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Thursday Patriots Notebook 8/17: News and Notes

Ian Logue
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1 month ago at 11:34 am ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Thursday Patriots Notebook 8/17: News and NotesEric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Some news and notes for this morning:

Patriots Inconsistent in First Joint Practice Against Packers

The Patriots got to work out in Green Bay on Wednesday, with the club holding the first of two joint practices against the Packers.

It was a tough day for both quarterbacks, who each experienced an intense amount of pressure from Green Bay as the Patriots continue dealing with injuries along their offensive line.

Still, it apparently wasn’t all bad.  The club reportedly got off to a fast start, with reports having Mac Jones completing all but just four throws early on including a would-be touchdown that the officials ruled incomplete to DeVante Parker.   Parker apparently disagreed on that call.  “The refs don’t know what they talking about,” Parker told reporters after practice on the play.

Jones did a good job getting the ball out quickly, and they were moving down the field.  However, as the practice went on, Green Bay tightened up, and they also started getting pressure which made things tough for both Jones and Bailey Zappe.

Both quarterbacks didn’t seem to do much when it came to pushing the ball downfield, with both guys seemingly being a little hesitant and that played a role in the Packers racking up a total of 13 sacks on the afternoon.

Jones had a similar offensive line that we saw Thursday night, with the exception of the return of Trent Brown (left tackle) and David Andrews (who was back at center), while Riley Reiff moved inside to right guard.  Sidy Sow continues to get snaps at right tackle, with Wednesday being a sign that the club has confidence in him potentially emerging at the position.  Atonio Mafi also continued to get work at left guard with Cole Strange still recovering from his injury.  Meanwhile, Conor McDermott – who started at left tackle last Thursday – was back at right tackle with the second team in front of Zappe.

Per Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, Jones finished the afternoon 16-of-25, while Zappe ended up 15-of-21.

Meanwhile, Packers QB Jordan Love seemingly won the day on Wednesday, with Love making the throw of the afternoon after he completed a perfect deep ball to Christian Watson as Watson blew past rookie Christian Gonzalez and caught the ball in stride, taking it all the way in for the touchdown.

That’s what they call a “teachable” moment for the rookie, who likely be looking at the film and won’t be happy with that one.

Overall, the session had some good moments, but the Packers apparently frustrated New England’s offense toward the end of the full team portion of practice.  That part finished in tough fashion, which led to Bill Belichick exploding on Mac Jones and the offense at one point, with the head coach bringing the entire team together once practice ended as he clearly let his frustration be known as spoke to the players.

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran appeared on Jones and Mego with Arcand on WEEI on Wednesday following the practice and provided some insight as to what went down at the end.

“I think Bill was just pissed because it had just looked so bad for going on about a half an hour,” explained Curran.  “And I don’t know what … Mac started to explain when I asked him about it because I saw the play, basically Mac threw it out of bounds but I think Kendrick Bourne might have slipped but it was still not a great throw.  And Bill just goes ‘GD … ‘, waves his arms, and I’ve never seen him yell at Mac Jones in public.  I’m sure he has at other points, but I’ve never seen it.”

“I think he had just … his patience ran out right there because it was not looking good.  They spent a fair amount of time, I always think these things are interesting to note, he had the team around him for a long time – Belichick did – at the end of practice.  I was trying to lend an ear, and I heard the word ‘poop’ a few times from him.”

Obviously not ideal, but they’ll get another opportunity to hopefully put together a better performance today.

Jones on the miscue: “It was My Fault”

The third-year quarterback spoke to reporters after the session and offered his side of what happened, and took responsibility for whatever it was that went wrong.

“Yeah, we scored on the two-minute drive with a field goal, and then we just wanted to try a situation again,” explained Jones.  “We just kind of re-did the situation, I guess. That was fun, I guess, but it was my fault.”

“I think it was just a miscommunication between all of us. It was fine. It was a good learning experience. It’s too hard to explain in football terms to the media and stuff, but it was kind of a nuance, because we kind of repeated a situation we just did, you know what I’m saying? That’s what we need though, so both teams can get the situation, try and practice it and then do it again to get it right.”

Jones also admitted that one positive about these joint sessions is the fact that unlike a game, where the players don’t get another chance on the field for essentially another week, they instead get to get right back to work the next day.

“I think that’s my favorite part,” said Jones.  “I think a lot of us really enjoy that.”

Elliott Present, But a Spectator

Ezekiel Elliott was reportedly out on the field Wednesday for the first time with his new team, albeit on a limited basis.

