FOXBORO – As DeVante Parker jumped into the air, you could feel the tension from the crowd. As he descended back down to the turf with the football in his hands, the fans at the Patriots’ first day of training camp erupted with cheers.
Parker rewarded those in attendance by walking toward the front row of the roped-off crowd and letting off a primal scream.
Wednesday marked the first day of training camp and players and fans alike made this short practice a fun one. Parker was the star of the show. He hauled in three touchdown catches over three different cornerbacks — Terrance Mitchell, Marcus Jones and Jack Jones — throughout this session, which lasted just over an hour.
This first day of camp was essentially a continuation of Patriots minicamp. Pads and full contact won’t happen until Monday, which is Day 5 of training for the Pats. On Wednesday, the Patriots focused on red-zone drills. Every 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 competitive drill started around the 5-yard line. This made for several tight window throws from quarterback Mac Jones and some nice catches from his receivers.
Jones finished 8-of-10 in 11-on-11 drills and 5-of-6 in competitive 7-on-7 drills. The Patriots quarterback made a series of nice throws in the end zone. He also showed some resilience. After completing his first four passes in full-team drills, the Patriots defense stood up with back-to-back deflections. First, Jalen Mills swatted away a pass to Parker. Next, Joshuah Bledsoe deflected a throw to Jakobi Meyers.
In the next period, however, Jones came out swinging and ended practice with three touchdown throws to Ty Montgomery, Nelson Agholor and Damien Harris. The throw to Harris was a blow to the defensive players, who had to drop down and do 10 pushups.
Along with Parker, Agholor also had a nice day. The veteran receiver caught two touchdowns by jumping over Malcolm Butler.
Brian Hoyer finished practice going 5-of-6 in 11-on-11s with an interception by JoeJuan Williams. Hoyer had a nice connection with rookie Tyquan Thornton, who made back-to-back diving touchdown catches in the first 11-on-11 period. Hoyer also went 2-of-3 in 7-on-7s. Rookie Bailey Zappe didn’t throw in full-team drills and went 2-for-2 in 7-on-7s.
Notable takeaways from Day 1
One other big offensive development is that it looks like Matt Patricia will be calling offensive plays. Patricia had a walkie-talkie in his hand and it appeared like he was calling in plays to Jones and the offense during full-team drills. Patricia even did that during 7-on-7s when his offensive line group was on a different part of the field.
The Patriots offensive line has stuck with Trent Brown at left tackle and Isaiah Wynn at right tackle. The two guards have been rookie Cole Strange on the left and Michael Onwenu on the right.
On defense, it was notable that Mills and Mitchell appeared to be the main outside cornerbacks. They’re in a competition for those starting jobs with Jack Jones and Butler.
The Patriots didn’t have any surprise absences to start training camp as all the players not participating were expected.
Not practicing were David Andrews, Jonathan Jones, Jabrill Peppers and James White – all who are on the physically unable to perform list. There was also Jake Bailey, on the non-football illness list, as well as those on the non-football injury list, Myles Bryant, Chasen Hines and Andrews Stueber.
The Patriots return to training camp tomorrow at 9 a.m.
Patriots enjoyed the sights and sounds of Day 1 of training camp
It was around 9:10 a.m. when Mac Jones first jogged on the Gillette Stadium practice field. It was approximately at that time when fans went absolutely wild.
The Patriots are back and it was impossible not to notice the rancorous crowd in Foxboro.
As expected, Jones was the star for fans present for the hour-long practice. It was impossible not to notice the signs, No. 10 jerseys or those screaming, “I love you Mac” throughout the practice fields.Even when Jones was talking to the media, fans were screaming, “We want Mac!”
Players didn’t have pads on and we didn’t see any bone-crushing hits, but the Patriots were happy to be back and enjoyed the fan reaction throughout their first day of camp.
“It feels great. It feels great to be out here,” said linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley. “It feels just as great to see all these cameras and more importantly, all these fans and teammates again. It’s good to be out here having fun, flying around. Day 1 – first of many.”
