5 quick meals from the fourth day of the patriots training camp

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One unit struggled during the final workout before putting the Patriots on the pads on Monday.

McJones and the Patriots’ offense was pretty tough on Saturday. Mary Schwalm / AP Photo

Foxboro – The Patriots on Saturday had their fourth and final training session before putting on the pads on Monday. While Saturday’s rehearsals were the most attended so far during training camp, there was a feeling the players were ready to get their sanitary pads soon.

Here are five quick takeaways from Day 4 of Patriots Boot Camp.

The crime seemed inactive.

Patriots fans crowded the training ground outside Gillette Stadium, so much so that the ramp along the outside of the field had to be open to flooding. Unlike the first few days, though, the offense didn’t give the excess number of fans much to cheer.

In the first 7 on 7 session, Mac Jones passed tight finish Jonnu Smith in the finish zone. In the final play of the session, Hunter Henry dropped a pass from Jones on the seam road.

After completing only half of his passes in the first 7v7 session (4 for 8), Jones was better in the second, completing passes for Jacoby Myers and Kendrick Bourne, among others.

Uninspiring play from attack, which was partly due to defense, continued in 11v11 as well. Bourne and second-round rookie Tyquan Thornton did not score in 20 passing attempts during this period, with the former not even receiving a goal. Unlike the first three days of training camp, the Patriots held their first 11v11 session in the middle of the field as opposed to the red zone, which was supposed to take advantage of the urgent receivers.

Second-year full-back Cameron McGron, who did not play in 2021 while recovering from a ruptured ACL, scored a potential bout as second-team units competed head-to-head. Left tackle start Trent Brown made his second foul start in camp during the second 11v11 session, causing him to ride a penalty.

Receiver Christian Wilkerson was playing in attack today as part of his first 11v11 session, hitting a deep ball over rookie Jack Jones’ corner in the end zone. However, he may have escaped the attacking pass’s interference in the play.

Jones said he would have appreciated the penalty there.

“I mean, I don’t make those calls,” Jones said with a smile.

Terrance Mitchell, Jalen Mills, and Justin Bethel all scored pass breakups throughout the day as well.

“We just got out shooting all the cylinders and the defense came out with juice,” Jones said. “[Whenever] The defense made a play, we kind of fueled that.”

Patriots quarterback Mac Wilson “certainly” felt that training went well for defense on Saturday.

“We’re just trying to build that chemistry, that camaraderie between each other. When we get out here, we [want to] Have fun, compete and fly around. Overall, we just try to make each other better by how well we do against each other.”

Of course, no one should panic about the fourth workout of the season, especially since it was no pads. The offense also looked great on the first day and outperformed the defense on the third day.

Mac is on the move.

Jones was busy on his feet on Saturday.

Part of that may be by design. The Patriots did a second-year quarterback on drills in some passing drills with the receivers during camp as the team seems to be trying to work a little faster on attack.

But a lot of Jones’s action on Saturday certainly wasn’t by design either.

Jones faced pressure constantly, having to throw while running or throw the ball away on multiple occasions. There was a play where he ran deep into the field for what would have been a sack if it was an 11v11 game. In another play during the 11-on-11 red zone session, Jones looked like he was able to evade the pressure and ran a few years over pitch for landing.

Jones ended up going 6 for 12 over two sessions 11 to 11 on Saturday. His best throws came via a pass to Myers, who picked up the jump ball over year two Shawn Wade’s corner in the back corner of the end zone, and a pass to Henry in the opposite corner of the end zone.

However, he threw a pick for the second day in a row, which may have been the reason why he didn’t stay on the field for as long once training was over, as he did for the first three days.

Kyle Dugger takes revenge.

Henry and Smith topped the third day of training camp with landing paddles over the Dogger, but the tight ends remained muted most Saturdays.

In fact, Dogger held his position for much of the day, notably making a play in coverage to force an incomplete pass to Devin Asiasi during a 7-on-7 period.

In one of the last few plays of the day though during an 11v11 period, Henry grabbed a ball and scored again on the Dogger. Unlike on Friday, Douger made it up.

Dogger jumped in front of Jones’ pass to intercept and if it was a real game he would probably have run the end zone to finish the zone for the touchdown. The play gave the defense another play to end in madness as Jones stepped up to back/receiver Ty Montgomery to discuss what went wrong as the offensive unit was forced to do push-ups.

There’s no Brian Hoyer back, but Bailey Zappe doesn’t impress in the extra cast.

The veteran Patriots quarterback wasn’t present for the second day in a row and didn’t throw for the third day in a row. That means rookie Zappy in the fourth round had more reps on Saturday.

Zappe left much to be desired. He only went 3 for 9 during 7-on-7s, with one pass that was wide and another pass to Asiasi that was short in the end zone, allowing corner Joejuan Williams to get a breakup. Zappe also struggled in 11v11, going 3 for 8.

Overall, the first week of Zappe’s training camp wasn’t impressive, although Saturday was certainly what he struggled the most.

Still, the novice holds his head high.

“It was good,” Zabi said when asked how he rate his performance on Saturday. “I mean, there are always things to work on and keep working on. We will keep stacking the days here and keep getting better every day.”

Other news and notes.

  • Tre Nixon has been the “annual non-rookie receiver who stands out the most during bootcamp” so far. He had three catches on all three targets during the 7-on-7s and added another catch during the 11-on-11 period. He was also repeating kicks and kicks all over the camp. He had some tape treatment on his heel at one point on Saturday. He remained in practice though. Nixon has been impressive since the OTA exercises in the spring, and the sophomore could be on his way to securing a spot on the 53-man final list.
  • In addition to Nixon, Kyle Dugger is back for kicks on Saturday by Marcus Jones Montgomery. Ramondry Stephenson also replayed kicks throughout the camp.
  • Unpolished novice gambler Jake Julian took some starting kicks.
  • Defensive end Dietrich Wise missed training for the third day in a row. Henry Anderson, signed from the Jets in 2021, looked like he got his shots in the upper unit on Saturday.

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