Patriots Training Camp 2022

Jungleland

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I could see 5 candidates for a WR trade:

Bears - two WR trades in one offseason with the same team would be unprecedented I have to imagine, but their WR room is in dire shape. Arguable worst WR situation in the league.
Browns - like the Bears there's a good #1 and a solid TE, but beyond that is baaad and they had been reportedly looking at FAs a couple weeks ago. Also just lost Grant for the year.
Cowboys - Good at full health, but Washington on the shelf until several games into the regular season and Gallup returning from ACL surgery.
Packers - kind of similar to the Pats tbh, but with less depth and a (believe it or not!) less proven #1. More heralded rookie, but already injured.
Broncos - Least need at the top of the depth chart, but just lost Tim Patrick for the year. Not sure if the cap works - they don't have enough room if they'd take the full hit.
 

BaseballJones

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Trade Agholor and a 6th to the Browns for their 2023 second rounder. Then fly with Parker, Meyers, Thornton, Bourne, and Nixon. I think the Browns' 2023 second could be a super nice pick. Also frees up a lot of cap space for the Pats.

I don't WANT to trade away any of their WRs, but a deal like this, if it was possible, would be a great move for the Pats.
 

SMU_Sox

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I don’t think you’re getting anything close to a day 2 pick for Agholor. Mid day 3 or pick swap maybe. If they get a 5th for him I’d be stoked but I suspect it will be a 6th/7th or a 5th/6th pick swap.
 

Super Nomario

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As a total aside, how much speed do you think these guys lose as they approach age 30 vs combine numbers?

I’m sure it’s variable (and somewhat dependent on interval injuries) but do you think Parker would break 4.5? I’d guess closer to 4.6 probably.

Obviously recent game film and game speed is the more the more important thing anyway. But just saying if we’re lining up the WR speed, combine numbers may not mean much 8 years later.
Fair, but that rationale applies equally to Agholor, who is basically the same age as Parker.
 

BigJimEd

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I don’t think you’re getting anything close to a day 2 pick for Agholor. Mid day 3 or pick swap maybe. If they get a 5th for him I’d be stoked but I suspect it will be a 6th/7th or a 5th/6th pick swap.
Yeah, I think that is more realistic. I'd prefer they keep Agholor but wouldn't be shocked to see him traded.
 

Fisks Of Fury

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There's a thread here somewhere on how the waiting list is ridiculous and how long it takes to move up on it at all. Seems as if the season ticket holders (current and wanna be) don't care.
I absolutely treat these preseason games as a "sunk cost" portion of my season tickets. I'll usually offer them up to friends/family who haven't been to Gillette before and might enjoy "the experience". I use them some years, but more often than not they go to someone else.
 

JM3

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I would be happy if they traded Agholor & got any real value because they means the internal valuation of the young guys would warrant the extra playing time (hopefully).
 

Phil Plantier

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I don’t think you’re getting anything close to a day 2 pick for Agholor. Mid day 3 or pick swap maybe. If they get a 5th for him I’d be stoked but I suspect it will be a 6th/7th or a 5th/6th pick swap.
If the return is that bad, shouldn't they just hold on to him on the chance that he has a good season and nets a comp pick as a FA? They can restructure other stuff to get the cap space they need.
 

SMU_Sox

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If the return is that bad, shouldn't they just hold on to him on the chance that he has a good season and nets a comp pick as a FA? They can restructure other stuff to get the cap space they need.
They have a decent amount of cap space next year and should be active in FA. Comp picks might not be a factor.

I’ll add to that if they like Nixon and Thornton (I’ll get to him) this year and want to go with a five man WR group of those guys then trading Agholor is the right move. They need to clear cap space to be able to make moves this year.
Having two guys like Nixon and Thornton let you rotate faster guys onto the field when you want to execute certain concepts. Granted your 4th and 5th WR don’t typically get a lot of snaps but with Parker’s health you never know. And if they use a lot of 12 it further reduces their role but… it’s possible they value those two.

