Some news and notes for this morning:
Douglas Continues to Gain Steam
Tuesday was another busy day for sixth-round pick Demario Douglas, who continued to prove why he potentially deserves to be on the opening day roster.
The New England Patriots rookie wideout schooled several defensive backs during Tuesday’s session, with Myles Bryant getting completely turned around on one play when Douglas changed directions and left him five yards off as he made the reception. He also got fellow rookie Christian Gonzalez on a different play, pulling a move that gave him just enough separation to haul in the football.
Douglas’ change of direction and quickness was one of the things we saw on film coming out of Liberty when the Patriots selected him and, so far, it’s translated onto the field here in the NFL.
He continues to make a strong case for himself on the receiving depth chart and he’s also been a factor in the return game. Although, on Tuesday, he did flub one play in that area that did require him to take a lap but aside from that, it’s been a strong camp so far for the rookie.
For a team that’s been in dire need of a shifty guy following the retirement of Julian Edelman, Douglas certainly appears to be on his way to potentially filling that role. That’s definitely a good sign for a team that still has some question marks at the receiver position.
Fortunately, with the way things are going, Douglas at least seems to be an answer in an area that had been lacking prior to his arrival.
Flowers Starts on PUP
After joining the team, defensive end Trey Flowers has started things off on the sidelines as he’ll apparently begin his next tenure with the club on PUP after sitting out yesterday’s session.
Belichick told reporters that Flowers was back but said that “He won’t be practicing right away,” and it appears they’re evaluating him from a health standpoint before he begins participating.
When asked about if Flowers brings any value as a veteran, Belichick said he certainly believes that’s the case and he sounds upbeat about the addition.
“I’m sure he will,” said Belichick on Flowers bringing some value to the locker room. “I haven’t seen Trey in a few years, but he’s been a hardworking guy, loves football, competes well, smart player.”
Flowers was last on the team during the club’s championship run in 2018, finishing with three tackles, including one for a loss and two quarterback hits during the Patriots Super Bowl win over the Rams that season.
First Chance at Game Action For Players
Another thing Belichick talked about Tuesday was the fact he’s looking forward to seeing how his players perform in contact situations, noting that how they react and adjust against Houston will be something he’ll be watching.
“To give the players a chance to play and see how they perform in contact situations,” said Belichick when asked about his expectations for tomorrow night. “They’re somewhat limited out here, but it’s putting it all together, not just a drill or fitst-and-10s, 7-on-7s, it’s real football. Things change quickly, they’ll have to make in-game adjustments, how they compete, physicality, and a lot of guys will get a chance, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Belichick also said that with a new staff in Houston (they added DeMeco Ryans as head coach this offseason), they’re not completely sure what to expect but they put together some things on film ahead of this match-up and said they’ll adjust from there.
“There’s no film on Houston, so it is what it is,” said Belichick. “New staff, new system, but we want to give our players a chance to go out there and have some idea of what to expect, what to do. If we have to adjust, we have to adjust, but we have to start somewhere. We’ll start with what we think we know and go from there.”
Mac Jones and Starters Likely To Be Spectators vs Texans
As the practice wore on, Jones and the top receivers were essentially spectators as the club gave most of the reps to the players who will likely be playing against the Texans tomorrow night.
What snaps Jones did get was seemingly running the scout team, as they went through some situations ahead of their preseason opener at Gillette Stadium.
One other interesting note was the fact that Malik Cunningham did get some reps at quarterback, which could mean that we may see him under center at some point after he’s spent much of camp working at receiver.
Belichick was asked about the QB rotation and did add that the guys with the least experience will be the ones we’ll potentially see the most.
“We’re still working on that, but the players who are least experienced will get the most playing time,” said Belichick. “I can tell you that.”
On Cunningham, Belichick added, “He’s done a little bit in the past. We’ll see how it looks in practice, maybe we’ll use it some in the game, I don’t know.”
Odds and Ends
Belichick had praise for Marcus Jones, who he said has made a lot of progress compared to where he was a year ago. “Way ahead of where he was last year,” said Belichick. “I don’t think he was practicing until the middle of August, late August. With a training camp and a year under his belt, a year of regular season and the offseason, good, he’s made a lot of progress. All those second-year guys have. I wouldn’t certainly limit it to him, but he’s done a good job and knows a lot more, understands more, is more familiar with who he’s playing against and what we’re doing.” … Belichick said the same for Tyquan Thornton, who has had a tough start to camp so far. “Yeah, same thing,” he said. “Better than last year, a much better idea of what to do, how to do it, how to prepare, what to expect. He’s a smart kid, works hard, understands a lot.” … Tuesday was likely the final day fans were able to take in practice, as the club will spend the remaining two weeks on the road as they head to Green Bay next week, followed by Tennessee to finish out the preseason. New England is expected to hold joint practices with each club ahead of the next two exhibition games. … Some information on Flowers’ new deal were revealed, with ESPN’s Field Yates reporting that his contract includes a salary of $1.165 million (just $50,000 guaranteed) with a maximum value of $2.5 million if his bonuses and incentives are hit. … Mike Gesicki impressed everyone yesterday after snagging a one-handed touchdown over Jabrill Peppers and Myles Bryant in the back of the end zone. He’s been solid to this point in camp, which is good news for an offense that will be looking to be more explosive in 2023.
Posted Under: Patriots News