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MORSE: News and Notes from Patriots Training Camp

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
2 months ago at 8:30 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

MORSE: News and Notes from Patriots Training CampEric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Patriots DBs This Good or WRs That Bad

The Patriots DBs have dominated the WRs in the Red Zone during the early practices.  The secondary with the addition of Christian Gonzalez is pretty good, but the WRs are another thing.  They just can’t get open.  Every pass to DeVante Parker is a 50/50 ball.  Kendrick Bourne, Mike Gesicki, and Tyquan Thornton have not caught a pass in the 1st 4 days.  The knock on Thornton is that he can’t get off the line of scrimmage against press-man coverage.  We won’t know that answer until the 1st pre-season game.  The two joint practices the Patriots have scheduled will tell us a lot!

Jack Jones has been working with the 1st team’s Red Zone defense.  He is bigger than Marcus Jones and gives the Patriots a tougher unit to work against.

Myles Bryant has worked all over the field and has looked good.  Most recently he was used in the slot.

Marte Mapu has been playing with all three defensive units.  With the starters he has been an LB and as a slot corner with the 2nd team, then safety with the 3rd unit.  He is still wearing the Red non-contact jersey due to a strained pectoral muscle sustained in the Senior Bowl.  No idea when he will be cleared for contact and he may be held out of next week’s Pre-season game.

Patriots’ O-line was thin for 1st padded practice

Michael Owenu and Jake Andrews were out.  Calvin Anderson was still on the NFI list.  Cole Strange got locked up with Lawrence Guy on their 1st one-on-one battle.  Strange left the field with the trainers.  After considerable work and testing with the trainers, they gave him his helmet back and reported back on the field.  He didn’t actually get back in but that was the coach’s choice.  They avoided a big issue there.  OG Chasen Hines fell victim to injury later.  Trent Brown didn’t participate in practice but worked with the trainers on his conditioning in the lower field.  The O-line end up like this:  Riley Reiff LT, Antonio Mafi LG, David Andrews C, Bill Murray RG, and Conor McDermott RT.    With that group, the only ones scared are the Patriots QBs.

Belichick calls a timeout

It was reported by Davin Godchaux that Belichick told the team to calm down the hitting.  They had lost S Brad Hawkins, G Chasen Hines WR Jalen Hurd, and TE Scotty Washington to injuries.  Cole Strange was hurt but came back.  Terez Hall didn’t practice, and Stevenson, Trent Brown, and Judon worked on conditioning on the lower field.  Tuesday’s practice was in shorts and shells.

Demario Douglas Making an Impression

“Pop” is his nickname and pop is what he did on a WR screen.  Douglas was lauded by his offensive teammates and Coach Belichick for putting a pop on a DB making room for the WR to get loose.  During the spring workouts, his speed and quickness were very noticeable.  Without pads the 1st 4 days he was one of the best receivers in camp.  Now add an ability to block and be the Kick Returner.  This adds up to making the 53-man roster.  He is also the prototypical slot receiver the Patriots are noted for (Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman).  He can get in and out of his breaks as quickly as any of those I mentioned.  That little arrow route, a staple under Tom Brady, allowed the QB to get the ball out of his hands quickly and can mask any pass-blocking deficiencies by the Tackles.


Jalen Hurd Retires

The Patriots placed WR Jalen Hurd on the Reserve/Retired list on Tuesday ending his comeback attempt.  Hurd has an undisclosed injury on Monday.

Why are the Patriots Carrying backup Special Teams Players?

They have needs at RB and Offensive Line and have backups at Punter and Long Snapper they don’t need to be carrying on the 90-man roster.  It is obvious that Bryce Baringer and his 5-second hang time are going to be the Punter.  Why do they have a backup Long Snapper?  Corliss Waitman and Tucker Addington should be cut and replaced with players that could help them at least through camp.

Patriots Claim WR Thyrick Pitts off Waivers from the Bears

Pitts was a six-year player at Delaware.  His 57 catches for 631 yards and 10 TDs (2nd in conference) were career highs for him in 2022.  He was a 3-time All-CAA Conference player, 2 times Academic Honor Roll, and 4 times Deans List student.  According to NFL Draftscout, the 6’2” 201 lb receiver ran a 4.45 40, 39” vertical leap, 4.25 short shuttle, 10’ 7” broad jump, and a 6.91 3-cone drill at his Pro Day in 2022.  Other reports had Pitts running a 4.37 at his Delaware Pro Day.  He was signed by Chicago as an Undrafted Free Agent earlier this year.  Pitts was heavily involved in student service and community activities while at Delaware.  This signing brings the team back to a full roster of 90 players.   His birthdate is listed as April 8, 2001, which would make him 22, however, that doesn’t make sense for a college player that played 6 seasons at Delaware.

Quarterback Competition

Let’s get this straight despite what Talk Radio is trying to conjure up for content on-air, there is no QB competition.  Bailey Zappe is not getting any reps with the 1st team Wide Receivers or Offensive Line.   Mac Jones is performing better.  Zappe is working against 2nd team defense with 2nd team Wideout and a makeshift Offensive line.  The pressure put on Zappe by the 2nd unit D-line and edge rushers is tremendous.  He would have been sacked 4 times in today’s practice.  Ronnie Perkins would have had two of those.  If there was a competition, Belichick would have made it even and move Zappe up to the 1st team reps to make a fair comparison.  I like Zappe’s attitude and how hard he has worked to be ready should his number be called.  If the line plays as bad as they have so far in practice he may be called on more often than planned.  He has to be ready.  Zappe has improved considerably from last season and I feel confident in his ability should Jones be knocked out of a game.

Posted Under: Patriots News

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