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Patriots training camp notebook: Mac Jones-DeVante Parker connection off to a promising start

Pats Pulpit Training Camp Guide: Schedule, position battles, practical info, and more

The New England Patriots officially began their 2022 training camp Wednesday morning. It was a relatively quiet first day, as the team did not wear pads and mainly focused on red zone work. Despite the lighter workload and hot conditions, that did neither damper the crowd’s energy levels nor the team’s — especially Damien Harris’, Kendrick Bourne’s, and DeVante Parker’s.

With that being said, let’s hop into the most notable takeaways from day one of Patriots training camp.


Absentees: RB James White (PUP), C David Andrews (PUP), S Jabrill Peppers (PUP), DB Jonathan Jones (PUP), DB Myles Bryant (NFI), OL Chasen Hines (NFI), OL Andrew Stueber (NFI), P Jake Bailey (NFI/Illness)

Limited: RB Pierre Strong Jr.

Attendance was as expected for the Patriots on Day 1 of camp. Despite not practicing, all four players on the PUP list were present. Rookie running back Pierre Strong Jr. departed to the lower fields after warmups.


DeVante Parker stands out: When Bill Belichick told the media Wednesday morning that today’s focus would be on red zone work, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for DeVante Parker to make a strong first impression. That’s exactly what he did, soaring high in the end zone for back-to-back touchdowns from Mac Jones in 7-on-7 work. Later in 11s, Parker again went up and muscled a ball away from Terrance Mitchell. Parker showcased his skillset and 6-foot-3 frame as expected on Wednesday.

Matt Patricia handles play-calling duties: Despite working with the offensive line throughout practice, Matt Patricia was in charge of play-calling during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods — using a walkie-talkie to send in plays to Mac Jones. As for Joe Judge, he spent most of his day working with the quarterbacks alongside offensive assistant Evan Rothstein. The former special teams coordinator also spent a moment with the field goal block unit. Much like he did throughout the spring, Bill Belichick was seen with the offense for the majority of the day.

“They all bring different energy to the room,” Mac Jones said after practice.

Mitchell earns first crack: With J.C. Jackson now in Los Angeles, the starting cornerback job opposite of Jalen Mills, who had a strong pass deflection against Parker in the end zone, is up for grabs. Today, offseason acquisition Terrance Mitchell earned first crack at that spot.

Also in the secondary, Joshuah Bledsoe made an impressive pass break up in the end zone while Joejuan Williams recorded an interception. The battles throughout the secondary will certainly be one to keep an eye on all of camp.

Ty Montgomery steps in: With James White on the PUP list, Montgomery received his fair share of reps with the first-team offense at both wide receiver and running back. He hauled in a few receptions, beating Shaun Wade once for a touchdown.

Trent Brown stays at left tackle: As it was in minicamp, Trent Brown remained at left tackle with Isaiah Wynn manning the right side. Brown said in his post-practice media availability that being back on the left side “feels like home.” Also, with David Andrews on the PUP list, James Ferentz got first crack at the center position with the starting unit.

Position switch: Bill Murray, who has spent the last two years on the Patriots’ practice squad as a defensive lineman, opened camp with the offensive line. He switched his jersey number from 97 to 62.

Padded helmets: Throughout practice, all linemen, linebackers, and tight ends rocked padded shells over their helmets. This will be done throughout camp as a new safety initiate from the NFL.

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