FOXBORO - The first week of New England Patriots training camp has reached its conclusion. After Saturday’s practice, fans are slowly knowing more about a few new faces and seeing this team slowly take form as September rolls closer.
The defensive unit continued its strong camp thus far, showcasing their speed and youth on Day 4. Here are some of those who stuck out in Foxboro.
STUD: CB Terrence Mitchell
Mitchell is slowly putting together one of the strongest camps after one week. The quarterback tandem of Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe are rarely targeting the new signee, showcasing his lockdown ability during competitive team drills. He led the team with two passes broken up and continued his streak of being the first player on the field for the fourth straight day.
DUD: Offensive Line
Highlighted by Anfernee Jennings, the defensive front manhandled the offensive line on Saturday. To give the line some credit, they had bright-red oven mitts on their hands, making it difficult to hold, but the execution was still poor. Technique, especially from the tackle position, was at a low point for the summer and the duo of Jones and Zappe had to scramble for their lives in the pocket.
STUD: S Kyle Dugger
After Friday, in which Dugger seemed to have a bit of trouble against the tight end tandem of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, he flipped the switch and played like a star on Saturday. The practice ended on a pick six by Dugger, which resulted in a defensive sideline that erupted as Dugger flew down the field. As the former Lenoir-Rhyne product enters his third NFL season, the Patriots look for days like Saturday to elevate this defense.
DUD: CB Shaun Wade
Competing in his first Patriots training camp, Wade is one of the secondary members who seems just a tad late to a bunch of plays. Whether it was being in coverage for a few touchdowns (including a dazzling snag by Jakobi Meyers) or being lost in open field during a Mac Jones scramble, Wade is falling behind in the depth chart.
STUD: LB Anfernee Jennings
Jennings spent the first two years of his New England tenure either sparsely finding playing time or on Injured Reserve. Today, he broke out of his shell. With Dietrich Wise Jr. missing his third straight practice, a bigger role was carved out for Jennings on Saturday. During the final 11-on-11 period, he had one would-be sack, as well as spending the majority of the session in the backfield and in the quarterbacks’ faces.
DUD: CB Jack Jones
Other than a single pass breakup, this was not a day to write home about for the Arizona State rookie. The Patriots fourth selection in this past draft was the main defender when the offense scored three touchdowns. In a practice where the defense stepped up to limit the offense’s attack, Jones seemed to be a step behind the rest of his secondary mates.
New England fans can sit back and relax as the team will have their first off-day tomorrow. The Patriots will suit up for their first padded practice at 9:30 a.m. on Monday.