After two days off, the New England Patriots returned to the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium on Monday afternoon. Their 10th session of this year’s training camp looked a lot like the previous nine, with the defense hot and the offense consistently inconsistent.
That said, let’s take a look at the players who caught our eyes — for better or worse.
Winner: WR Tyquan Thornton. The Patriots offense struggled on Monday, but rookie wide receiver Tyquan Thornton had a strong individual day. Producing arguably his best practice to date, the second-round draft pick smoked both Terrance Mitchell and Malcolm Butler in 1-on-1s (Butler was eventually able to break up the under-thrown pass) before catching a pair of passes in front of Jack Jones during 11-on-11s. Thornton’s speed is legit.
Winners: CB Marcus Jones and CB Jack Jones. Despite Jones giving up those two receptions, he had a good practice. He broke up a pair of passes during 1-on-1s and later also caught an interception off of fellow rookie Bailey Zappe. Marcus Jones, meanwhile, saw starter-level reps in the slot and had a pass breakup in 11s against Jakobi Meyers.
Winner: OT Trent Brown. The Patriots’ offensive line had a miserable day yet again, but starting left tackle Trent Brown held his own. He did get flagged for a false start on the very first snap of 11-on-11s and had to go on a penalty lap, but he also looked very good in 1-on-1 pass protection drills; Brown beat both Josh Uche and Matthew Judon for the clean sheet.
Loser: The rest of the offensive line. It was a rough day at the office for New England’s O-line, and it is becoming evident that the unit is at the heart of the offensive struggles. Miscommunication and missed assignments resulted in several stuffed runs, would-be sacks and repeated pressure on the quarterbacks. Just look at it this way: the Patriots offense looked competent during 7-on-7s but completely fell apart as soon as the full offensive and defensive lines were added to the mix.
Loser: LB Ronnie Perkins. The former third-round draft pick had his ups and downs throughout training camp, with Monday falling into the second category again. Perkins spent a significant amount of time with the scout team defense again and was inconsequential during 1-on-1s.
Loser: WR Kendrick Bourne. Bourne was the target on Mac Jones’ lone interception of the day, with the second-year Patriot failing to make a play on the ball versus Jalen Mills. That was not the only time that he stood out for all the wrong reasons on Monday: Bourne also dropped a pair of throws during 1-on-1 work.
A few other players worth mentioning include cornerback Jonathan Jones, who moved from the slot to the boundary and nearly had an interception against Mac Jones. The Patriots’ starting quarterback, meanwhile, was clearly frustrated with the offense’s lack of success. Meanwhile, DeVante Parker had the play of the day for the offense; high-pointing a Jones pass to secure the catch over Jonathan Jones and Myles Bryant.
The Patriots will return to the practice fields on Tuesday for another 4 p.m. ET session. They will then play their preseason opener on Thursday against the New York Giants.