling caught a nice middle cross pass from Stidham.
■ Jakob Johnson made a nice sliding catch on a pass from Stidham before popping up and darting down the field.
■ Defensive end Trent Harris (remember that name) was giving offensive lineman Martez Ivey some extra work during pass-rush one-on-ones.
■ Brady again worked on deep throws with Maurice Harris as his receiver and Gilmore acting as a defender but not really challenging the catch.
Friday: Practice, 9:45 a.m.
Saturday: No practice.
Sunday: No practice; team travels to Detroit.
Monday-Wednesday: Joint practices with Lions.