The Patriots held Practice Six of training camp today and the biggest takeaway was that the offense finally looked good. We have been waiting all of training camp to see this type of performance from Mac Jones and company and we finally got it. Maybe it was because NFL Network was there and he wanted to look good.
In any event. Here are the five players that impressed me today and the five players who left me depressed or bummed out shall we saw.
5 Players Who Impressed
Mac Jones, QB: Mac threw the ball well throughout practice. He showed good timing, anticipation and zip on his ball to all three levels. I refuse to chart practice completions as I find it to be a waste of time but I can tell you this. Today was the best Jones has looked all camp and it was a good sign for an offense that needed a day like today.
Demario Douglas, WR: Douglas could literally be on this list everyday. He made a couple of terrific catches in group and team and he even took a handoff. Douglas is going to make this team and he could end up becoming a bigger part of the offense than we think now. He is electric with the ball in his hands, especially in space.
DeVante Parker, WR: Parker made a couple of spectacular catches and was consistently open. He did a good job of seprating on his routes and he showed he can run more than just fades, outs and comebacks. Parker has had a good camp but today’s practice might have been his best.
Anthony Firkser, TE: Firkser continues to impress with his route running and blocking in the run game. The veteran tight end is in a competition with fellow vteran Matt Sokol and rookie Johnny Lumpkin. Sokol and Lumpkin also had good days but Firkser was better today. Factor in his experience and Firkser is positioning himself to make this team.
Kyle Dugger, S: Dugger is a three level player who can affect the game in so many ways and he showed that today. He lined in all three levels and did a good job blitzing, covering and playing the run. He was especially impressive in one on one’s against the tight ends. He did a good job carrying routes, staying in phase and making plays on the ball.
5 Players Who Depressed Me
Marcus Jones, CB: Jones struggled in one on one’s. He struggled with both DeVante parker and Demario Douglas. Coming off of a solid rookie season, the Patriots are counting on Jones to be an effective cover corner in the slot. He didn’t look like he can match up at times, especially against bigger receivers.
Pierre Strong, RB: We are at the point in camp now where Strong needs to start showing up and making plays. I did not see that today. He had a nice catch and run on an H-Screen but other than that, he really didn’t do anything that stuck. The opportunity is there for Strong to emerge as the number two back but Kevin Harris is outperforming up to now.
Christian Gonzalez, CB: Let’s not get carried away here. Gonzalez has had a good camp but I thought today was probably his worse in the last four. He got beat a couple of times in one on one’s and he pulled up a couple of times in run support. Gonzalez is a special talent. He will be fine. You cannot be as good as he has been for an entire camp. You will have a bad day. Today might have been that day for Gonzalez.
Offensive Line in RZ: The offensive line actually had a good day in pass pro but struggled during the red zone run period to end practice. Christian Barmore and the defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage. The offense scored a couple of times but the period left something to be desired.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB: Stevenson was a limited participant again. It seems like the Patriots are taking a cautious approach with their starting running back. It is hard to tell if he is still dealing with lingering issues from the end of last season.
Stevenson met with the media after practice and you can tell he is itching to get back to practice. He towed the company line in his responses but Stevenson wants to practice and he wants to get hit.