FOXBORO – Just like prior years, season ticket holders and Foxboro residents packed into Gillette Stadium to watch the New England Patriots run their in-stadium practice. While the practices of late had been slow in pace and more of a situational and learning phase, tonight was a scrimmage between the starters and the reserves. Here is who stood out, for better or for worse.
Last year, it was Quinn Nordin who went 10-for-10 on field goal attempts during the practice. On Friday, it was Nick Folk and Tristan Vizcaino, who combined went six-for-six on kicks during the session. Folk hit two field goals from 43 yards out, plus an additional extra point and Vizcaino hit on all three of his attempts (33, 34 and 44 yards).
DUD: CB Shaun Wade
Wade has continued to struggle during camp thus far. The second-year cornerback got absolutely toasted on a corner route by Kendrick Bourne en route to a long touchdown. With a number of cornerbacks joining the team, Wade needs to do a complete 180 in game settings if he wants a spot on the team.
STUD: LB Cameron McGrone
Missing his rookie season after a torn ACL, McGrone has come back this summer looking faster than ever. On the first drive of the day, the former Michigan Wolverine burst through the offensive line untouched and would have had a sack on fellow 2021 draft mate Mac Jones. The speed that McGrone brings to the defense was severely lacking last year and will be something to watch throughout the preseason.
DUD: OG Mike Onwenu
Onwenu’s rookie year in 2020 was fantastic, as he was one of the team’s brightest spots. In the years following, he has struggled to see the field in the same manner. He was benched for Ted Karras at left guard last season and now he has continued to rotate with the backups at right guard. James Ferentz and Arlington Hambright have both seen valuable playing time at that spot, so Onwenu might not be making the best impressions on the coaching staff as of late.
STUD: QB Brian Hoyer
The longtime veteran missed significant time this past week, but came back firing on all cylinders. Rebounding from a tipped interception to Jalen Elliott, Hoyer was launching the ball, finding DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne for long touchdown scores. Airing the ball out has never been Hoyer’s go-to, but as he reaches the twilight of his career, he is showing he can still sling it. Oh, and the crowd loved the deep ball.
DUD: Fight Club
Fight, fight, fight! The first skirmish of the summer took place on Friday night, as tackle Justin Herron and linebacker Josh Uche got into a small dust-up. Both players had to be separated by teammates and were later kicked out of practice. While it was nice to see some intensity in an otherwise uneventful practice, the unneeded over eagerness certainly did not leave a good impression on Bill Belichick.
The Patriots will get another off-day tomorrow, their first since Sunday, and will rejoin for another public practice on Monday. The gates will open to fans at 8 a.m. and the session will start around 9:30 a.m.