The New England Patriots returned to the training ground Friday night for their annual in-stadium practice at Gillette Stadium.
There was a huge fan turnout one night as he put the team on the podiums and went through the entire pre-match process. This practice is usually somewhat of a rehearsal, but things initially seemed a bit more complicated at first.
Players are divided for a match between the blue team versus the white team match. Matt Patricia was shooting for Team Blue’s offensive plays with Mac Jones at the quarterback, while leaving Team Whites for Joe Judge and rookie Bailey Zappy.
This was the last practice of the week with the team set to miss the weekend before returning to prepare for Thursday night’s opening game against the New York Giants.
Here are five notes from the team’s on-court exercise.
This was a padded running exercise
There was a feeling that Friday’s practice would turn into a simulated brawl as everyone split into teams and approached it like that. But it was actually a padded jogging exercise on the court.
It is not uncommon to think that the Patriots usually practice such practices without platforms. So things were definitely a little different this year in that respect.
This was a valuable exercise given that it mimics the exact feelings the team will have when they host the New York Giants in their pre-season opening.
Tafaye was seen on the sidelines
A remarkable sign from the start was that Patriots midfielder Jhelani Tafaye was seen on the sidelines after Thursday’s injury scare. It was a lower leg injury that required help from coaches for him to get off the field.
But he was back there on Friday with a sleeve on his injured leg and walking with a noticeable limp.
Tavai has been working with second team defense and characters to play a major role on special teams. So the Patriots hope to get it back sooner rather than later. But the fact that he was out in the field walking around is a good sign.
Uche and Herron are sent to the locker room
Just because it was a quick workout doesn’t mean that she wasn’t competitive in the field. The dust had to be broken briefly between linebacker Josh O’Shea and attacking lineman Justin Heron.
Belichick ended up sending both players back to the locker room.
Herron didn’t seem to like how hard Uche made fast passes, and things got tough.
It was clearly not something very serious. Things are going to get competitive at this time of year, especially with pre-season football fast approaching.
Even before a workout, you can tell the guys that they are very excited and ready to go.
Hoyer was throwing bombs
Age is nothing but a number for the Patriots quarterback.
Brian Hoyer entered gunslinger mode during training with a 60-yard touchdown throw to receiver DeVante Parker and another deep landing pass to Kendrick Bourne.
Hoyer obviously still has plenty of juice in the tank as a backup, but the real story here is the potential big playability with both Bourne and Parker on the field.
That’s the not-so-secret component that the Patriots’ offense missed last season – the ability to make big plays. The team would love nothing more than watching the same plays appear on Sundays.
Jennings works at the heart of the defense
The Patriots’ national linebacker Anverne Jennings is clearly rising in the depth chart, and it has been proven with him that first-team representatives have been appointed in place of absentee Matthew Godon in training.
Some hastily shut the door on the 2020 University of Alabama third round draft. He struggled during the junior season and missed the whole last season. But he makes a big showing on the coaching field in his third NFL campaign.
His stock is definitely on the rise, and it will be interesting to see how he performs in pre-season.
The story originally appeared on Patriots Wire
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