Zolak: 4 thoughts from Day 3 of Patriots Training Camp
Zolak & Bertrand
Day three of training camp is complete. I thought the offense did a good job today. They bounced back from yesterday when the defense won the red zone portion.
Jonnu Smith Stood Out
Jul 29, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith (81) catches the ball during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Mac Jones looked pretty good today. It looked accurate, but I think the exciting part of what you’re starting to see develop is his rapport with these two tight ends, meaning Hunter Henry and more importantly, Jonnu Smith. Smith doesn’t need to have a great year. He just needs to be good. This year with everybody else elevating, we saw Devante Parker with a couple of contested catches on day one. Hunter Henry’s been doing it for three days, but Jonnu Smith with two huge catches down in the red zone. That’s a good thing that tells me that it’s working well with the quarterback and that he feels comfortable with them. So all these guys, another year into the offense, that’s a good sign moving forward
A Mix Of Offensive Play-Callers
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick speaks to reporters before practice at the start of training camp on July 27, 2022. (Matt Dolloff/98.5 The Sports Hub)
I thought it was Matt Patricia who started the play calling, but it was actually Joe Judge in the first seven on seven. Patricia then took over some of the play calling, but Bill Belichick was calling most of the team plays. So a good mix of all three guys as far as who’s going to be calling the offensive plays for this football team.
Kyle Dugger Struggled
FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 28, 2021: Kyle Dugger #23 of the New England Patriots walks onto the field during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
All of the corners look good, but a guy that struggled today was Kyle Dugger giving up three touchdowns, two of them to Smith, one to Hunter Henry. Dugger needs to respond somewhat tomorrow.
Jul 29, 2022; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive lineman Cole Strange (50) walks onto the field before training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
One of the fun parts of practice was the ball drill where the punter punts the ball end over end and the returners are trying to juggle five balls at the same time, catch them and just see the competitive juices flowing. Rookie Cole Strange got the win for the offense. That was for a big prize, either meetings and a night off or a complete night off, which I think is going to be Saturday night.