Wednesday’s Patriots training camp was, in terms of anticipation, one of the biggest individual training camp practices in recent Patriots history. With Cam Newton sidelined due to COVID protocols, Mac Jones has had a unique chance to gain ground in the team’s quarterback competition over the last few days.
However, no day was more valuable than Wednesday, with the New York Giants coming to town for a joint practice. Bill Belichick has spoken in the past about how those joint sessions can be more impactful from a player evaluation standpoint.
With those stakes set, Jones took the chance and ran with it. The rookie took every competitive snap, going 21-of-25 throwing the ball in 11-on-11’s, and 35-of-40 overall. He appeared in charge, in control, and looked the part of a starting NFL quarterback. It was his best practice so far in New England, and the kind of performance fans seemed to be expected when it was announced Newton would miss time.
Of course, if the quarterback is playing well that likely means the receivers are playing well too. Jones’ primary target on the day was third-year receiver Jakobi Meyers, who also rose to the occasion. Meyers seemed to always be open, and made four catches during 11-on-11 drills.
Meyers’ best moment came late in practice, when the Patriots’ presumed starters were working against the Giants starters on a two-minute drill. Jones lofted a pass to the back corner of the end zone from 35 yards out, and Meyers made a full extension leaping grab to haul it in. It’s the second time this week Meyers has made that sort of catch, which just further demonstrates his growth in his short time in the league.
Of course, there were more than just two players on the field on Wednesday. Here’s more observations from Day 18 of Patriots training camp…