It was correctional day for the New England Patriots on Wednesday as the team ditched the pads and reverted back to shells. Speaking before practice, Bill Belichick explained the team would be focusing on cleaning up communication, technique, and making adjustments.
Throughout practice, the team mainly competed in non-competitive 11-on-11’s in a walkthrough pace. They continued to get reps in the run game as they work to correct some of their mistakes from the past two days. After a lighter day today and the in-stadium practice scheduled for Friday night — which typically operates at a slower pace — it seems the Patriots’ may be in for a competitive afternoon on Thursday in the 100-degree heat. Before we think about that however, let’s recap Day 7.
Absentees: S Jabrill Peppers, CB Malcolm Butler, TE Dalton Keene, RB James White (PUP), OL Chasen Hines (NFI), OL Andrew Stueber (NFI)
Limited: RB Pierre Strong Jr., DE Deatrich Wise Jr., RB Rhamondre Stevenson, QB Brian Hoyer, WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey, S Devin McCourty
Two new defensive backs were missing for the Patriots on Wednesday as Jabrill Peppers and Malcolm Butler were both absent. Brian Hoyer was spotted briefly before departing to the lower fields, while a handful of other players were limited in the slower paced practice. None of the limited players seemed to be dealing with any serious injury.
Scheme stays the same: Despite the lower intensity, the Patriots’ offensive scheme mirrored the one we have seen the past few days. Even in shells and in a walkthrough environment, the Patriots struggled to get anything going in their zone run schemes. Prior to Wednesday’s practice, Belichick noted the zone runs just happen to be installed first, while “plenty of gap runs” will also be installed. We’ll wait to see if that is another Belichick-style ploy or the truth.
Swiss Army Knife: With James White remaining on the PUP list and Brandon Bolden in Las Vegas, Ty Montgomery continues to be heavily involved in an assortment of roles. He had seven total touches today as a running back and receiver, seeming like a strong bet to make the roster.
“He’s pretty versatile, looks like he can do a lot,” Belichick told reporters Tuesday. “See how he does in the kicking game and some different roles offensively.”
Kristian Wilkerson: Wilkerson had perhaps the catch of the day near the end of practice. Despite the lower intensity, Wilkerson hauled in a deep ball with Shaun Wade in coverage. The third-year receiver was also peppered with targets from Bailey Zappe throughout the day.
Mac INT: Looking for DeVante Parker up the left sideline, quarterback Mac Jones and his intended receiver appeared to not be on the same page. As Jones floated the ball towards the sideline, Parker drifted more inside, resulting in an easy interception for Terrance Mitchell.
Wholesome content: While kicking field goals at one point in practice, the specialists unit got some help. With Nick Folk kicking, his four kids helped retrieve his kicks and run them back out.
- Tyquan Thornton opened the first session of the day with the specialists continuing to get work as a gunner.
- Devin Asiasi had a drop on one of Bailey Zappe’s best balls of camp.
- After some impressive reps in 1-on-1s Tuesday, Arlington Hambright again saw some time at right guard next to Isaiah Wynn.
- Like Wilkerson, Jakobi Meyers also saw a ton of targets throughout the day.
- Matthew Judon and Mack Wilson blew up back-to-back plays in the final red zone period.
- Justin Herron was sent on a penalty lap for a false start.
The Patriots will be back for their eighth training camp practice on Thursday beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET.