Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

In First Patriots Training Camp Practice, James White Shows He Can Do a Little Bit of Everything

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Rookie running back James White took reps all over the field when the Patriots opened training camp Thursday. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

There wasn’t any tackling when the New England Patriots opened training camp on Thursday morning. But James White tackled the opportunities he was given during the shorts and shells practice.

As a fourth-round draft choice out of Wisconsin’s rushing committee, White knows that it’s about finding a role within those opportunities. For him, it’s about finding a way to get on the field among the likes of running backs Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, Jonas Gray, Stephen Houston and Roy Finch.

The 5’10”, 205-pound rookie made strides towards doing so on day one of practice. (more…)


Observations from the Opening Day of Patriots Training Camp

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The 2014 Patriots kicked off training camp behind Gillette Stadium on Thursday morning. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots kicked off training camp Thursday morning, as sunny skies and humidity gave way to dark clouds and light showers by noon. But over the course of the three-hour practice, observations came to light.

They did, even if the Patriots weren’t in football pads. (more…)


Five Areas to Monitor as Patriots Training Camp Opens July 24

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

There will be upwards of 90 players to watch for once the Patriots hit the practice fields for training camp on Thursday. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The final mandatory minicamp session concluded five weeks ago. Six have been signed, five have been released, and one has retired since then. But the roster transactions, as well as the football activities, are about to accelerate once again.

Summer vacation is now over for the New England Patriots.

The rookies headed back to school at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and the veterans joined them on Wednesday. And by 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, both the underclassmen and the upperclassmen will have their helmets in hand as they file onto the practice fields for the start of training camp.

Undrafted linebacker-turned-safety Kanorris Davis was the first one out there last year. With 36 new players and 90 altogether, though, it remains to be seen who it will be this year.

A lot remains to be seen.

Here are five things to keep an eye on once the Patriots open camp on July 24. (more…)


New England Patriots Mailbag: Pre-Training Camp Edition

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Second-year defensive tackle Chris Jones is entering his first training camp as a member of the New England Patriots. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The rookies report on July 20. The veterans arrive on July 23. And at 9:15 a.m. on July 24, the two sides of the New England Patriots spectrum will meet on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium for training camp.

NEPatriotsDraft.com will be there to provide coverage of the first week as it unfolds. Yet until then, as the final days of the Patriots’ 2014 summer unfold, there are some things left to cover in this July 18 mailbag. (more…)


Year of Growth: Revisiting the Rookie Seasons of Patriots Wideouts Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins made key contributions as Patriots rookies. And, in a sense, those contributions linked the wideouts together. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

One was a 21-year-old second-round pick out of Marshall, the other was a 24-year-old undrafted journeyman by way of Cincinnati and El Camino College. But while Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins traveled far different roads to Foxborough in April of 2013, their impact as New England Patriots rookies eventually merged them to the same one.

Early on, though, they appeared to be at different stages of development.

Dobson was on the field in the fourth quarter of preseason games, acclimating to the offense with players on the fringe of the 90-man roster. Thompkins, on the other hand, was on the sidelines after building chemistry with the first unit and quarterback Tom Brady.

Those initial glimpses weren’t solely rooted in talent, however. It was clear that Dobson’s ceiling was a high one, only the Conference USA product required a higher volume of in-game reps to reach it. His route tree with the Thundering Herd wasn’t the most assorted one. And Thompkins already had experience running an array of patterns versus future NFL cornerbacks in a basic yet rapid Bearcats hurry-up offense.

Still, both Dobson and Thompkins flashed promise during the summer’s four exhibition contests. The two wideouts had similar production by the end of August; Dobson netted 11 catches for 150 yards over his four games and two starts, while Thompkins netted 15 catches for 166 yards over his four games and three starts.

Even so, it was apparent that they were different players. It was apparent that they won in different ways. (more…)


Nine Glimpses: Josh Boyce’s Rookie Season in Patriots Offense

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Josh Boyce’s rookie season with the Patriots was one of glimpses. And in the offensive huddle, there were nine. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Nine.

It’s the number of games Josh Boyce played in during his rookie season. It’s the number of kickoffs he returned on special teams. And it’s the number of passes he caught in the New England Patriots offense.

It’s a number the former fourth-round pick is looking to multiply in 2014.

For Boyce, 2013 was a year that came to an end just as it got started. The Texas Christian standout landed on injured reserve in Week 17, after having tallied eight of his receptions over a three-game span in the final months of the campaign.

There were moments where he flashed, where he was able to make use of his 4.38-second 40-yard dash speed in the open field, where his 2,535 receiving yards and 22 touchdown grabs during his Horned Frogs career came to light.

Those moments were only that, however. No. 82 was an inactive for seven contests. He logged just 182 offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He was targeted 19 times. But, those moments, they were there. (more…)


Beyond the Numbers: The Rise of Patriots Safety Devin McCourty

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Once a first-round cornerback, Devin McCourty has emerged as a first-tier NFL safety. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The initial decision was made on a Thursday evening in April of 2010.

After trading back twice in the first round of the NFL draft, the New England Patriots found themselves on the clock with pick 27 overall. And Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty found himself waiting for a call.

McCourty carried what the organization was looking for – 52 games of collegiate experience, six career interceptions, 33 career pass deflections, seven blocked punts and kicks, a 4.48-second 40-yard dash and a 6.70-second three-cone drill. Yet the lean, 5’11”, 193-pounder carried other traits as well.

Traits not as easily quantified. (more…)







  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives