The New England Patriots’ ninth training camp practice was different fron the previous eight. Not only did the team move into Gillette Stadium for the first time all summer, it also focused more on special teams and in-game procedure than actual competition between the offense and defense. Accordingly, today’s list of standouts is a pretty short one.
Without further ado, let’s dig in.
Winner: K Quinn Nordin
For the second straight practice, incumbent place kicker Nick Folk did not participate. He was spotted on the sidelines but had to watch Quinn Nordin attempt field goals — something the undrafted rookie did at a high level on Friday.
Nordin was successful on all eight of his attempts, including a pair of kicks from beyond 50 yards out: the Michigan product split the uprights on a 57-yarder in a simulated end-if-game situation, and later did the same from 55 yards away. He also successfully drilled a 48-yard extra point. All in all, Nordin had a very good day and took full advantage of his increased opportunities with Folk still out.
The veteran remains the frontrunner to earn the job, but Nordin certainly is an intriguing player.
Winners: The fans
Friday’s practice presented the first opportunity for fans to return to Gillette Stadium in a Patriots-related setting in 580 days. While access to the ticketed event was restricted, and the stadium was not filled to its capacity, it was still a first taste of real football coming back to New England — and a few fortunate hundred were there to experience it first-hand.