FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Patriots were on the practice field for their second day of mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. While Bill Belichick was looking forward to having a "wet field" throughout the day, as he noted in his pre-practice presser, it ended up being a humid and hot day for New England.
Overall, it was a light day's work for the club. It went through some conditioning to start along with some light throwing sessions coupled with special teams play. That said, there were some higher-paced periods of practice that were interesting to watch unfold, especially as the club continues to rotate players in and out to get them ready for training camp.
Below, we'll cover the biggest takeaways from Day 2 of minicamp, which includes Bailey Zappe getting some work with the first-team offense and a nice showing from second-year corner Jack Jones.
Strong day from Jack Jones
While there may be a lot of hype surrounding 2023 first-round pick Christian Gonzalez and his early ascent into the secondary, second-year corner Jack Jones made his presence felt Tuesday. He picked off Mac Jones during 7-on-7s when the quarterback was trying to hit tight end Hunter Henry on a deep throw down the right side of the field. Jones was able to split in front of Henry and leap up to make the interception.
As the Patriots continued to shift around players all across the defense, there were times when Jones was at the other starting corner spot opposite of Gonzalez working with the ones, while Jonathan Jones lined up in the slot. If that ultimately sticks, New England would have two young corners to potentially help mold this secondary in 2023 and beyond.
Bailey Zappe gets some work with the first-team offense
It was largely a dominant day by the Patriots defense, but I did find it noteworthy that there was a brief period during 11-on-11s when second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe got a chance to work with the first-team offense. During that specific session, Zappe hit on all six of his throws, completing two balls to Mike Gesicki, another couple to fellow tight end Hunter Henry, and the final one of the session to Rhamondre Stevenson. It looked like the Patriots were focusing on check downs and shorter passes during this session, but the young quarterback was sharp under the circumstances.
Zappe noted during OTAs that he's been Anthony Firkser that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and likely would have gone for no gain or a loss of yards., and he certainly looked dialed in during that specific portion of practice. However, it wasn't a perfect showing from him Tuesday, as he went 3 of 6 during his first 11-on-11 session, which included a completion to
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How Mac Jones performed
Again, defense ruled the day here, and Jones did turn the ball over a couple of times during the session. He had one throw picked by Jack Jones during 7-on-7s, and the defense continued to give the entire offense fits as the practice progressed into 11-on-11s. On the day, Jones was 9 of 13 during competitive 11-on-11s. That included a so-so start where he completed 3 of 7 before coming back around with the second session during which he completed all six of his pass attempts, albeit most, if not all, of them being checkdowns. During a two-minute drill, Jones finished his day 5 of 7, which included two nice catches from DeVante Parker but also an interception by Marcus Jones.
Trent Brown's brief appearance, Pats O-line
Trent Brown was back at practice after missing Monday's session Riley Reiff were penciled in as the possible starters at left and right tackle, respectively, there has been some shakeup. Conor McDermott was working as the top right tackle while Calvin Anderson has been a mainstay at left tackle in Brown's absence.. However, we didn't see the big offensive tackle for most of the day since he did not participate in team drills. That leads to an interesting situation that is unfolding along the offensive line. While Brown and free agent arrival
While it's encouraging to see McDermott and Anderson seizing the opportunity, neither player has started double-digit games in their professional careers. This would make New England's offensive line a bit inexperienced if this is the one-two punch it opts for to open training camp.
Quick hit notes
- JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyquan Thornton, Michael Onwenu, and Keion White were among the notable Patriots missing Tuesday.
- Lawrence Guy was also missing from practice for the second consecutive day . When asked about it before practice, Bill Belichick said, "Yeah, whatever the issue is, you can talk to him about that. I'm not going to talk about contracts or personal situations, injuries."
- Myles Bryant, Marcus Jones, Ed Lee and Demario Douglas were fielding punts. Lee was also returning kickoffs alongside rookie Isaiah Bolden.
- Patriots legend Julian Edelman was in attendance, watching practice and shaking hands with former teammates and coaches.