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Thursday Patriots Notebook 7/27: News and Notes

Ian Logue
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2 months ago at 8:46 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Thursday Patriots Notebook 7/27: News and NotesEric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Some news and notes for this morning:

Patriots Start With Red Zone Work

The New England Patriots held their first training camp practice of the preseason on Wednesday, with the club kicking things off focusing on red zone work.

That’s certainly a move that makes sense, as the offense was among the bottom of the league in that category last season.

However, with not a lot of room to work and the players working in helmets and shorts, it was essentially the Patriots receivers going against their secondary and day one was certainly a bit of a struggle.

Neither Mac Jones nor Bailey Zappe fared all that well against them.  Jones found himself picked off while attempting to target Mike Gesicki in the end zone, with Kyle Dugger making a nice play stepping in front of the pass as he came away with the interception.

It was a tough day as the defense picked up essentially where it left off last season, which is good news for that side of the football, while Jones and the offense still has some work ahead of them.

Overall, Jones finished 4-of-7 (57%) in 11-on-11s, while Zappe ended up 2-of-8 (25%), with both quarterbacks completing just about half of their total passes on Day 1.

While the numbers for both players weren’t great, it shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a huge concern.  With the players not in pads, there was no threat of a running game and as a result, it gave the secondary a bit of an edge considering they knew each snap was a passing play.

Still, Jones acknowledged that they have a ways to go as they try and improve in that area.

“I think just trying to get better in the red zone is a big emphasis every year,” said Jones.  “Since I’ve been here, we’ve always started down there and I know Coach [Bill] Belichick has always done that. I think it’s really smart because at the end of the day, a lot of defenses, they let you get down there, and then when you get down there, they want to shut you down.”

“So, to be able to go against our defense, who is very multiple and does a lot compared to some teams, it’s good to experience it and it’s good to watch the tape. Day one is all about watching the tape and seeing what you can adjust, right? So, getting everybody back together, the vets, the rooks, everybody. So, I feel like the red zone is a great area and we definitely need to improve. I need to improve down there. Things happen quick and it all comes from practice.”

Brown Good to Go

Patriots offensive lineman Trent Brown was present on Wednesday, with the veteran looking a little slimmer compared to the last time he was spotted on the field.

The veteran was on the field for the entirety of the session and played at left tackle, with Cole Strange, David Andrews, Bill Murray, and Riley Reiff rounding out the remainder of the offensive line.

Murray filled in for Michael Onwenu, who begins training camp on PUP, while Reiff got the nod on day one at right tackle.

Brown, who reportedly came in four days ahead of camp, told reporters that he felt good and is looking forward to what he hopes will be a successful season.

“I feel good,” said Brown.  “I feel like I’m ready to go play another whole season, hopefully stack some more wins together but taking it day-by-day.”

He was also asked about new offensive coach Adrian Klemm, who Brown said has added some additional energy as he’s changed some things up.

“It’s been lovely,” said Brown on working with Klemm.  “I think he brings a newer younger attitude to the offensive line position, changes some things that we do individually as a position group and I think it will fare well for us as individuals and as a whole.”

Guy Present

After missing minicamp due to a reported dispute with his contract, Lawrence Guy was present for the first day of training camp.

That’s good news, as Guy has been one of the Patriots key players up front.  His biggest strength has been against the run, which has made him an important asset for a group that finished sixth in the NFL in average rushing yards allowed last season.

Guy was in his normal spot on Wednesday and by all accounts everything appeared to be business as usual.  With what’s about to be a pivotal year for the team coming up, the fact he appears ready to put things behind him is definitely a positive sign.

Jack Jones Works With Second Team

With things still a bit uncertain with Jones’ legal situation, the second-year cornerback was out on the field on Wednesday but spent most of the session working with the backups.

If that’s any indication, it appears the team is letting things play out while potentially trying to prepare for him to miss time ahead of the season.

As for the secondary, day one saw both Jonathan Jones and rookie Christian Gonzalez working on the outside, while Myles Bryant got some work in at the slot position.

Jones is due back in court on August 18, which will hopefully provide some additional clarity about his status for the season.

For now, it looks like he’ll be out there, but until the team gets a sense of whether or not he’ll be available, it looks like the plan will be to have him relegated to the second team for the foreseeable future.

Posted Under: Patriots News

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