As we edge closer to the first preseason game this Thursday night, the time seemed right to take stock of what we’ve learned thus far, and pick out a few players who seem to have been pleasant surprises to this point in training camp.
WR Terrence Nunn – It seems every practice report we get, this kid has made another fantastic catch. He’s a fantastic story, having been out of football last season, going undrafted despite having been the second all-time leaving receiver in the history of Nebraska. He’s played his way into discussion for a roster spot, and while he might still face an uphill climb given the depth at the position, he seems to have assured himself of some type of NFL employment this season, be it on a roster here or somewhere else, or on a practice squad.
CB Jonathan Wilhite – The second year cornerback had Bill Belichick sending an unusual level of praise his way yesterday, as Belichick mentioned among other things, that Wilhite has “become a very dependable player for a young guy.” The Patriots head coach then added: “He’s quiet, but he definitely understands not only what we’re doing, but concepts and offenses and how they play. He’s got a good variety of skills and that’s always valuable when you can do different things with the same player. I think he does a lot of things well, and he’s gotten better, it seems like, every time he walks out on the field.” Depending on whether Shawn Springs is able to get on the field, Wilhite could find himself starting opposite Leigh Bodden in the Patriots secondary this season.
QB Tom Brady – The surprise for me isn’t what Brady is doing, it’s how he’s done it. As Mike Reiss noted Monday Brady has yet to take a single practice off this training camp. Most of the other Patriots veterans have been given sessions off, especially during two-a-days, Brady has been there for every single session as he works to return from his devastating knee injury. It’s a great sign that he’s been able to do what has thus far. I can only imagine what the comment section at Reiss’s Pieces is going to look like when Brady gets a practice off. I hope we get to see him play a series or two on Thursday night.
Honorable mention – Brandon Meriweather. How many interceptions does he have this preseason? One every day? Seems like it.