Thornton could have had a bigger night. He burns guys off the line and gets separation. He ran his routes well and was shiftier than his testing indicated. Plus guys play him differently because of his speed and route pacing so it mitigates any stiffness he does have. Had Hoyer thrown a better ball he would have had a huge chunk play. You know what impressed me the most though about him? Did you all catch his run blocking? He got into it and drove the defender back. He showed that in college and I wondered if it would translate in the pros. Even though he is thin he truly gives it his all. This is a tiny sample size but I’m happy with what I saw. The push-off has to be addressed but that’s not always called anyway.

The rookies for the most part had a good night. Jack Jones almost had a pick, Roberts was disruptive, and aside from a drop from Harris and some spotty run blocking that didn’t give the rookie RBs much room to run I was pleased.
 

wasabisam

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It certainly seems that they like Nixon in special teams as a returner. If that continues, he’ll have a roster spot.

What’s the argument to trade Agholor instead of Bourne? Just salary? Bourne seems to have the more redundant skills and seems to be having a worse camp.
 

Eddie Jurak

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It certainly seems that they like Nixon in special teams as a returner. If that continues, he’ll have a roster spot.

What’s the argument to trade Agholor instead of Bourne? Just salary? Bourne seems to have the more redundant skills and seems to be having a worse camp.
My argument for Bourne would be "2021". More catches, yards, yards per catch, yards from scrimmage including as a running threat, touchdowns, and catch rate - and one of the league leaders in contested catches. Agholor was hurt some but that doesn't fully account for the difference. Bourne seems like a versatile playmaker who should have some sort of role on the team.
 

Jungleland

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It certainly seems that they like Nixon in special teams as a returner. If that continues, he’ll have a roster spot.

What’s the argument to trade Agholor instead of Bourne? Just salary? Bourne seems to have the more redundant skills and seems to be having a worse camp.
Bourne was better last year and is under contract for this year and next at 4 and 5 million dollar cap hits, respectively. Unless he’s taken a significant step back, I think he figures to be an important part of both of those teams.

Last night was almost as much of a wash for the WR argument as can be, I think. Both Nixon and Wilkerson (and Humphrey tbh) did some things well and some things that need work. Imo it depends how much better you think Agholor can be this year than last, whether it’d be a trade or cut, and/or how likely it is to get the other(s) to the practice squad. I think if you look at it like swapping one year of 2021 caliber Agholor for 9 million in cap space, a day 3 pick, and whoever you like best of the fringe WRs they have, a trade is pretty attractive. Change any 1-2 variables - Nixon gets to the practice squad either way, Agholor is the 2020 version, you have to cut him (5 mil in savings) rather than trade him (9) - any combo of those probably pushes me in the “keep him” direction.

Admittedly I'm looking at it purely from a 53 man perspective, which completely ignores the Thornton playing time factor - probably another pro on the cut/trade side. Fwiw, Doug Kyed suggested yesterday that Agholor is looking like the odd man out but heard at least one team say the cap hit is too high.
 
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Phil Plantier

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Did you all catch his run blocking? He got into it and drove the defender back.
The second play of the game, I think: he motioned inside and I thought it was a hazing ritual. Then he blocked his guy (or a guy) effectively that led to a successful running play. Had no idea that he could do that.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Here's Lazar's writeup:

https://www.patriots.com/news/game-observations-nine-takeaways-from-patriots-preseason-opener

With Hoyer under center, the Patriots ran more of their traditional offense with a power/gap running scheme and a passing game that looked very similar to the offense last season.

However, rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe ran more of New England's under-center install that did feature the inside and outside zone concepts that the Patriots were drilling in training camp. As was the case in practice, the Pats struggled by averaging 2.9 yards per rush.

