Day-1 Of Patriots Padded Practices, And The Results......"nowhere to go but up"
Greg Bedard from Boston Sports Journal is in Foxboro for Patriots camp and he wasn't impressed by their first day practicing in pads. Most of the disappointment on this day seems to be with the offense.
Here are some of his comments after watching the team drills on Monday,
"First glimpse of Shanahan outside zone scheme was a disaster: With the pads on for the first time, the emphasis was on the run game, and that means we got our first look at the Patriots running a lot of outside zone. After some 2-on-2 run blocking drills that were a departure from what they've repped in the past, the Patriots went into the first 11-on-11 run/short passing game period and ... well, there's nowhere to go but up. I'm not going to sugarcoat this. That period of offensive football was atrocious, among the worst I've seen in my time covering the league (the first thing that came to mind was Cam Cameron's first practices as Dolphins head coach ... sorry)."
Well at least it was just the first day of padded practices. Sucking on the first day of padded practices is a much better time to suck than on the first day of the regular season.
The guys will get right back at it on Tuesday with their chance to improve on a day in which Bedard believes couldn't have been any worse.
Monday's first 11-on-11 run/short pass drill session went like this as described by Bedard:
Isaiah Wynn false start Mac Jones intercepted by Terrance Mitchell in front of Tyquan Thornton Davon Godchaux wrecks David Andrews for a stuff Rhamondre Stevenson for about 2 yards Stevenson stuffed by Anfernee Jennings Stevenson good run around left end Bailey Zappe overthrows Kristian Wilkerson by a good margin
First team offense comes on against the third-team defense...
Cole Strange beaten by LaBryan Ray for a stuff Run for no gain Harvey Langi run stuff
Yeah, it was that bad.
There is a feeling by Bedrad that there will be some growing pains as they implement a new offensive scheme under the new coordinators, but he was expecting the offense to be sharper than they were, following four days of un-padded practices were they had the reps to get into their rhythm and timing.
According to Bedard, the offense looked much better when they started practicing their much more familiar inside-zone run scheme.
Rookie Guard Cole Strange, who the Patriots drafted in round-1, also had a less than stellar dya-1 in pads, according to Bedard.
"Cole Strange gets off to slow start: A lot of eyes were on first-round pick Cole Strange in his first padded practice. His first run-blocking rep was very good as he angled off Christian Barmore. Then it kind of went downhill. Jahlani Tavai stood him up, which got the rookie some coaching from Bill Belichick about using his head too much and getting over his feet. Then Jennings pushed Strange down to the turf.
Strange's first one-on-one rep came against Barmore, who walked the rookie back fairly easily. Strange held Henry Anderson on his final rep. It appeared Strange had a few more holds in team drills. Being too aggressive with his run blocks, and a tendency to get grabby were two worries about Strange as a prospect. Will be interesting to monitor his progress during the course of camp."
All in all it sounds like a tough start for the offense. As Bedard points out, it will be interesting to see how Mac Jones and the offense bounces back on Tuesday.