The New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins began their three-day practice session on Monday in Virginia ahead of their preseason contest Thursday at FedEx Field. A major takeaway following Day 1 was Tom Brady and the offense’s ability to move the football at will on Jay Gruden’s defense. Whether New England took to the air or ground, Washington had no answer. The twitter universe was exploding with nothing but high praise for what they were able to accomplish.
Receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman stood out in the session. Brady seemed to find them the most. Belichick implemented a hurry-up attack and Brady was surgical in making the ‘Skins defenders look like a junior-varsity squad. New England has run the hurry-up offense so well over the years and Monday was the same story. Brady completed 16-of-19 passes in 11-on-11 drills, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald.
The Patriots stamina outclassed that of the ‘Skins. Play after play Brady was able to connect with a variety of receivers, facing little resistance. Brandon LaFell was also was on the receiving end of a few balls, indicating he and Brady are beginning to build some chemistry. Veteran tight end D.J. Williams, along with rookies Justin Jones and Asa Watson, saw a great deal of reps with Rob Gronkowski sitting out of the practices.
Much of the attention in the New England backfield thus far this summer has been centered around rookie James White, and for good reason. He’s shown the ability to step in a variety of ways and Belichick has taken note of that, but it was Stevan Ridley stepping up Monday. Ridley ran hard, utilized his blocking and most importantly held onto the football. If Ridley can put his fumbling issues behind him, then he’ll certainly have a big season.