Football is back… Sort of as the first members of the 2017 New England Patriots take the field for the first time. Prime Time Sports Talk has some observations from the start of this year’s offseason activities.
Brandin Cooks Better Than Advertised
Cooks has in short been great. The wide receiver has been one of Tom Brady’s most trusted targets on the field going up against the de-facto number one cornerback Malcolm Butler as well as making highlight catches in a rainy practice last Thursday.
Cooks’ fellow wide receiver Julian Edelman had nothing but nice things to say about his new teammate to WEEI even making a few nods to some of the new rookies in the film room.
“He works hard and he’s extremely fast. It’s not just Brandin [Cooks], but it’s our whole room,” Edelman said. “We’ve got Hogs [Chris Hogan], Dola [Danny Amendola], Hawk [Andrew Hawkins] now, we’ve got Dev [Devin Lucien], Slate [Matthew Slater], Cody [Hollister], AC [Austin Carr], so you know we’ve got a competitive group in there. [It’s a] very smart room and as long as we continue to improve daily, usually that’s what makes the unit better.”
Cyrus Jones is Still Struggling… Badly
On the subject of rookies and newcomers. Cornerback Cyrus Jones, once considered the best return man in the country at the University of Alabama, hasn’t gotten over his woes on special teams.
According to WEEI last Thursday, Jones exhibited horrible return technique and difficulty fielding the ball.
” Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Cyrus Jones and David Jones all saw action returning punts. Cyrus Jones had issues once again, as he dropped a few of them and had others where he couldn’t find the ball. Obviously, the conditions were not ideal, but other players were dealing with them too with no issues.”
the Patriots invested a lot in Jones’ drafting him in the second round of last year’s draft. But with his inability to do his job, he more than likely will have to find work elsewhere this coming season.
The “Gronk” at Full Strength
Fans should be all smiles as tight end Rob Gronkowski was seen on the field and has received no limitations whatsoever and seems to be back to form.
“Rob Gronkowski was a full participant, including making one of the better catches of the day on a pass thrown by Brady. Although OTAs are non-contact, it’s a good sign that he’s participating after back surgery cut his season short last year.”
A healthy Gronkowski can go a long way this season for an offensive filled with options on offense.
Stay tuned for more updates and observations about Patriots OTA’s, Mini Camp, and Training Camp the Summer proceeds.