New England Patriots

Jul 28, 2021; Foxborough, MA, United States; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (50) watches New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Five days are in the books at Patriots training camp. But it’s barely been “real football.”

After five practices in shells, with many of the 11-on-11 drills at half speed with limited contact, the full pads are expected to go on Tuesday morning in Foxborough. Players on both sides of the ball, as you may expect, are greatly anticipating their first chance to hit each other for real.

“I think we both want to put the pads on at this point,” said linebacker Josh Uche, of the offense and defense. “It’s football we’re playing. What’s football without contact?”

Added wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, when asked how practice changes with pads on: “DBs can put their hands on us more, linebackers can thud up. O-linemen, D-linemen definitely can hit each other. Double teams and stuff like that. Just a more feel of football with pads on.”

With that in mind, it’s time to take stock of the first five days of training camp practice. Because it’s going to be a much different-looking (and sounding) camp on Tuesday. Here are five big-picture takeaways from the first five days in Foxborough…

MORE: Complete Patriots Training Camp Coverage

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at