Patriots Training Camp Day 3: Another Good Day For Cam Newton, While Mac Jones' Performance Dips Late In Practice


Patriots Training Camp Day 3: Another Good Day For Cam Newton, While Mac Jones' Performance Dips Late In Practice

BOSTON (CBS) — Another day, another training camp practice.

The Patriots hit the practice field on Friday morning for the third consecutive day, as they work toward the start of their 2021 season.

Here’s what stood out on the practice field for this one.

THE QB BATTLE

Of course, this has been and will be the top story of the summer, as every snap, throw, handoff, and mini-burst of emotion will be analyzed, scrutinized, and digitized if it’s performed by Cam Newton or Mac Jones.

The Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan said Newton was the better quarterback, with Jones fizzling out at the end for the second straight day.

#Patriots passing stats:– Cam Newton 14/20, Mac Jones 8/18, Brian Hoyer 12/17.– Newton was the best QB of the day. He again picked up steam with a strong final period.

– Jones continues fizzling late in practices, with some bad luck. Three of his incompletions hit WR hands.

— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) July 30, 2021

MassLive’s Chris Mason framed it interestingly: Cam Newton had the better overall day, but Mac Jones made the best throws of the day.

Cam Newton and Mac Jones both turned in solid performances in the most competitive practice of camp this far. Newton had more completions and consistency, but Jones had the best throws of the day.

Very on-brand for veteran v. rookie.

— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) July 30, 2021

NFL Network’s Mike Giardi likewise agreed it was a “good day” for Cam, despite some misfires. He also noted that Jones faded late in practice.

As for Mac Jones, very crisp and efficient early on. Bit of a late practice fade but was also undone by a drop and some poor pass protection. #Patriots

— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) July 30, 2021

ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted that with the offense moving away from the red zone, Mac Jones was able to display his downfield passing ability.

One of the highlights of practice was opening up the passing game. The work was exclusively in the red zone the first 2 days, but today gave QBs a chance to show their long-ball skills. Mac Jones showing that he can push the ball downfield, with accuracy, on those type of plays.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 30, 2021

Cam Newton started 2/5, but then had a dominant stretch where he completed six-straight passes. In the final period, he went 4/5. Jones went 1/4 (one drop.

Overall, it was a good day for Cam

— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) July 30, 2021

The numbers for Day 3…

11-on-11
Newton: 13-for-19. One rep wiped away by an Agholor OPI.

Jones: 8-for-16. Two passes were dropped. I counted three reps for Jones that would’ve resulted in sacks in a live situation. https://t.co/196WcvaEUZ

— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) July 30, 2021

BIGGER CROWDS

Training camp is usually filled to the brim with Patriots fans. Yet whether it’s due to there being no autographs allowed this year, or a lack of enthusiasm from the 7-9 season, or people being out of practice with attending events in the COVID world, the crowds were smaller than usual on Wednesday and Thursday.

But the crowd was noticeable larger for Friday’s session.

Good crowd for Day 3 of #PatsCamp #Patriots @wbz pic.twitter.com/oSE1lHYGss

— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) July 30, 2021

It’s likely fair to assume the crowd will grow larger for the weekend session on Saturday.

RHAMONDRE’S DEBUT

Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson started camp on the non-football injury list. But he was present and participating on Friday, having only missed two sessions.

Stevenson was selected by the Patriots with the 120th overall pick in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Stevenson ran for 1,180 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 28 passes for 298 yards in 19 games over the past two seasons for Oklahoma.

FIGHT!

OK, not really a “fight.” But emotions did run high between David Andrews and Rashod Berry.

We just had our first scuffle of camp. Looked like David Andrews and Rashod Berry getting into it after an 11-on-11 rep. Cooled down quickly.

— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) July 30, 2021

PROMISING SIGN FOR AGHOLOR

Nelson Agholor — despite a drop — had a good day on the practice field.

Here we go and if you were waiting for a wide receiver to take the alpha for this @Patriots team here at training camp, Nelson Agholor has done that. Solid day today. #Patriots #WBZ pic.twitter.com/GiddXaJ3S5

— Levan Reid (@LevanReid) July 30, 2021

Nelson Agholor gets my Player of the Day nod. I had him down for five catches in 11-on-11s, including an acrobatic touchdown grab from Newton. Made up for an early drop on what would have been a beautiful deep TD from Jones.

— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) July 30, 2021

Active day for Nelson Agholor. Has three TDs, including a long ball from Cam. Dropped an over the shoulder catch from Mac where he was open. He’s creating consistent separation. #Patriots

— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) July 30, 2021

Agholor just made a nasty diving grab in the end zone on a bullet from Newton.

Redemption, thy name is Nelson.

— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) July 30, 2021

Superb catch by Nelson Agholor on an end-zone crosser from Cam Newton. Wideout has been heavily involved today.

— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) July 30, 2021

KARRAS HURT

Ted Karras — who returned to the Patriots presumably to take over at center, only to presumably get moved into a backup interior spot after David Andrews re-signed — suffered some sort of lower-body injury.

Injury news: C/G Ted Karras remained down after a rep in 11-on-11 drills and after getting up on his own, he is now walking to the medical area with head athletic trainer Jim Whalen.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) July 30, 2021

“THESE TIGHT ENDS LOOK GOOD”

Now there’s something that was not said once last year:

We saw 3v3 drills for the first time today. They were about 5 yards from the goal line. Highlights included Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith making leaping TD grabs over McCourty. These tight ends look good.

— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) July 30, 2021

DEFENSE

Again, with no tackling or hitting, the defense isn’t really on full display here. But it’s worth noting the standout plays and players.

Players of the day:

Offense: Nelson Agholor

Defense: Kyle Dugger

Agholor bounced back from an early drop to turn in his best (open) practice as a Patriot. He was the best WR on the field. Dugger had a couple PBUs and continues his ascent. You notice him in every practice.

— Chris Mason (@ByChrisMason) July 30, 2021

Pass deflections today: JC Jackson, Uche, Bower, Colbert, Dugger, Michael Jackson Sr

— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) July 30, 2021

The Patriots will be back on the practice field on Saturday, before getting a day off on Sunday. The Patriots announced that they’ll be holding training camp practices Monday through Thursday next week on the practice fields, free and open to the public, with gates opening at 8:30 a.m. each day. The team will hold its in-stadium practice on Friday, which is open to season ticket holders and Foxboro residents.

Patriots Training Camp Day 3: Another Good Day For Cam Newton, While Mac Jones' Performance Dips Late In Practice