New England Patriots

Who says the Patriots don’t do anything fun? Bill Belichick got a little goofy at the end of the Patriots’ Thursday training camp practice, flipping the script on both the offense and defense for a couple of plays. It wasn’t the first time the Patriots have done this, but along with Isaiah Wynn fielding a punt to award the team with two nights off, it was at least a sign that Belichick is willing to let loose a little bit at practice.

Tom Brady roamed the field as a middle linebacker, with Duron Harmon and Patrick Chung splitting snaps at quarterback. Chris Hogan swatted away a pass attempt as a defensive back. Up was down. Cats and dogs lived together.

When speaking to reporters after practice, Patriots safety Devin McCourty had the funniest possible assessment of the plays. He questioned the fairness of the “defense” going against him, but also held himself accountable for the pitiful performance of the “offense”.

“We need a lot of practice,” McCourty said. “We need a little bit more rules. There was no running game. I don’t know, you guys were kind of far, but I mean, we dropped like nine into coverage and rushed two. They had a little bit of an advantage because they rushed Trent [Brown] so that’s like rushing three. It’s tough for us on offense, but hopefully we do it again and we get another shot at those guys.”

Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN: New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty is interviewed during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Jan 29, 2018; St. Paul, MN: New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty is interviewed during Super Bowl LII Opening Night at Xcel Energy Center. (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

“I Read That Play The Whole Way”

Hogan sounded pretty proud of himself for his pass breakup with his own tongue-in-cheek comments.

“I don’t think a lot of people know this, but I played corner in college [at Monmouth University],” Hogan said. “So I was firmly comfortable in the red zone there. I read that play the whole way.”

It’s true. Hogan played both receiver and corner in all 11 games during his only collegiate football season with the Monmouth University Nighthawks, including eight starts on defense. He totaled 12 catches for 147 yards and three touchdowns, and 28 total tackles, six passes defensed, and three interceptions.

If Belichick is in a real bind on defense, he knows where to look. But ideally, he doesn’t have to trot Brady out there at linebacker again. All in all, a bit of fun to close what was a pretty intense practice on an oppressively hot day in Foxboro.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.