Patriots training camp Day 6 observations: Mack Wilson shines, Ty Montgomery defends roster spot

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — patriots Training camp is rolling along with the second day of full padding practices. As has been the case for the vast majority of camp, the defense has remained strong and given the offense some headaches. That said, there have been some glimpses of the group, particularly at wide receiver in contested receiving situations.

Below you will find all the highlights from Day 6 of Camp Pats:

Big day for linebackers

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As we noted in the introduction, it’s been a good start to camp for the Patriots’ defense. On Tuesday, the linebackers really stood out with several surprising plays. In particular, veteran linebacker Mack Wilson, who was acquired this offseason in a trade with the cleveland browns involving pass-rusher Chase Winovich, he was arguably the best of the bunch and making plays all over the field.

During an early 11-on-11 stretch, Wilson had a pass breakup jumping on a pitch from rookie Bailey Zappe. He also had a “catch” on Mac Jones in another series of competitive drills that came off the left side of the line. Perhaps his best play of the day came in the final 11-second drive when the team was working in the red zone with music blasting through speakers to simulate noisy environments. There, he blew up running back JJ Taylor in what was the loudest hit of the day.

Elsewhere at linebacker, Matt Judon and Ja’Whaun Bentley were able to get Jones out of the pocket during 11-on-11 and probably would have recorded a sack if they could have focused on the quarterback. Raekwon McMillan also placed Damien Harris in the backfield.

defensive line disruptors

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And it wasn’t just the linebackers who made noise Tuesday, as the defensive line also delivered a handful of impactful plays. Lawrence Guy was able to fill out the run, beating Isaiah Wynn in an 11-on-11 replay. Henry Anderson also made his mark that day. During one session, he came on under pressure and forced Mac Jones to throw the ball. Later, he knocked down a ball thrown by Jones at the line of scrimmage.

Catch highlights from Thornton, Agholor

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While the defense may have won the day, there were some nice flashes from some of the position players of offensive skill. Rookie Tyquan Thornton continues to get off to a solid start in camp and made a ridiculous one-handed catch in 1-on-1 drills. He was paired with starting cornerback Jalen Mills and contorted his body to lean back and do the overhand grab. . Even Mills couldn’t be upset with that reception and quickly clapped for the second-round pick after he finished the play.

“I think Ty is a hard worker,” Mac Jones said after practice. “He’s starting to really understand some of the things we’re doing and opening up. He clearly has the speed to open up, and we’ve got a great group of guys and we need to spread the ball out to them.”

Later, fellow wide receiver Nelson Agholor sprang into action with a pair of standout catches. During the same 1-on-1 drills where Thornton made his catch, Agholor caught a ball that was just as impressive. He was paired with cornerback Joejuan Williams and slammed him with his left arm as he brought the ball up with his right while he was in the air. Agholor also had another strong catch during 11-on-11, but Jones likely would have been sacked on the play if it was a real game. Still, it was a strong day for some of the Patriots’ deep threats.

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What does Bill Belichick love? Versatility. With that in mind, it’s getting harder to imagine veteran running back/receiver Ty Montgomery not being on the 53-man roster. While Montgomery is listed as a wide receiver, New England has used him versatilely in camp during competitive drills. He has run the ball, lined up in the slot and worked himself out wide, reminiscent of when Cordarrelle Patterson was with the team in 2018. Montgomery has also gotten some reps as a returner.

That ability to wear multiple hats is one of the best ways to endear yourself to Belichick and carve out a role on the Week 1 roster.

How did the QBs do?

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The offense appears to be going through some growing pains and the quarterbacks have come under siege at times during camp. That continued Tuesday when both quarterbacks were forced out of the pocket and fought on more than one occasion.

“I think we have a lot of room to grow here,” Mac Jones said after practice. “The goal for me is not to run the ball and shoot it, I think our offensive line is doing a good job, and we just have to be on the same page.”

During 11-on-11, Jones was 6-for-11 and finished completing all eight of his pass attempts during 7-on-7. While Jones was perfect for the full 7 seconds, most of those passes were high-percentage shots on the floor. Meanwhile, Bailey Zappe was 5-for-7 on 7-on-7 and 9-for-12 on 11-on-11.

Attendance

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The newest member of the Patriots missing in action Tuesday was tight end Dalton Keene. Quarterback Brian Hoyer, running back James White and guards Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber were also absent. Pass-rusher Deatrich Wise was present, but worked off to the side.

As for Hoyer, Bill Belichick said he expects the quarterback to return to practice “pretty soon.”

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