“It’s always good to be around the fans,” said defensive end Matthew Judon. “You kind of see them in passing sometimes but the people who come out here to cheer us, support us while we just run around in sweatpants and a helmet, it’s good to see. We love our fans and love to see and be around them.”
Fans brought out homemade signs celebrating Jones, but you could also see signs for players like Jalen Mills and rookie Tyquan Thornton. The thousands in attendance weren’t quiet and players also got involved with the fun. Multiple receivers like DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne celebrated with fans after making touchdown catches. Running back Damien Harris also ran over to the crowd after one of his solid run plays.
“It feels good to have the fans out. Fans are really active, really loud,” added receiver Kendrick Bourne. “And just getting them interacting – I’m that kind of player. I just want to be involved and get them excited for the year.”
Pats ready for first session of 2022
Football is back.
The Patriots open up training camp Wednesday at Gillette Stadium for their first open practice of the summer. The session starts at 9:30 a.m. and it’s free and open to the public. For fans, gates open at 8 a.m.
Those hoping to see some hits will have to wait until next week. The Patriots are scheduled to have non-contact practices during these first four days, running Wednesday-Saturday. When the Pats return to camp next Monday, they’re expected to be in full pads for the first time in 2022.
“When we get to the field, we’ll be able to kind of pick up where we left off at the end of the spring,” Bill Belichick said. “It will be a very similar structure to that where we were with that veteran minicamp in terms of practice opportunity, meeting time and so forth. But that’s all part of the buildup for training camp (when) padded practices will begin the following week.
‘Dramatic improvement’: Bill Belichick is raving about Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
“Good to get it going, good to get started like I said build on the spring. Long way to go, we’ll take it one step at a time and just try to continue to improve every opportunity we get and certainly every day.”
Patriot quarterbacks take target practice
As the New England Patriots took the field for the first training camp of the season, quarterbacks quickly began targeting the end zone with a drill focused dropping the ball in to a receiver near the sidelines.
I’ve never seen this net before at Patriots practice. It reminds me of the Pro Bowl skills challenge.
Note: This drill had the QBs throwing over the net. pic.twitter.com/DJLPlyk8Py
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) July 27, 2022
The large net was employed in the drill as passers threw the ball over the net to a receiver in the back corner of the end zone.
Patriots tease dawn of a new season
The Patriots social media team was getting fans excited for the 2022 season bright and early Wednesday morning.
On the day training camp began, a photo of the team facility as the sun rises was posted to Twitter with the message, “Rise and shine, Patriots Nation.”
The first training camp practice of the season is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. with gates opening to fans at 8 a.m.
Who is missing from Patriots camp?
The Patriots will be without a handful of veterans as they placed center David Andrews, cornerback Jonathan Jones, safety Jabrill Peppers and running back James White on the physically unable to perform list. Andrews said on Tuesday that he had offseason shoulder surgery and is working his way back to full strength.
What is the Patriots training camp schedule?
Wednesday, July 27, 9:30 a.m.: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m..
Thursday, July 28, 9:30 a.m.: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m..
Friday, July 29, 9:30 a.m.: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m..
Saturday, July 30, 9:30 a.m.: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m..
Monday, August 1, 9:30 a.m.*: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m.. *Practice time is tentative.
Tuesday, August 2, 9:30 a.m.*: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m.. *Practice time is tentative.
Wednesday, August 3, 9:30 a.m.*: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m.. *Practice time is tentative.
Thursday, August 4, 9:30 a.m.*: Training Camp Practice. Open to the Public. Gates open to fans at 8:00 a.m.. *Practice time is tentative.
Tuesday, August 16, Time TBD: Joint practice with the Panthers. Open to the Public.
Wednesday, August 17, Time TBDJoint practice with the Panthers. Open to the Public.
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: New England Patriots report to open 2022 training camp: Live updates