So far, it’s clear why the Patriots felt he would be a good addition.  Looking at video from Twitter (Sorry, “X” or whatever it’s now being called) showed that the veteran running back still has a pretty good burst and great quickness as he caught passes during warm-ups.

However, he apparently didn’t take part in any of the competitive work, with Elliott instead taking things in on the sideline as he continues getting acclimated.

Jones said that he’s been pleased with what he’s seen from his new teammate so far and that he already appears to be a great fit to the offense.

“Zeke’s awesome so far. He already was jumping in there, getting some reps, so that was pretty cool to see fresh off a plane trying to come out here and compete,” said Jones.  “But yeah, he seems like a great fit. We really just want to take him under our wing. He’s a guy who has played a lot of football in the NFL, so we’re just trying to learn from him, too.”

Kraft Misses Out On Hall of Fame

Former Lions and Steelers head coach Buddy Parker was selected as a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024 on Wednesday, which was disappointing news for anyone here in New England.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft had been in consideration for the honor, but instead it will be Parker who will move to the final stage of the selection process ahead of him, at least for this time around.

Parker, who made the Lions a powerhouse in Detroit for six seasons back in the 1950s, including winning championships with the club in 1952 and 1953, finished with an overall career record of 107-76-9 (.582 winning pct) over his 15-year career, which includes a 3-1 postseason record.

He left for Pittsburgh in 1957, but didn’t achieve quite the same success as the Steelers ended up with just four winning seasons and one .500 season over his eight-year tenure with the team.

Still, Parker was considered to be an innovator.  He was apparently the father of the 2-minute offense, and he also put together some of the more dynamic defensive alignments of his era that have principles that are still incorporated into today’s game.

Parker passed away back in 1982 and would receive the honor posthumously.  While this is obviously good news for Parker’s family, it’s disappointing in the sense that at the age of 82, Kraft clearly doesn’t have many years left to have the opportunity to enjoy the recognition that getting into Canton would provide.

There’s no question Parker deserves to potentially be in there, and it absolutely should happen.  But Kraft getting in ahead of Parker, given that Kraft is at least still here to appreciate it, feels like it would have been the better move, as Parker getting in the following year would have made more sense.

After all, Kraft’s effect on football extends far beyond what he’s done here with the Patriots.  He’s been a key part of the league’s success overall since purchasing the team in 1994, including almost singlehandedly helping the NFL avoid a lockout back in 2011, which remains one of the biggest moments that could have crippled the league had he not stepped in.

Instead, he helped them potentially keep from missing a season, and the NFL has since gone on to explode in both revenue and the value of its respective franchises.

For now, the voters have made their decision and he’ll have to wait a little longer before he hopefully – eventually – makes it in.  It’s disappointing, but unfortunately, “it is what it is.”

Odds and Ends:

Offensive lineman Mike Onwenu made the trip to Green Bay but didn’t take part as he apparently took in the practice in street clothes.  However, the fact he was out there at all continues to be a positive sign that he’ll hopefully be out there a few weeks from now against Philadelphia …  Several reports had Deatrich Wise having a big day on Wednesday, with Wise recording multiple sacks along with a batted pass. … Keion White also looked impressive, giving Green Bay fits up front during the session as he continues his solid preseason … Marte Mapu shed his red no-contact jersey and took part in the practice, stuffing a run on one play while also seeing time both at linebacker and at safety. … Marcus Jones continues to see time on the perimeter and seemingly had a tough time against Love and the Packers during the session. … Mac Jones is apparently having a good time getting to know Malik Cunningham, who spent time as a gunner on the punt team and didn’t seem to have much of a role in the offense Wednesday.  “I mean, Malik is a great athlete. I feel like we have a good bond,” said Jones.  “He’s kind of a funny guy. He has good jokes and stuff, so I like to talk to him in the locker room. He’s from Alabama and stuff, so we always talk about that. He’s doing a good job.  I think it’s awesome to see him out there running those plays. I guess I’m not fast enough yet to try those out, but maybe one day.”

Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Atonio Mafi Bailey Zappe Bill Belichick Buddy Parker Christian Gonzalez Cole Strange Conor McDermott David Andrews Deatrich Wise Ezekiel Elliott Green Bay Packers Keion White Mac Jones Malik Cunningham Marcus Jones Mike Onwenu New England Patriots Riley Reiff Robert Kraft Sidy Sow

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