Some Patriots news and notes on this Wednesday:
– There was some intensity down at Gillette Stadium during practice as the New England Patriots continued training camp on Tuesday. After a difficult few practices, the offense looked a little better on Day 11, which was highlighted by a better performance up front along with a little better execution. David Andrews set the tone after bringing together the team at the end of Monday’s session, and it was obvious that they came out with a renewed sense of purpose.
– While the execution was better, one thing that was notable was the fact things ran at a slower pace on Tuesday, although it still wasn’t perfect. Mac Jones had an early miscue that saw him have a pass deflected that ended up in the hands of Harvey Langi, but things, fortunately, settled down from there. Jones said after practice that he believes they’re making progress but just have to take care of some of the little things. “I think we’re close on a lot of things,” said Jones. “It’s just that two percent that we need to fix.”
– There was a notable absence on Tuesday as Isaiah Wynn didn’t take part during team drills. Wynn had also missed Monday’s session, with Justin Herron initially stepping in as Wynn was reportedly dressed but didn’t participate. Teammate Yodny Cajuste also got some reps and appears to have surpassed Herron, with Cajuste reportedly seeing most of the work on Tuesday.
– Jones said after practice that he has a lot of confidence in the guys up front, but they’re still trying to get things straightened out with the scheme, which has at times allowed players to come free. That’s an area Jones highlighted as an issue, which needs to be worked out. “A lot of it’s just figuring out the scheme and making sure that there’s no free guys,” explained Jones. “That’s the biggest thing for me: as long as there’s no one free, I should be able to make the throws, like any quarterback can. And I know my offensive line can do that. It’s just getting the communication down. It’s different than what we’ve done in the past, so, just figuring that out and trying to watch it together and all that. It is a little frustrating sometimes, but our offensive line – the actual players and coaches – are trying the best they can.”
– Things apparently got a little heated on Tuesday, with Andrews reportedly getting into an altercation with Christian Barmore, with the two locking up in what seemed to be an intense battle that saw both players have to be separated by teammates. However, it led to both being kicked out of practice, which obviously is a loss for both at this point in the week.
– Meanwhile, running back Pierre Strong Jr. has seen his number of reps increase in recent days, with the rookie seemingly making some good strides. Strong has looked quick and has done a good job of catching the ball out of the backfield, but so far one key area has been the fact he’s done a good job in blitz pickup, which as we know is important. That’s an area where J.J. Taylor has struggled, and that could give Strong an edge as he continues establishing himself in the offense.
– Both Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson have had strong camps so far, with each player looking strong physically as well as showing tremendous power and quickness running the football. With one full season under his belt, Stevenson heads into his second year looking confident and it’s hard not to feel like the Patriots will potentially have the most formidable duo of backs in the NFL. Their success in 2021 really helped Jones settle in, and if they build on last year’s production (the Patriots were 8th in the NFL in total rushing, with Harris ranking 2nd in the league in rushing touchdowns with 15), New England could end up being better collectively on offense than people think.
– Rookie defensive back Jack Jones continues to impress, with the first-year player breaking up a couple of passes while also doing a solid job in coverage. Both he and teammate Marcus Jones will be two intriguing players to watch Thursday night, as both have looked good so far and their success could potentially change the complexion of a secondary that came into this preseason with plenty of questions. Marcus has also been active in the return game, which will also be fun to watch considering the tremendous success he had in college in that role.
– Head coach Bill Belichick said on Tuesday that the success on one side of the ball has had moments where something was wrong on the other, which obviously remains an area of focus. “There’s good things and bad things on every play. So some of the good plays that we had on defense were really not good plays if something else would have happened on the play,” said Belichick. “Some of the bad plays we have on defense, a lot of times, everything is right but one thing and same thing on offense. Everything is good but one thing is wrong. So go back and fix that.”
– During his press conference, Belichick also had some positive comments on rookie Tyquan Thornton, who continues to impress. “Yeah he’s improved,” said Belichick. “Again, what we do is different than what he did in college. He’s picked things up. He’s smart. He’s picked things up well.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Bill Belichick Christian Barmore Damien Harris Harvey Langi Isaiah Wynn Jack Jones Justin Herron Mac Jones Marcus Jones Pierre Strong Jr. Rhamondre Stevenson Tyquan Thornton Yodny Cajuste