The New England Patriots were back inside Gillette Stadium on Tuesday for their 12th training camp practice. As all eyes look forward to their preseason opener on Thursday, the Patriots ditched the pads and went through a special teams-focused walkthrough.
With that in mind, here’s Tuesday’s Training Camp Notebook.
Absentees: CB Stephon Gilmore (PUP), DT Bryon Cowart (PUP), QB Jarrett Stidham (PUP), LB Chase Winovich (PUP), TE Dalton Keene (IR), LB Cameron McGrone (NFI), S Joshuah Bledsoe (NFI), LB Raekwon McMillan (IR), K Nick Folk, TE Hunter Henry, C David Andrews, LS Joe Cardona, DT Christian Barmore
Returnees: CB D’Angelo Ross, RB Brandon Bolden, S Adrian Colbert
Roster Moves: New England signed S Malik Gant and released RB Tyler Gaffney
No new injuries to report on.
Light day for the QBs: With just two days to prepare for the club’s first preseason game against the Washington Football Team, Brian Hoyer saw the majority of snaps in team periods on Tuesday. None of the team periods were extremely competitive.
As Bill Belichick noted today was a preparation day for their preseason matchup Thursday, perhaps this is a signal that Cam Newton’s 2021 debut will be put on hold, while Mac Jones will hand over the keys to Brian Hoyer after limited action.
All-Pro Jake Bailey: In case you forgot, Jake Bailey is really good. Like really, really good. The 2021 All-Pro had another impressive showing Tuesday, booming punts all over the Gillette Stadium turf. During one period of practice, Bailey had two punts downed at the one-yard line - one pinned by Kristian Wilkerson and the other with some impressive spin on the ball. He is most certainly a weapon.
Michael Jackson Sr. continues to stack good days: After a bit of a slow start to training camp, Jackson has had a solid week in the Patriots secondary. On Tuesday, he broke up a deep ball intended for Tre Nixon while in tight coverage - his fifth pass breakup in the last three practices. With all sorts of question marks at the cornerback position behind J.C. Jackson, Michael Jackson could be earning himself a roster spot.
Quinn Nordin impresses again: With Nick Folk remaining sidelined, the undrafted free agent from Michigan has taken full advantage. After stealing the show in Friday’s in-stadium practice with a 10-for-10 performance, Nordin was perfect again on Tuesday. He went 4-for-4 to conclude practice with makes from 48-, 33-, 43-, and 46-yards. He is now a perfect 14-for-14 inside Gillette Stadium (with no live rush).
Nelson Agholor leaves early again: For the second straight practice, wide receiver Nelson Agholor departed early before team drills. Despite only being officially absent for Sunday’s practice, Agholor has not been a full practice participant since last Thursday. It would be safe to assume he will not be suiting up for Thursday’s preseason opener, and his status should be monitored in the following week.
- With question marks surrounding the Patriots secondary, Justin Bethel continues to get his fair share of looks at his true cornerback position. However, the move does not appear to be the answer to the Patriots’ problems. He is best left at his specialist position, where him and Matthew Slater are consistently all over punt returners in practice.
- Gunner Olszewski continues to look like a better overall wide receiver this summer. He was busy in team drills today, catching five-of-six targets from both Cam Newton and Brian Hoyer. The lone incompletion was a misfire by Hoyer.
- In one of the true competitive moments of the afternoon, Harvey Langi snagged an interception off Brian Hoyer - who was trying to find tight end Troy Fumagalli up the seam. Langi is having an impressive overall camp.
- With David Andrews absent, both James Ferentz and Ted Karras continued to see time at the center position with the starting offense. Karras also sprinkled around at both left and right guard.
- Speaking of David Andrews, he was absent today as him and his wife MacKenzie welcomed a baby boy. Watching Andrews with his new found dad strength should be quite the sight. Congrats to them both!
- It was the last time we should see Mac Jones in his No. 50 jersey. Jones, and all other rookies, will get real numbers before Thursday’s preseason game. The quarterback is expected to wear the No. 10 he wore at Alabama.