The problematic area for the Patriots on outside zone concepts, both on Thursday night and in practice, is the interior combination blocks. The idea is for the play-side guard to block the defensive tackle until the center overtakes the block and then the guard climbs to the linebacker at the second level.
Currently, the timing from the play-side guard working up to the linebacker needs to improve for the outside zone scheme to create the necessary rushing lanes for the running backs.
It makes sense that Zappe, new to the team, would be running more of the staff the Pats have been working on recently than old hand Hoyer.
3. Patriots LB Mack Wilson's Play Speed on Full Display
Among the likely core contributors who did see the field on Thursday night, offseason acquisition Mack Wilson brought the type of speed to the second-level that the Patriots desperately needed at the linebacker position. Wilson, who has shown closing burst in coverage and as a blitzer all summer, did the same against the Giants. Wilson registered a quarterback hit by closing quickly on an interior blitz of Daniel Jones and then made a quick tackle from his hook zone to stop tight end Daniel Bellinger short of the line to gain on third down. Those are the plays the Patriots were missing from their linebackers a year ago.
The flip side of this is that Wilson's small size (and McMillan's) are also evident. They seem to be shifting to a smaller, faster, LB model this year, which is a change for the Pats. After what feels like a few years of watching their slwer bigger linebackers get burned by speed, this is welcome but comes with its own tradeoffs.
Outside seventh-rounder Andrew Stueber who is on the non-football injury list, rookie cornerback Marcus Jones was the only first-year Patriot who didn't play on Thursday night. On the one hand, Jones could still be working his way back from offseason surgery on both shoulders. But on the other hand, Jones isn't practicing with a red non-contact jersey at this stage. The other theory is that the rookie slot corner and punt returner, who was repping with the starting defense over the last week in practice, is considered a core contributor already.

Out of all the corners who did participate on Thursday night, Shaun Wade's competitive ball skills stood out watching the game live. Rookie Jack Jones nearly jumped multiple passes for interceptions, too. The fourth-rounder has ball-hawking qualities in coverage.
 

Super Nomario

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Here's Lazar's writeup:

https://www.patriots.com/news/game-observations-nine-takeaways-from-patriots-preseason-opener


It makes sense that Zappe, new to the team, would be running more of the staff the Pats have been working on recently than old hand Hoyer.

The flip side of this is that Wilson's small size (and McMillan's) are also evident. They seem to be shifting to a smaller, faster, LB model this year, which is a change for the Pats. After what feels like a few years of watching their slwer bigger linebackers get burned by speed, this is welcome but comes with its own tradeoffs.
They also gave Bentley the night off last night. When he's in there, obviously he's giving more of a 2021 LB look, for good or ill (or both).
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Here's Lazar's writeup:

https://www.patriots.com/news/game-observations-nine-takeaways-from-patriots-preseason-opener


It makes sense that Zappe, new to the team, would be running more of the staff the Pats have been working on recently than old hand Hoyer.

The flip side of this is that Wilson's small size (and McMillan's) are also evident. They seem to be shifting to a smaller, faster, LB model this year, which is a change for the Pats. After what feels like a few years of watching their slwer bigger linebackers get burned by speed, this is welcome but comes with its own tradeoffs.
I found it very encouraging that Marcus Jones might not have played last night because he is repping with the first team D. That would be hiuge for the Pats to get a starting rookie corner with a 3rd round pick.
5. Participation in Patriots Secondary is Telling
Outside seventh-rounder Andrew Stueber who is on the non-football injury list, rookie cornerback Marcus Jones was the only first-year Patriot who didn't play on Thursday night. On the one hand, Jones could still be working his way back from offseason surgery on both shoulders. But on the other hand, Jones isn't practicing with a red non-contact jersey at this stage. The other theory is that the rookie slot corner and punt returner, who was repping with the starting defense over the last week in practice, is considered a core contributor already.
 

Jimbodandy

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Not a lot jumped out at me from section 329. McGrone stuck his nose in everything. It was nice seeing Nixon get some catches (and a little separation), albeit not against top guys. And Zappe's arm looked worse than the numbers show. He seemed a yard short on everything. On the outside throws that could be rhythm, but so far he seems like a duck-thrower.

And fwiw (again not against starters), the backside pursuit on a lot of plays seemed faster than last year.
 

