Some news and notes for this morning:
Belichick ‘Big Day’ on Tuesday:
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media for the second time in two weeks on Tuesday as reporters were on hand again at Gillette Stadium to take in the club’s OTA session.
Belichick appeared to be in a good mood and mentioned that Monday was a productive one for his football team as they continued getting players up to speed.
“We had a good day yesterday, a big day yesterday,” said Belichick. “Did some teaching, get some situations handled that we feel like we need to get handled today, and then push it back up on Thursday. Trying to put one foot in front of the other here, move forward every day, and take it one day at a time. Long way to go, but moving forward.”
Belichick was asked to elaborate a bit on what they worked on, but would only offer, “Just had a big day. Ran a lot of plays. Got a lot done.”
Overall, according to reports, the mood appeared to be relatively upbeat as players went through drills on Tuesday and things already seem far above where they were at this time last year.
As Belichick said, still a long way to go, but it definitely feels like progress is certainly being made.
Players Sitting Out
As quarterback Mac Jones worked with offensive skill players, there were several who were on hand but were spectators during Tuesday’s session.
According to NBC Sports Boston, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Tyquan Thornton and Kendrick Bourne all sat out yesterday’s practice, with Demario Douglas, Kayshon Boutte, Tre Nixon, Ed Lee, Raleigh Webb and Malik Cunningham taking the reps.
Cunningham played quarterback at Louisville but so far, he’s been working with the receivers. Belichick was asked about him yesterday and said they’re still evaluating him.
“He played quarterback at Louisville, so we’re giving him some work at receiver,” said Belichick. “We’ll see how it goes. He’s an athletic kid, smart. He’s able to learn two spots. We’ll see.”
He also added that the offense has been a lot for all the young receivers to get up to speed with, but said that they’ve been putting in extra time and are getting more comfortable with each passing day.
“All the rookies, they’ve all been good,” said Belichick. “They’ve got a lot to learn and they’re trying. Drinking through a fire hose, but that’s what it is for rookies coming into the NFL. They’ve all put in extra time. They’re trying. They’re overwhelmed, but they’re still afloat, still swimming, treading water. Eventually it will sort itself out. No issues with any of them, really. They’re all working hard, but it’s a lot.”
Gonzalez Out on the Field
First round pick Christian Gonzalez was out on the field on Tuesday, with the former Oregon standout getting some work in.
Gonzalez is so fluid and he makes things look fairly effortless. He was reportedly working opposite Jonathan Jones, which essentially tells us he’ll potentially be out there by week one.
Belichick had praise for the rookie, who seems like he’s off to a good start here in New England.
“He’s a smart kid,” said Belichick. “He’s got good skill, and a pretty good level of experience from what he did in college at Colorado and Oregon. He’s learning out there every day like they all are.”
Fight Breaks Out
Apparently, there was a scuffle on Tuesday between both Cole Strange and Christian Barmore, which saw the two players be taken out of the mix for the rest of the session.
The scuffle came after Strange and Anfernee Jennings got into it, which led to Barmore getting involved and he took a swing Strange.
Clearly tensions were high and it led to both players sitting out without leaving the field.
Barmore is no stranger to getting into it with offensive linemen. Both he and David Andrews were kicked out of a practice last August after a similar situation.
McMillan Potentially to Return?
One notable mention by Belichick on Tuesday was the fact that it sounds like injured linebacker Raekwon McMillan is expected to return at some point after suffering his recent Achilles injury.
“Raekwon gave us a lot of versatility,” said Belichick. “It just was an unfortunate situation, but you know, he’s young. I think things went well when he came back from the ACL a year ago, played in every game, except for one. I think he missed with a thumb or something, but, hopefully he’ll be back.”
Due to some rules as it pertains to injury, there may be additional steps that might be required to open the door back up for a return. However, the fact Belichick even mentioned that point was certainly interesting.
McMillan’s had a run of bad luck, having suffered a torn ACL during the 2021 preseason. He was able to recover and appeared in 16 games last season, playing in 70% of the snaps in the opener against Miami, before seeing a reduced role against the Steelers (20%).
He missed the game against the Ravens before returning and only playing on special teams against the Packers, with the linebacker then averaging a little under 30% of the defensive snaps the rest of the way.
McMillan signed a one-year extension with the team back in March worth a reported $1.6 million that included $575,000.
Posted Under: Patriots News