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Patriots training camp notebook: Josh Uche flashes his game-changing athleticism

Related: Patriots training camp notebook: Physical Sunday practice sees some high-profile departures

New England Patriots Training Camp Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

The New England Patriots were back in pads for the second consecutive day (and fourth time this training camp) on Monday afternoon. With just a handful of days before the team’s preseason debut against the Washington Football Team, the Patriots dialed up the physicality on both sides of the ball, as well as the pressure on quarterbacks Cam Newton and Mac Jones.

Before the Patriots head back inside Gillette Stadium for Tuesday’s practice, let’s clean out Monday’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, RB Brandon Bolden, S Adrian Colbert, CB D’Angelo Ross, TE Hunter Henry, C David Andrews, LS Joe Cardona

Returnees: WR Nelson Agholor, DT Akeem Spence


DL Christian Barmore: The rookie had another stint in the medical tent in practice after a period of 1-on-1 drills against offensive lineman. Barmore had his right leg/knee checked out before eventually returning to action.


Mac Jones continues to impress, Cam Newton remains starter: It was a solid showing from both quarterbacks Monday, as the team continues to look for consistent play from the position. While Cam Newton continues to see starter reps, Jones’ confidence in the offense continues to develop.

Running a two minute drill to conclude practice, Jones went a perfect 4-of-4 against the scout team defense. After starting off with a 30-yard wheel throw to Sony Michel - who made an impressive over-the-shoulder diving snag up the right sideline - Jones’ ended the drill with a pretty, 20-yard back shoulder touchdown pass to Marvin Hall.

In earlier 11-on-11 work against the first team defense, Jones led another touchdown drive. His most impressive throw came on a short pass to Kendrick Bourne, where the rookie was forced outside of the pocket and pointed to an area of the field with soft coverage before completing the pass.

Newton also was put to the test in two minute drills - with a heavy mix of Nirvana and Green Day in the background. Newton completed just 2-of-5 passes against the starting defense, but was hindered by a Kristian Wilkerson drop on a short slant route.

In total, Newton was 11-of-17 in 11-on-11 work Monday afternoon. He did throw an interception to safety Adrian Phillips on a pass behind Jonnu Smith - a reoccurring issue from the veteran this summer. Newton did have the throw of the afternoon, when he dropped one in the bucket to James White on a wheel route down the right sideline. White made quite the catch as well.

Adrian Phillips shines again: Adrian Phillips has been a monster for the Patriots’ defense this training camp. After intercepting Newton earlier in the day, Phillips ended Newton’s two minute drill by breaking up a pass to Jonnu Smith in the end zone - one of the best back-and-forth matchups of camp.

Through 11 practices so far, the 29-year safety has two interceptions and four pass breakups. He consistently been one of the best players on the entire team.

Josh Uche’s speed flashes: Even with limited action his rookie year, it was hard to miss Josh Uche’s speed and athleticism at the linebacker position. After a solid start to camp this summer, the second-year pro dominated the Patriots starting offensive unit in 11-on-11 drills Monday afternoon.

In goal-line work, Uche used his speed to burst through the offensive line and blow up a run by Sony Michel behind the line of scrimmage. Later in passing situations, Uche registered two would-be sacks, completing dominating right tackle Trent Brown on one occurrence. With his speed and quickness, Uche should be a serious problem for the opposition this season.

Other Notes:

  • Deatrich Wise has been solid for the Patriots throughout training camp and had his best practice of the summer on Monday. Wise, who signed a 4-year, $22 million contract this offseason, recorded a “sack” on Newton in 11-on-11 work. Wise also had clean wins over Isaiah Wynn and Jonnu Smith in 1-on-1 work.
  • Despite shedding his red non-contact jersey Friday, Kyle Van Noy sat out of 1-on-1 drills against the offensive line for the second straight practice.
  • With David Andrews (hand) out of practice, Ted Karras was playing center with the starting offense in 11-on-11 periods. James Ferentz manned the middle when Karras, who returned Sunday from injury, was held out of run-blocking drills.
  • While Nelson Agholor returned after his undisclosed absence Sunday, he was limited in Monday’s practice. Agholor did not appear to participate in any team drills.
  • Kristian Wilkerson stayed busy again Monday, but did not have the same success as he did on Sunday. It was the second straight day he led receivers in targets in team drills (7), but he only managed to haul in two passes while recording two drops.
  • Kendrick Bourne continues to catch everything thrown his way and looks like he’ll be a consistent chain-mover for the Patriots offense. For the second straight day, Bourne caught all four of his targets in team drills.
  • Cornerback D’Angelo Ross appeared halfway through practice in full pads, but just watched from the sidelines with his helmet in hand. The cornerback has missed four straight practices, but appears to be close to returning. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham also watched practice for the second consecutive day.

That is all for today’s Training Camp Notebook. Make sure to follow @iambrianhines and @patspulpit on Twitter for all your training camp updates!