Shelterdog

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They also gave Bentley the night off last night. When he's in there, obviously he's giving more of a 2021 LB look, for good or ill (or both).
Right. Everything we've heard indicates that McMillian is a full time starter (and perhaps only played because he's coming back from an injury) so if you're lead backers are McMillan and Bentley, that's not a small fast duo.
 

BigSoxFan

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Not a lot jumped out at me from section 329. McGrone stuck his nose in everything. It was nice seeing Nixon get some catches (and a little separation), albeit not against top guys. And Zappe's arm looked worse than the numbers show. He seemed a yard short on everything. On the outside throws that could be rhythm, but so far he seems like a duck-thrower.

And fwiw (again not against starters), the backside pursuit on a lot of plays seemed faster than last year.
Seems to match Zappe's NFL.com combine scouting report:

Weaknesses
  • Stocky and short for a pocket passer.
  • Can get stuck on single-side reads.
  • Operation time for delivery is slow.
  • Lacks the arm talent for difficult, off-platform throws.
  • Won't beat NFL coverage often enough on tight-window throws.
  • Lackadaisical delivery causes accuracy issues in quick passing game.
  • Basic ball placement and accuracy are spotty when moving his feet.
  • Most interceptions came from poor decision-making.
Have to imagine that we'll be cycling through Mac backups in the coming years.
 

Jimbodandy

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It's strange because I recall some beat writers talking about how Zappe had a little more zip on his throws than Mac in camp, and it certainly didn't look that way yesterday.
I counted three of four throws that were nice, NFL-QB-level throws. Oddly enough, one was an off-platform cross about ten yards down. Another was the nice back shoulder throw down the right sideline (Nixon maybe?). A bunch of his throws were short, so it's hard to tell. But a lot were just wobbly and short, kind of like when a guy plays in high winds (except there really was no wind).
 

Jimbodandy

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Seems to match Zappe's NFL.com combine scouting report:

Weaknesses
  • Stocky and short for a pocket passer.
  • Can get stuck on single-side reads.
  • Operation time for delivery is slow.
  • Lacks the arm talent for difficult, off-platform throws.
  • Won't beat NFL coverage often enough on tight-window throws.
  • Lackadaisical delivery causes accuracy issues in quick passing game.
  • Basic ball placement and accuracy are spotty when moving his feet.
  • Most interceptions came from poor decision-making.
Have to imagine that we'll be cycling through Mac backups in the coming years.
It's strange because I recall some beat writers talking about how Zappe had a little more zip on his throws than Mac in camp, and it certainly didn't look that way yesterday.
I counted three of four throws that were nice, NFL-QB-level throws. Oddly enough, one was an off-platform cross about ten yards down. Another was the nice back shoulder throw down the right sideline (Nixon maybe?). A bunch of his throws were short, so it's hard to tell. But a lot were just wobbly and short, kind of like when a guy plays in high winds (except there really was no wind).
 

brendan f

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It's strange because I recall some beat writers talking about how Zappe had a little more zip on his throws than Mac in camp, and it certainly didn't look that way yesterday.

Yeah, I also recall reading that on one of the days the team scouted Zappe, the wind was really whipping and he was still apparently throwing darts downfield, which couldn't have hurt his stock with BB and Co . Would have to go back and watch the film to figure out what happened on those "duck" throws last night, but looked like he was flinging the ball off his back foot. He did show poise standing in the pocket, showed good movement, and made a few good short passes, so I think there are things to like, but the deep throws looked bad. All of them.
 

Steve Dillard

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I found it very encouraging that Marcus Jones might not have played last night because he is repping with the first team D. That would be hiuge for the Pats to get a starting rookie corner with a 3rd round pick.
Meaning, by that rule, that our 25 year old first rounder couldn't make a patchwork offensive line?
 

Shelterdog

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Meaning, by that rule, that our 25 year old first rounder couldn't make a patchwork offensive line?
Strange is one hundred percent the starter; they presumably thought in his case (perhaps in part because of his small school background) that more PT was worth it.

He’s also 24 fwiw.
 

DJnVa

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What do we think this means, if anything:

With Hoyer under center, the Patriots ran more of their traditional offense with a power/gap running scheme and a passing game that looked very similar to the offense last season.

However, rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe ran more of New England's under-center install that did feature the inside and outside zone concepts that the Patriots were drilling in training camp.
 

E5 Yaz

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What do we think this means, if anything:
Maybe they just wanted to go traditional while the NYG had better defenders in the game, then go to the install as the Giants started playing back-end guys
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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This from Chad Graff on whose stock rose and fell based on the exhibition vs the Giants.

Risers
CB Myles Bryant

The cornerback depth chart has been one of the most intriguing storylines of Patriots camp, and that will continue into the second preseason game. But one corner who drew a rave review from Belichick was Bryant, the third-year defensive back who started in two games a year ago.

It’s always helpful for players on the roster bubble to contribute on special teams, and Bryant has proven quite capable of that. Bryant said he hadn’t returned a punt since high school but was tasked with those duties Thursday night and showed shiftiness on both returns he had, totaling 46 yards on the two touches.

Jones and Jabrill Peppers can return punts, too, so the job won’t just be handed to Bryant. But it was a good start.

“He’s shown a good ability to track and catch the ball,” Belichick said. “We know Myles has good quickness, and we know he’s a good decision-maker, which is a lot in that position. He made a couple nice plays. He’s worked hard for that opportunity, earned it, and then did something with it — all encouraging things. But that’s kind of typical of Myles. That’s kind of the way he is and the kid he is. He’s a very diligent, hard-working kid who always gives you his best effort. He’s a smart, instinctive football player in a lot of different roles.”
Maybe Bryant will not be fired into the sun after all...
 

DJnVa

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My opinion is the whole "new offense" is overblown and it's not going to look a lot different than it has.
Maybe, but they were clearly struggling a lot in camp with new concepts. If they are not really changing things up that much, it seems to be a waste of a week of camp.
 

radsoxfan

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Is there anyone in the offensive coaching staff that has successfully implemented these “new concepts”? I admit I know little beyond BB, Patricia and Judge.

There’s a huge difference between watching film and trying to “copycat” what worked for other teams and having coaches from those other staffs.

Obviously the on-field personnel differences are critically important too. But having a coach that knows the common pitfalls/adjustments from offensive meetings that work would be very helpful.

Even with BB supervising, the learning curve might be steep (and bumpy) for the offensive staff.
 

RedOctober3829

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Is there anyone in the offensive coaching staff that has successfully implemented these “new concepts”? I admit I know little beyond BB, Patricia and Judge.

There’s a huge difference between watching film and trying to “copycat” what worked for other teams and having coaches from those other staffs.

Obviously the on-field personnel differences are critically important too. But having a coach that knows the common pitfalls/adjustments from offensive meetings that work would be very helpful.

Even with BB supervising, the learning curve might be steep (and bumpy) for the offensive staff.
They should have brought in an OL coach who has specifically had experience in this system in order for it to work as well as you want. The OL coach in this system is paramount to success.
 

Van Everyman

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Bedard (who has been a hysterical ninny this offseason) wrote a pretty good piece about all this this past week. Basically, he said that Bill has wanted to try out of the Shanahan zone blocking scheme for a long time but never could really take the time to do it with Brady ready to win, the wrong personnel and other coaches that didn’t really want to waste preseason reps trying it. Now he thinks it’s as good of a time as any. He also said he thinks that if they do try it in regular season games and it doesn’t work that he won’t be stubborn about it and will ditch it.
 

SMU_Sox

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What perplexes me with the talk about outside zone is the Patriots run it. They ran it last year with and without a fullback. They run basically every running play under the sun. Yes they are known for gap/power runs but they only run those 40-45% of the time. They run duo, inside zone, outside zone, split zone, traps, draws, full-back leads, ISOs, crack-tosses etc. And all of those runs have multiple variations. I’ve just seen this the last 3-4 years but when I watch old Patriots games I see the same thing. Maybe Bedard is right - they just wanted to practice it more but I highly doubt the Patriots are going to be a one dimensional rushing team. Some teams run as high as 85% zone concepts. Even gap/power heavy teams typically only utilize that 50% of the time. The Patriots imo will stick to being a versatile run team and until I see a switch in the regular season I remain skeptical that anything changes. Maybe they increase outside zone use marginally but that’s it… probably.
 

