Here’s a recap of today’s day five – the first training camp practice in full pads:
First on the Field/Player Arrivals:
On time is early for cornerback Terrance Mitchell, who once again was the first Patriot on the field. Throwing on the pads didn’t slow him down one bit.
Running back Damien Harris was pumped to be in full gear as he entered the practice field, slapping his shoulder pads saying “first day with these on – let’s get to it!”
Mac get’s another warm welcome:
Here comes Mac Jones for the first day of full pads pic.twitter.com/QeHnLdjZmm
— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) August 1, 2022
Notes and Storylines:
I’ve been hard on the DB’s throughout camp and raved about QB Mac Jones – so naturally, Terrance Mitchell picked off the second year quarterback on the first play of 11-on-11’s. Go figure.
Mac finished 5/8 with an INT in 11’s, and went 5/6 in 7-on-7. Bailey Zappe went 5/9 in 11’s and 5/6 in 7’s. A solid bounceback day for the rookie QB – who is fighting for the backup job behind Jones. Brian Hoyer missed practice once again on Monday.
WR DeVante Parker continues to impress. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be the clear #1 target for Jones.
Speaking of Parker, he toasted CB Malcolm Butler several times during today’s practice. However, Butler had a strong bounce back, breaking up two throws on him during red zone drills.
With Butler being so hot-and-cold during camp, I’m extremely curious to see how the Patriots handle their roster construction with the DB’s. Especially since Jonathan Jones, Jabrill Peppers and Myles Bryant all returned to practice on Monday.
New offensive coach Matt Patricia raved about QB Mac Jones, saying that, “he really sees the game well for a young guy… He’s competitive and he just sees the game really well. He’s really intuitive and it’s great.” Patricia was asked about the plan for calling plays this season. He did not divulge who would do so, calling it a “team effort.” So there’s your offensive coaching staff update.
When asked about today being the first day in pads, linebackers coach Jerod Mayo reminisced on his own playing days. “I want to put the pads on,” he said. “I probably have five snaps in me.”
He’d help their room, that’s for sure.
WR DeVante Parker, who has been by far the most impressive new addition during camp, said that he’s working on “being more physical in certain situations.” Having the pads on will certainly help him do this. He’s made plenty of contested catches already.
Special teamer Matthew Slater opened up his availability with some remarks on Celtics legend Bill Russell who passed away on Sunday. “I think of what he did for black athletes, and I’m a beneficiary of actions from men and women like Bill Russell.”
Wrap-Up and Takeaways:
Though today’s practice was a slow pace, putting the pads in gives a much better look at where this team is at. Some takeaways:
- WR/RB Ty Montgomery continues to get reps at both positions. He’s going to make this team.
- Defensive back field got much needed help back off of the injured list today. Should help this defense immensely.
- Mac Jones gets the fans going and often times makes stunning plays – but he needs to be even more consistent in order to give this team a chance of doing something special.
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