The New England Patriots hit the practice field for the 11th time this summer in preparation for their tilt with the Washington Football Team on Thursday. The team was in pads for just the fourth time during camp, ensuring that Monday would be a physical day that emphasized competition and situational readiness. A session that was equally taxing on the mind as it was the body made it easy to spot a few notable standouts, both positive and negative.
Winner: LB Josh Uche
Josh Uche had another day full of splash plays and consistent work with the top veterans on the defensive side of the ball. His presence was felt throughout the day as he was at the forefront of a strong defensive effort.
During one particular 11-on-11 period, Uche had a couple would be sacks down by the goal line. On one of the plays, he beat Trent Brown off the ball and was standing next to Cam Newton before the tackle could ever get a hand on him.
His speed is noticeable but the improvement in his physicality has been the real story throughout camp. He’s become a much more complete linebacker over the offseason.
Winners: RB James White and RB Sony Michel
The best place of the day came from Michel and White, Who each made spectacular catches during the patriots team period.
White’s grab came on a back shoulder fade from Cam Newton, fully extended to reel in the ball along the sideline through tight coverage.
Michel on the other hand, made a tremendous over the shoulder catch on a corner route from Mac Jones. The catch was reminiscent of Willie Mays’ famous grab in the 1954 World Series.
In addition to their great plays, both men were focal points throughout the practice, never seeing the sideline for an extended period.
Loser: QB Brian Hoyer
It’s tough being the guy who has to work with the scout team. Hoyer had a rough day building up chemistry with anyone as the majority of his throws ended up on the ground.
In his lone drive during competitive 11-on-11’s, Hoyer only completed two passes and didn’t see the field for the remainder of practice. The constant changing of his supporting cast certainly didn’t help.
Winner: DL Carl Davis
Carl Davis was the best defensive tackle on the field today. In a group that boasts roster locks like Lawrence Guy, Davon Godchaux, and Christian Barmore, Davis was the most consistently disruptive man on the defensive front.
His ability to two-gap during team drills was noticeable and will certainly help him make the roster in a year where the Patriots are expected to switch to an odd man front. He has continued to stack days together.
Loser: TE Devin Asiasi
There is certainly something to be said for an athlete experiencing a “Covid fog” of sorts. Many athletes who have recovered from Covid-19 say that it took them a while to get back to feeling like their normal selves.
I’m not speaking for Devin Asiasi at all when I say this, but it should be mentioned.
In his second day back off of the Coronavirus reserve list, Asiasi did not look like an NFL tight end. In positional drills he had moments where he had to double down on reps and dropped a few passes during team drills. Bill Belichick said the team was easing him back into things and one would assume that they will continue after the performance they saw today.
Winner: QB Mac Jones
Mac Jones was nearly perfect in a team setting today. His lone incompletions came on a dropped pass and an overthrow.
Other than that he ran the offense with fluidity and showed great poise during situational drills. He capped his day with a perfect back shoulder throw to Marvin Hall who reeled it in for a touchdown.
Jones was by far the best quarterback on the field today.