RICHMOND, Va. — It was a star driven affair for the Patriots in their first joint practice with Washington Monday morning.
Tom Brady and Robert Griffin III, both lions in their own right, had impressive showings for a packed crowd at Bon Secours Training Center in Richmond, Va., earning an inordinate amount of cheers from the crowd of ...
But it wasn't just Brady and Griffin III that shined, backup Ryan Mallett appeared to have his best outing during Patriots training camp. The fourth-year quarterback out of Arkansas and Texarkana, Texas hit the sweet spot a number of times in 11-on-11s versus Washington's first- and second-team defense. He went 6 of 9 in drills and showed a sense of command in the offense that hadn't yet been visible to outsiders. Despite an early interception in 7-on-7s, he was one of Monday's exceptional Patriots in practice. And there were plenty others.
Here are the notes:
— Attendance: WR Aaron Dobson (foot, PUP), DB Jemea Thomas (unknown), RB Tyler Gaffney, RB Brandon Bolden (unknown), TE Michael Hoomanawanui (unknown), C Bryan Stork (unknown), OL Chris Martin (unknown, NFI), DL Dominique Easley (knee, NFI), WR Jeremey Gallon (unknown), and TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) were all missing from practice. It was the first time Gronkowski and Bolden had missed a practice. The Boston Herald reports that Gronkowski did not make the trip to Richmond with the team.
— Defensive back Daxton Swanson returned to practice for the first time since the beginning of training camp. He had shown flashes of ability at safety before the team donned the pads.
— WR Matthew Slater, CB Alfonzo Dennard, LB Deontae Skinner, and LB James Morris did not participate in any of the team drills, instead working off to the side by themselves.
— Unlike last season's joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there were no Washington players that stumbled into Brady to cause a ruckus. The Patriots team leader wore his game-day knee brace and heavily taped ankles in the training camp practice. It was an obvious precaution to undertake.
— Drops: Asa Watson, Brandon LaFell, Brian Tyms, Wilson Van Hooser.
— Interceptions: Washington's Bacarri Rambo (off Ryan Mallett).
— O-line vs. D-line results: I was only able to capture the results of the Patriots' defensive line going against Washington's offensive line. Dont'a Hightower showed up for one rep as well. Washington had the upper hand though, manhandling the Patriots, who went 8-24 in those 1-on-1 reps.
— D-line results: Tommy Kelly 1-1, Vince Wilfork 0-3, Chris Jones 1-2, Chandler Jones 2-2, Zach Moore, 1-4, Joe Vellano 0-2, Sealver Siliga 2-1, Will Smith 0-3, Marcus Forston 0-2, Eathyn Manumaleuna 1-2, L.T. Tuipulotu 0-1, Dont’a Hightower 0-1.
— One of the bright spots for the defensive line was Sealver Siliga. It's clear he's strong, gets leverage, and he has a quick initial burst. He's looking real good right now.
— Zach Moore, who continues to struggle, was 0-for-3 in 1-on-1s until he pulled off a nifty spin move to beat his opponent. He's still a project for the Patriots, but he's slowly coming around. What's more, when they moved him from the left to the right side of the defensive line, he seemed to wake up.
— Tom Brady was 11 of 14 in 11-on-11s. His favorite target was none other than Julian Edelman, who he found on three straight passes.
— Ryan Mallett was 6 of 9 in 11-on-11 drills. He was out there making Brian Tyms and Wilson Van Hooser look good.
— Jimmy Garoppolo was 1 of 4 in 11-on-11s. He didn't get any reps until there was 10 minutes left in the practice. He wasn't helped by a Van Hooser drop and was almost picked off targeting Asa Watson across the middle. But Justin Jones saved him on his last rep, reaching back on a crossing route for a one-handed grab.
— Patriots coach Bill Belichick took an extra bit of time with Garoppolo’s group in run throughs, slowing down the action to help his rookie quarterback work on his progression before speeding it up again.
— Kyle Arrington got pretty feisty with Washington's Andre Roberts during one rep in 11-on-11s. The two were jawing at each other afterward before Washington's DeSean Jackson seemed to talk to Arrington about it on the sideline.
— Tom Brady found himself chatting it up with an old friend and teammate for a moment on the shared sidelines as well. Brandon Meriweather went in for quick hello and dap after Brady connected on his third straight pass to Edelman.
— The running backs appeared to take a back seat as the quarterbacks got the lion's share of the work. But James White and Shane Vereen appeared to take the lead in reps during team drills.
— RG3 went 5 of 7 in 11-on-11s. He took what can be considered two sacks, both by Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower. His favorite target was Pierre Garçon.
— Garçon happened to catch a pass while being defended by Darrelle Revis. So just so we're clear, Revis is not totally infallible.