Super Nomario

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Maybe, but they were clearly struggling a lot in camp with new concepts. If they are not really changing things up that much, it seems to be a waste of a week of camp.
They've been struggling in camp with everything, from what has been reported. The disaster practice last week was 3rd down work and thus almost all passing-based.

And as SMU notes above (and Dante did the other day), outside zone is hardly new for the Pats offense.
 

DJnVa

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The tweet below references BB getting angry, but unless the article was updated, I don't see anything about that.




Good news on Cajuste:

Yodny Cajuste was treated in the sideline medical tent last Thursday after suffering an apparent knee injury, but that proved to be just a scare. Cajuste was a full participant in practice, repping at right tackle on the top offensive line.
 

Captaincoop

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Not a lot jumped out at me from section 329. McGrone stuck his nose in everything. It was nice seeing Nixon get some catches (and a little separation), albeit not against top guys. And Zappe's arm looked worse than the numbers show. He seemed a yard short on everything. On the outside throws that could be rhythm, but so far he seems like a duck-thrower.

And fwiw (again not against starters), the backside pursuit on a lot of plays seemed faster than last year.
I thought McGrone looked really promising, flying around the field. Then I read Bedard's writeup and he trashed McGrone for being slower after his injury, etc. On the one hand, I saw what I saw. On the other, I had several bourbon and cokes during the game and Bedard probably didn't.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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The tweet below references BB getting angry, but unless the article was updated, I don't see anything about that.
I found this at PatsPulpit:

Loser: The chain gang. New England kept things relatively light on Monday, with no players really standing out for negative reasons. However, head coach Bill Belichick was still quite animated on multiple occasions. Why? The chain gang was not up to his preferred speed, and he let his frustrations be known.

From your NESN link (not sure on timing/ if any edits ):

— The team staffers running the sideline chain gang appeared to draw Belichick’s ire on multiple occasions. The head coach unleashed two torrents of expletives when the chains did not display the correct down and distance, prompting him to briefly pause practice.
 
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Granite Sox

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I thought McGrone looked really promising, flying around the field. Then I read Bedard's writeup and he trashed McGrone for being slower after his injury, etc. On the one hand, I saw what I saw. On the other, I had several bourbon and cokes during the game and Bedard probably didn't.
I’m with you on this (and stone cold sober!). I don’t know nothing from nothing, but McGrone seemed to be in on a lot of plays, even in coverage. Now, I’m sure he may not have always been in the right spot and/or a step late, but for his first professional game he certainly didn’t seem as bad as Bedard suggested. Feels like Bedard is trying too hard to have a unique take. And I watched every snap he took while at Michigan and thought he looked plenty quick on Thursday. Certainly faster than last years LB fossils.
 

Jungleland

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Fwiw, I’ve read two 53 projections today (if I remember right the other was Zack Cox) that had McGrone an odd man out.
 

Jimbodandy

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I’m with you on this (and stone cold sober!). I don’t know nothing from nothing, but McGrone seemed to be in on a lot of plays, even in coverage. Now, I’m sure he may not have always been in the right spot and/or a step late, but for his first professional game he certainly didn’t seem as bad as Bedard suggested. Feels like Bedard is trying too hard to have a unique take. And I watched every snap he took while at Michigan and thought he looked plenty quick on Thursday. Certainly faster than last years LB fossils.
On one hand, McGrone was going against 2nd and 3rd stringers. On the other hand, he was hitting everything that moved, at least to my eyes. Every play, it seemed like he was under or on top of the pile.
 

BaseballJones

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Nice pick, Bill.
You're not wrong. But...

I mean....you can literally do this for every team in the league, virtually every year. Every team makes bad picks. LOTS of them. Every single team. Including Baltimore, who is widely considered to be the gold standard at roster building.