Photo/Paul Rutherford/USA Today
The Patriots wrapped up their second week of training camp with a padless scrimmage. The light Gillette Stadium practice featured mixed starters on both teams, while only season ticket holders could attend.
Overall, it was an uneventful evening that sparked an undrafted dream in Quinn Nordin. Nordin was 10/10 in all of his kicks. He was iced multiple times and continued to kick it through the uprights. The former Michigan Kicker is the clear winner of this week. Here are the kicks Nordin was perfect from on Friday:
– Newly acquired Linebacker Raekwon McMillan will miss the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL. McMillan was having a great camp, looking well suited for the 53-man roster.
– The Patriots signed LB Cassh Maluia, a familar face in Foxboro.
– Tight End Dalton Keene was placed on season-ending IR. The former 3rd round pick has yet to do much in a Patriots uniform, leaving fans wondering if his time in New England is doubtful. The team activated Devin Asiasi off of the COVID-19 list.
Week 2 Winners
QB Mac Jones
Ever since Cam Newton took the lead in the QB competition, Jones trimmed the deficit significantly. After Tuesday’s practice, Jones accounted for 42 throws to Newton’s 24.
Jones is still being thrown into the Lion’s Den with first team reps and heavy activity in the passing game. Jones may have done his best before the snap this week. One play featured Jones alerting the blitzing Linebacker, having the RB pick it up, beating the blitz on a quick slant. Again, it is important to remember that Newton and Jones have had similar days of success. It is going to come down to which QB can perform at that level every day.
DT Christian Barmore
The 2nd round steal from Alabama has a high ceiling in Bill Belichick’s defense. Scouts worried about his work ethic and ability to take coaching entering the draft. So far, Barmore has been nothing but dominant, constantly drawing first team reps. He has used his power and explosiveness during 1 on 1s, further picking up momentum on the front seven.
OLB Josh Uche
It’s time to start buying into this defense. Particularly, it’s time to get excited about this pass rush. After being one of the worst teams in Quarterback sacks, Bill Belichick needed to make a change. Uche showed pass rushing potential in 2020, but was hindered by injuries. Now healthy, Uche has looked relentless in team drills, continuously generating pressure at an unforgiving pace. Uche could be playing himself into a starting role.
TE Jonnu Smith
Jonnu Smith was listed as a must get Patriot back in March and Bill Belichick is going to get the best out of him. Smith was dominant in yesterday’s practice, making a big grab over Kyle Dugger. He has also turned heads in the blocking game, an aspect of his game many ignore. Smith also recorded a 30-yard touchdown, demonstrating his ability after the catch.
Belichick previously called Smith one of the best in the league after the catch.
“That’s just something I feel like I just developed as a kid,” said Smith when asked about his catching ability. “Just playing football in the backyard with your boys, with your homies, you know what I mean…Just playing in the churchyard and not getting tackled, because if you got tackled, that means you have to give the ball up. That was just something we played back in the day.”
As the pads continue to stay on and the temp increases, the Patriots need consistency. Practice is the place to make mistakes, but it also the place where games will be won and lost.