FOXBORO — Sunday was the final camp practice fully open to the media. A perfect late summer day except for a strong breeze which played a little havoc with the kicking game as we will detail below.
After Saturday’s off-day, this was a toe-in-the-pool kind of day in terms of overall intensity. Going forward, media will only have access to the first 20 minutes or so of Patriots practice. We get chased out when positional drills begin.
By this Saturday at 4 p.m., all teams have to be down to the roster limit of 53. Teams have until Sunday at noon to put in waiver claims. At approximately 1 p.m. New York time, teams can put together their 16-man practice squad. So it will be a busy week roster-wise and we may see some releases occur before the week is out.
WHAT THEY WORE
The Patriots wore shells and shorts. Defense wore blue; offense wore white and the quarterbacks wore red. As usual. Jakobi Meyers was also in a red jersey because of a shoulder injury which was first reported by NESN’s Doug Kyed.
WHO WAS OUT
Lamar Miller, Michael Jackson, Chase Winovich and Beau Allen were absent. Allen was on the field Friday for the first time this camp during the team’s game simulation which was more designed for players to get a feel for playing in the stadium. Julian Edelman was on the field for the start of practice but adjourned after that.
WHAT WE WITNESSED
A lot of work on the passing game with the players in shells and a confident Cam Newton who was decisive with his reads and accurate with his throws throughout the 105-minute session.
Sony Michel got the first rep in the walkthrough portion of the program. He’s moving very well and has looked better each workout since returning.
Speed and suddenness aren’t Mohamed Sanu’s calling cards but his lack of short-area quickness shows up consistently in an inability to separate. All throws to him are contested.
Rookie Kyle Dugger and second-year man Joejuan Williams both worked with boxing pads on their hands to train them to cut down on the clutching and grabbing. Williams had a solid practice overall and despite the mitts he was able to come up with a ricochet pick after Adam Butler got a hand on a Cam Newton pass.
Rookie linebacker Anfernee Jennings is a far different player than fellow rookie Josh Uche when he’s lined up next to Ja’Whaun Bentley. The speed of the smaller Uche is contrasted with the heavy-footed movements of Jennings. Jennings figures to be an early-down player while Uche is going to be a much better player against speed.
On one drill, players caught a little swing pass then accelerated downfield to be greeted by two players who were taking angles. Cam Newton took part in the drill and the sheer size of him compared to linebacker Rashod Berry was just … different to witness.
Dalton Keene: The rookie tight end hasn’t been flawless, but he had a few standout plays on Sunday including one in which he took an inside release against safety Kyle Dugger, pushed hard to the inside then worked his route back out before he hauled in about a 20-yard throw from Cam Newton.
Michael Onwenu: The rookie offensive lineman from Michigan is starting to show some positional versatility that will serve the Patriots well if he can be used in multiple spots as a backup in his first year.
Jakobi Meyers: Despite that shoulder injury he’s dealing with and a fairly quiet camp perhaps as a result, Meyers had a number of smooth catches.
N’Keal Harry: He made the catch of the day working off the right side of the formation. Running what appeared to be a short stop-route, Harry’s footing gave way and he went down on his back but he sent his go-go gadget hands up at the last instant to reel in the catch while lying flat.
Justin Rohrwasser: While veteran Nick Folk was going 4 for 4 on his attempts, rookie kicker Justin Rohrwasser was 2 for 5. Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported the tally for the week was Folk going 17 for 20 with Rohrwasser at 11 for 20.