Patriots training camp notebook: Different practice time, same results on Day 10
Jul 30, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) works with the offensive line and a tackle sled at the Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
After two days off, the Patriots returned to practice in full pads on Monday for the 10th day of training camp. As the third week gets underway, the team changed things up by moving the session from 9:30 a.m., when they’d practice up until this point, to a 4 p.m. session.
The change in time didn’t do much for the Patriots’ offense, which continues to be the biggest story in training camp. They once again struggled to build any momentum during team drills, while the defense offered another dominant performance.
Here’s a closer look at what happened with the offense, and some more takeaways from Day 10 of Patriots training camp.
Where things stand on offense
Jul 30, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) lines up behind center David Andrews (60) at the Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
For the Patriots’ offense, this practice looked similar to the others we’ve seen this summer. They dominated in 7-on-7 reps, but didn’t have the same success in 11-on-11s. Rushing lanes simply weren’t there in the ground game, and Mac Jones was regularly hurried when trying to throw the football.
While there are some other things not clicking right now, it all seems to tie back to what’s going on up front. For instance, the timing between Jones and his receivers seemed off today, but that will happen when they don’t have consecutive plays to get in a rhythm. The internal clock for the entire offense looks sped up. As for Jones himself, he finished 10-of-18 with an interception against the starting defense in competitive reps.
Despite these issues, the Patriots may not be as worried as those on the outside. “Not sensing much panic within the Patriots organization about the offensive issues in training camp,” PFF’s Doug Kyed tweeted after practice. “Some frustration, an acknowledgment of struggles, but no serious alarm.” They’ll come back out tomorrow and try again to get things turned around.
Getting closer to game action
Jul 30, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick checks his notes at the Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
This is technically the first game week of the year for the Patriots, with the preseason opener against the Giants on Thursday. Team’s don’t necessarily prepare for preseason opponents the way they do in the regular season, but they may mix some basic prep work in to get players going in that process ahead of the regular season.
We saw some of that at practice on Monday. At one point, the defense was running plays they were seeing on cards held up by a coach. That typically indicates a scout team period.
Tyquan Thornton showing off
Wide receiver Tyquan Thornton during Patriots training camp on July 28, 2022. (Syndication: The Providence Journal)
Although the offense as a whole struggled at times, rookie wide receiver Tyquan Thornton had maybe his best practice of the summer. He looked un-guardable in one-on-ones to begin the day. On his first rep, he beat Malcolm Butler clean off the line and picked up two steps of separation on a go-route. His next go saw him cross up Terrance Mitchell on a go-stop-go move that was so effective it put Mitchell on the ground.
Thornton continued to separate in team drills, although it was tougher to see that success given the number of broken plays. Still, the rookie looks as good as he has all camp as his first preseason game approaches.
Switching things up at corner?
May 23, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31) walks to the practice field for the team’s OTA at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
For his six years in New England, Jonathan Jones has primarily been a slot cornerback. Prior to Monday, he had played occasional snaps lined up on the outside this summer, but Day 10 saw him out there repeatedly.
With increased depth behind Jones in the slot (Myles Bryant, Marcus Jones, and Shaun Wade), could the Patriots look to play him more on the boundary. Size is always a concern in that spot but against some of the smaller and faster receivers on the Patriots’ schedule, it may make sense to have the fastest corner in the team in that matchup.
It’s still early, and the Patriots like to experiment with different alignments during training camp. But this is something to watch heading into the preseason games.
Play of the day
Jul 29, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (1) and cornerback Malcom Butler (4) run a drill during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
As mentioned above, the Patriots’ offense struggled in full team drills but seemed to click in 7-on-7’s. That includes today’s play of the day.
With the ball spotted right around the plus-30, Jones let go a rainbow throw to the back of the end zone. It was placed perfectly for 6-foot-3 DeVante Parker, who high-pointed the ball and snatched it away from Jonathan Jones and Myles Bryant. Parker held on to the ball as his body hit the ground to secure the catch.
Jul 30, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots outside linebacker Matt Judon (9) waits for the start of a drill at the Patriots training camp at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie guard Chasen Hines practiced for the first time this year on Monday, signaling he’s been removed from the NFI list. Hines missed the entire spring as well with an undisclosed injury.
Matthew Judon and Jahlani Tavai also returned to practice. Judon has missed the last two sessions, while Tavai left Thursday’s practice early with a leg injury.
Starting right tackle Isaiah Wynn was present but limited on Monday. Justin Herron saw the bulk of the snaps in his place.
Tight end Devin Asiasi left practice early, walking slowly off the fields with a member of the training staff. The injury isn’t expected to be serious, according to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.
Gillette Stadium Practice Field (Jim Louth/98.5 The Sports Hub)
The Patriots will return to practice on Tuesday, another 4 p.m. session. That will be their final practice before their preseason opener, Thursday night at Gillette Stadium against the New York Giants.
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 @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.