Tuesday’s Patriots practice – the first of 2021 in full pads – featured a heavy dose of Cam Newton. On Wednesday, the team returned to shorts and shells and put Mac Jones back in the spotlight.
Jones threw 23 of the 45 total passes in competitive reps during the session, including 16 straight to end the day. He completed 17 of those attempts, most of which came in 11-on-11 drills.
It was an up-and-down day for the first round pick. There were highlights, including a perfectly-placed deep crosser to Gunner Olszewski against double coverage. Yet he did struggle at times, showing some inconsistencies that are expected from a rookie. During the middle of practice, defensive players got their hands on three consecutive passes.
The first of those three actually began as a positive for Jones. He sidestepped a rusher in the pocket, and lofted a throw towards Jonnu Smith. It was a tough yet catchable ball for Smith, who jumped up a rotated to his back shoulder to get himself in position. However, the pass bounced off Smith’s hands, and Devin McCourty snatched it out of the air for a pick.
After an interception that may not have been Jones’ fault, his next pass wasn’t picked off but probably should have been. He overthrew Tre Nixon, and D’Angelo Ross nearly scooped the ball of the ground. He closed the trio with a simple pass breakup.
After his 1-of-6 in competitive drills yesterday, it’s feels fair to say Wednesday was a ‘bounce back’ for Jones. Of course, that comes with the caveat of it being another unpadded practice – we’ll see if he can continue to succeed when the pads come back on tomorrow.
Here’s more from Day 7 of Patriots training camp…
For more on Day 7 of Patriots training camp, check out today’s recap podcast featuring The Athletic’s Jeff Howe.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.