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3 things to watch during the Patriots’ second joint practice with the Carolina Panthers

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

NFL: JUL 30 New England Patriots Training Camp Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another day, another joint practice. The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers will be back on the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday morning for their second and final workout together.

It remains to be seen whether or not it will be as eventful as Tuesday’s session. No matter what happens, we will keep an eye on the following three things.

Team discipline: One of the biggest stories coming out of Tuesday’s practice was the general chippiness that boiled over on two separate occasions. As a result, a total of five players were sent off — including three Patriots: wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Kristian Wilkerson and center James Ferentz.

Bill Belichick and Panthers head coach Matt Rhule huddled up their teams after the second of those ejection-worthy altercations and cooler heads started to prevail. Heading into the second joint session, however, the question still lingers: Will we see more of the same?

The coverage personnel: The Patriots defense put forward a very encouraging performance on Tuesday. Led by standout cornerback Jalen Mills, who did not allow any catches while in coverage during full-team drills, New England put the clamps on a talented wide receiver group featuring the likes of D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr., among others.

While it does not appear that the performance was a fluke, seeing the unit string positive days together would obviously be a positive.

Ball security: On several occasions, the Patriots were unable to take care of the football as well as they should have. Mac Jones’ Hail Mary-style interception during a two-minute drill aside, the team’s pass catchers allowed the ball to hit the ground four times.

Devin Asiasi fumbled the football, while fellow tight ends Jonnu Smith and Matt Sokol saw defenders punch the ball out for incompletions. Smith also had a drop, while Jakobi Meyers lost the ball at one point while stepping out of bound. Needless to say that ball security will be an area of emphasis for the Patriots’ coaches.

As for yesterday’s things to watch, here are a few quick notes:

Mac Jones versus another defense: Jones did have an interception to end a two-minute drill late during the session, but on the whole he looked pretty solid. The second-year quarterback had some encouraging connections with DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers and Tyquan Thornton, and despite playing behind an O-line that remains a work in progress, showed some good poise and rhythm.

New England’s offensive line: The offensive line was far from perfect going against a talented Carolina front, the but the unit as a whole did show some progress. This, in turn, led to the Patriots’ newly implemented wrinkles — mostly outside zone and RPO concepts — to look better than they had in previous sessions.

1-on-1 drills: The 1-on-1s saw some standout performers, for better or worse. Nelson Agholor and Tyquan Thornton impressed on offense, while Jonnu Smith and Cole Strange had a rough go. Defensively, the aforementioned Jalen Mills led a strong effort by New England’s coverage personnel.