The New England Patriots kicked off the second week of training camp at full speed by returning to their full protective gear last worn on Thursday. Intensity and physicality naturally improved a lot further, with the session itself being one of the busiest to date: offense and defense were verbally engaged on numerous occasions, regularly hinting at the other. side on the big games.
Before we get ahead, however, let’s recap what happened in training today.
Absent: DT Beau Allen, TE Jake Burt, OT Yodny Cajuste, CB Stephon Gilmore, LB Brandon King (Reserve / PUP), RB Sony Michel (Active / PUP), RB Lamar Miller (Active / PUP), WR Jeff Thomas
Returned: LB Tashawn Bower, CB Michael Jackson Sr, RB JJ Taylor, RB James White
Present but limited: S Kyle Dugger, WR Jakobi Meyers, S Adrian Phillips, QB Jarrett Stidham
- A new player has been added to the absentee list: offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste, who spent the whole of last year on the sidelines following an off-season quad operation, was not present for the session. ‘today, joining seven others to take time off from training.
- Four players were back in action after being absent from Sunday practice, including three who could have fallen victim to the recent NFL hiccups during Covid-19 testing: running backs James White and JJ Taylor as well as cornerback Michael Jackson. Linebacker Tashawn Bower, meanwhile, returned after being out for the last week.
- Kicker Nick Folk and defensive lineman Michael Barnett, who trained this weekend, were in attendance for practice today after signing free agency deals with the Patriots.
- Second-year linebacker Terez Hall cautiously left the field about 45 minutes into training. He’s been solid so far in camp while trying to carve out a role on the Patriots’ offside linebacker depth chart.
- Rookie linebacker Cassh Maluia suffered what appeared to be a shoulder injury after a physical block from Devin Asiasi during an 11-on-11 job. The sixth-round pick, who also had a training camp promising, slowly left the field.
Quarterback performance: Jarrett Stidham 2 of 3 (11 to 11); Cam Newton 10 out of 18 with 1 INT (11 against 11), 5 on 6 (7 against 7); Brian Hoyer 11 of 14 (11 against 11), 2 of 3 (7 against 7)
- Cam Newton continues to be on track to land the starting quarterback, once again leading the team in game rehearsal and throwing impressive shots as he grows more confident in the system. That being said, he had some issues with precision, especially late in training, and ball safety as well: Newton threw an interception during the work 11v11 and was then forced to take a penalty lap for have lost a fumble.
- Wide receiver N’Keal Harry stole the show Monday and had his best practice from the open end of training camp. The former first-round draft pick looked pretty good in 1-on-1 drills – at one point, outperforming fellow sophomore Joejuan Williams for a back shoulder grab – and also had two grabs touchdowns against JC Jackson for 11-on-11s on Cam Newton’s passes: one came on a back shoulder fade, the other on a slope.
- The offense also saw some sloppy moments during full teamwork. As noted above, Newton was forced to take a penalty lap after losing a fumble in an 11v11 drill. Wide receiver Gunner Olszewski then called after him for also putting the ball on the ground.
- Jarrett Stidham was again a limited participant as he suffered from a hip injury, but saw an increase in workload compared to the last two practices. The second-year quarterback not only took part in the warm-up and positioning drills from the first practices, but also threw passes during the 1v1 and 11v11. It was a step in the right direction.
Myles Bryant’s promising training camp continued on Monday as the undrafted rookie cornerback registered another interception. This time, he managed to fend off Cam Newton on a through pass attempt aimed at Damiere Byrd. Newton had opened Julian Edelman below, but instead he floated a ball deep in double cover that didn’t hit its mark. Bryant took advantage of the misguided pitch for his third camp pick.
- Edge defender Chase Winovich, who is set to take on a bigger role this year after veteran Kyle Van Noy leaves, made two of the best defense plays of the day. First, he was able to get into the backfield to take on quarterback Cam Newton for what would have been a sack in a live game situation with a 3rd base. He later forced a fumble from Newton and returned the football loose for a touchdown.
- Winovich wasn’t the only active passer on Monday. Josh Uche also performed well and recorded a pair of potential sacks, while Jason McCourty and Deatrich Wise Jr. work. Adam Butler and Derek Rivers, meanwhile, also had some good times as the passing race as a whole looked very powerful.
- The Patriots kicking competition is underway and day one went to the recently re-signed Nick Folk from a purely statistical standpoint: The veteran made four of four field goal attempts during drills. ‘team, compared to Justin Rohrwasser taking three of four kicks. The rookie had a few more mistakes earlier in practice.
- Justin Rohrwasser was once again the first player on the pitch.
- The Patriots had their annual rookie slide today. With Tom Brady no longer on the team, Matthew Slater took the honor of running the pipe. The first year coaches also participated in the event.