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Patriots training camp notebook: New England’s offense shows life on Tuesday

Related: Patriots training camp notebook: Lackluster offense shows up again

New England Patriots Training Camp Photo by Carlin Stiehl for The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The New England Patriots were back on the practice fields for their last training camp practice before their preseason opener against the New York Giants on Thursday.

Here is what happened.


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

Limited: TE Devin Asiasi

After being limited on Monday, Isaiah Wynn was not spotted during Tuesday’s practice. Devin Asiasi, who left Monday’s practice, was spotted for warmups before departing to the lower field.

On the injury front, linebacker Raekwon McMillan spent time on the ground after one play but quickly returned to the field. Wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey appeared to tweak something as well. He limped off the field but later returned. Damien Harris also got his hand checked out by a trainer, but returned with a small wrap around his index finger.


There is life: After a string of dreadful practices from the offense, the unit showed some life today. The operation was all around smoother, specifically in the run game. The offensive line produced some big holes and the offense as a whole had what probably was its best day on the ground this summer. The intensity wasn't full-go, but perhaps the unit responded to David Andrews’ fiery speech after practice Monday.

Ding-ding: Speaking of Andrews, he again brought the intensity Tuesday. Andrews and Christian Barmore were the main cause of a sideline-clearing brawl, which was resolved rather quickly. As Barmore departed to the locker room, Andrews retreated to the conditioning hills. The practice was already chippy before that, as there was a small skirmish in offensive versus defensive line drills earlier on. It was tough to tell who started it, but Justin Herron came out of the middle of the pile without his helmet.

Change in routine: Through 10 practices, cornerback Terrance Mitchell has been the first player on the field in every one. We saw a change on Tuesday, as Mac Jones beat him to the field. Jones then retreated to the back by the athletic training area, where he underwent a new warm-up routine. With the offense in a funk, perhaps he was trying to shake up his routine.

Wynn’s replacement: With right tackle Isaiah Wynn limited on Monday, Justin Herron was first up to replace him. Herron has had a solid camp, but struggled throughout practice with the first unit. With Wynn missing Tuesday’s session altogether, the Patriots turned to Yodny Cajuste at right tackle. Cajuste and Michael Onwenu combined for a noticeable push on the right side of the line, specifically freeing Rhamondre Stevenson for a quality run in one occurrence.

Pierre looking strong: After spending the start of camp limited, Pierre Strong Jr. has started to gain some momentum. The rookie running back got some run in the red area during 11-on-11s on Tuesday over J.J. Taylor, showcasing some skills in pass protection as well. With the growing sense that James White will not be available any time soon, Strong’s skillset will make him an intriguing piece in the running back room.

Veteran leadership: Matthew Judon called Lawerence Guy one of the defense’s leaders after practice on Monday. Guy showcased that leadership on Tuesday, having a one-on-one session with rookie guard Cole Strange near the end of practice. The two seemed to be going through some technique work with Guy helping the first-round draft pick out.

Other notes:

  • Wide receiver Tre Nixon continues to feast underneath for the Patriots’ offense. He’s become a favorite target of backup quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe.
  • Zappe has also developed what appears to be a strong connection with Kristian Wilkerson. I’d expect to see a lot of those two throughout the preseason.
  • Jack Jones has a knack for the ball. After recording two pass breakups and an interception yesterday, the fourth-round rookie had two more impressive breakups on Tuesday.
  • DeVante Parker had one of the better catches of the day, going up and over Jonathan Jones in a two-minute drill. It was the second straight day he’s used his 6-foot-3 frame to haul one in over the 5-foot-10 cornerback.
  • Jones continued to get run at outside corner for the Patriots. While he did let up the contested catch to Parker, he had strong coverage on Parker the very next play, as well as on Nelson Agholor three plays later.
  • A strong practice from Hunter Henry, who was active of the middle of the field. Hoyer connected with the tight end in the two-minute drill on a strong play up the seam.

The Patriots now turn their attention to their preseason opener 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!