The Patriots held their final practice before Thursday’s preseason game on Tuesday afternoon. Prior to practice, Bill Belichick said it was a day the team could use to begin the transition to game preparation, most of which will take place on Wednesday. Tom Brady was absent from practice, which forced Jimmy Garoppolo and newcomer Ryan Lindley to take all of the reps.
Unfortunately for the two quarterbacks, it was the worst offensive practice of camp. There were numerous dropped passes and missed connections in the passing game. Some dysfunction is expected with Lindley being on the team for less than two days, but today’s troubles were beyond expected. The weather was rainy and slippery, which was a factor.
Darryl Roberts was the best player on the practice field for the defense. He had at least four pass break ups and had tight coverage on nearly every snap. One of his break-ups was a deflection that landed in the arms of Tavon Wilson for an interception. Fellow rookies Trey Flowers and Malcom Brown also had some impressive moments including when the two of them teamed up for pressure on Garoppolo to force a quick throw.
Overall, it was a sloppy practice both weather and football wise. The defense, led by Roberts, made some impressive plays but the offense got in it’s own way too often. Following Thursday’s game, the Patriots will hold their final “open to the public” practice on Saturday.