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Patriots training camp notebook: Lackluster offense shows up again

Related: Patriots are playing a dangerous game with their new offensive scheme

NFL: New England Patriots Training Camp Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

After a weekend off, the New England Patriots were back on the practice fields for Day 10 of training camp. Here is what happened.


Absentees: RB James White (PUP), OL Andrew Stueber (NFI)

Returnees: LB Matthew Judon, LB Jahlani Tavai, RB Rhamondre Stevenson, OL Chasen Hines, S Jabrill Peppers

Limited: OT Isaiah Wynn, TE Dalton Keene

Injuries: TE Devin Asiasi

After missing time last week, Matthew Judon returned as a full participant on Monday. Fellow linebacker Jahlani Tavai also was back after suffering what initially appeared to be a serious injury last Thursday.

As for new injuries, tight end Devin Asiasi was spotted walking back to the locker room with a team trainer. Dalton Keene remained limited while Isaiah Wynn also departed after warmups.


Jekyll and Hyde offense: It was two completely different stories for the Mac Jones-led offensive unit in 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s on Monday. In 7s, which spreads the receivers out and allows the quarterback to attack with his strengths, the unit was extremely sharp. Jones quickly picked apart the opposing secondary in a no-huddle tempo, ending the drive with a 50-50 jump ball touchdown to DeVante Parker over Jonathan Jones.

Yet, when the offensive line joined the party for 11-on-11s, disaster struck. The starting unit retreated right back to where it has been the past two weeks. No room in the run game. No protection. Consistent pressure in the backfield. Miscommunications with wide receivers. Plays that are doomed from the start.

Tracking their first two 11-on-11 sessions, here were the results:

First drive:

  • False start (Trent Brown)
  • Run stuff
  • Incomplete
  • Run stuff (Ja’Whaun Bentley)
  • Play-action throwaway
  • Short completion to Tyquan Thornton
  • Marcus Jones pass-breakup
  • Play-action, blown up by defense
  • Anfernee Jennings would-be sack
  • Run stuff
  • Short completion to Jakobi Meyers

Second drive:

  • Short completion to Jakobi Meyers
  • Blown up by defense (Christian Barmore), Mac Jones scramble
  • Completion to Jonnu Smith
  • Matthew Judon sack
  • Incomplete to Hunter Henry (miscommunication)
  • Blown up by defense (Josh Uche)
  • Completion to Jakobi Meyers
  • Incomplete to Nelson Agholor
  • Blown up by defense (Anfernee Jennings)
  • Incomplete to DeVante Parker (miscommunication)

Overall: not good. The disconnect seems to be along the offensive line as the Patriots’ offense continues to go nowhere in 11-on-11s. The amount of miscommunications and “no-chance plays” continues to pile up and is alarming.

Frustration mounting: With the lack of success, the frustration is starting to become more and more visible. After practice concluded, a fired up David Andrews led a meeting mid-field with the entire offensive unit. Talking to the media after practice, Andrews then cut his press conference short after a series of questions regarding the offensive struggles.

A potential change: We did see one change in the offense today. After focusing mainly on zone runs and play-action passes off those early in camp, the unit seemed to spread the field and play with more pace on Monday. While it again didn't translate to immediate results, the spread-out offensive scheme would better translate to Mac Jones’ skillsets (something we discussed here). Perhaps they start to lean on that more as we get closer to the regular season.

The Jones’: While the defensive side won the day yet again, the pair of rookie cornerbacks, Marcus and Jack Jones, stood out. In 1-on-1s, Jack recorded a pair of pass breakups — as well as an interception later in practice — while Marcus recorded a pass breakup of his own. Marcus Jones later had one of the better defensive plays of the day, breaking up a pass to Jakobi Meyers as he was going to the ground.

Tyquan dusts defenders: It wasn't all good for the cornerbacks in 1-on-1s, as rookie Tyquan Thornton dusted Malcolm Butler and Terrance Mitchell in his two reps. He hauled in an easy completion after beating Mitchell, but an under-thrown ball from Mac Jones allowed Butler to get back in the picture and break-up the first pass. The rookie also hauled in a pair of passes in 11s. It may have been his best practice yet.

Parker gets the best Jones: One of the best matchups of the day was DeVante Parker versus Jonathan Jones, who got some exclusive time along the boundary throughout practice. Parker got the best of Jones twice however, pulling down a pair of impressive catches in both 1-on-1s and the touchdown grab in 7-on-7s.

Other notes:

  • With Isaiah Wynn limited, Justin Herron was first up to replace him.
  • It was another tough day for Ronnie Perkins, who ended up on his back in both of his 1-on-1 drills.
  • Unlike Perkins, Anfernee Jennings continues to impress playing up the middle and off the edge. He beat Justin Herron in 1-on-1s with an impressive spin move while continued to make plays in 11s.
  • Nelson Agholor had two wins in 1-on-1s over Justin Bethel and Jalen Mills.
  • Jalen Mills rebounded with an interception later off Mac Jones on a fade route to Kendrick Bourne, who didn't seem to put up much of a fight.
  • Speaking of Bourne, he recorded two drops on his first two 1-on-1 reps.
  • Tre Nixon was active throughout practice, mainly being peppered with targets from Brian Hoyer.
  • Sam Roberts recorded a blocked field goal near the end of practice. Roberts had five blocked kicks throughout his D-II career at Northwest Missouri State.
  • Roberts was sent on a penalty lap earlier, as was Trent Brown.
  • Brown did impress in 1-on-1s with two decisive wins over Josh Uche and Matthew Judon.

The Patriots will be back on Tuesday for their eleventh practice of the summer at 4 p.m. ET as they continue to prepare for their first preseason game on Thursday against the visiting New York Giants.

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