By: Jake Mackey
At about 1:15 p.m on Tuesday Patriots fans learned via team beat reporters who was and was not at mandatory mini camp. The absent list was large for sure and it included names such as Julian Edelman, Logan Ryan, Dion Lewis, and Danny Amendola.
Of course, the one name on that list that stands out the most is Rob Gronkowski. Of course he is the only name that people would expect a hold out from given his history and his agent. Given the timing of this tweet, the Felger and Mazz program took off and running with Gronk not being there. “Mike he’s holding out he doesn’t care about what Belichick thinks”. However, minutes after the shows started Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald put these Gronk hold outs to bed.
If Bill Belichick could he would physically wrap Rob Gronkowski in bubble wrap and keep him that way until opening night in Arizona. At training camp practices Gronk does not usually participate heavily in 11 on 11 drills, and he also never plays in preseason games. I would not be surprised if Gronk did not participate at all throughout these three mini camp sessions.
Other side notes from mini camp:
It appears as though Tom Brady still is taking the majority of reps with the first team, which does not go along with my blog from earlier in which I preached for Jimmy Garoppolo to get the majority of snaps.
Is this a sign of solidarity from the team showing even more that they fully back their quarterback? Who knows, it seems like an odd move by Belichick given the fact that the odds are heavily against Tom Brady.
Malcolm Butler also said that he missed practice a few weeks back because of a family issue. He was one of the few starters that was in attendance and he spoke with the media. When asked about whether or not he feels that he is deserving of a new contract, he declined to comment.
Lastly, this seems like an interesting development to keep an eye on with rookie punt returner Cyrus Jones likely to be the starter come week one.
Troy Brown is arguably the best returner in franchise history, and is by far the most versatile. It certainly is not a bad sign that he may be mentoring Cyrus Jones, who like Troy has played wide receiver, nickel back, and is also a return man. Maybe Troy is starting to get that itch to be back in the football environment after being retired for almost eight years. It would be very unlike most former Patriots who opt to coach for other franchises, instead of working for Belichick.