An early glimpse of Fall weather in New England greeted the Patriots and Carolina Panthers for the second and final day of joint practices.
It was another 'no-fly zone' for the Patriots defense who picked up where they left off; highlighted by Jalen Mills who locked down the Panthers wide receivers.
"He wants to be able to take that next step and be the guy and he carries himself like that. He came in last year and played well for us and now we move on from J.C. [Jackson]," said Adrian Phillips.
Although Jalen Mills humbly declined to comment in his press conference on whether he feels like he has risen to the number one cornerback spot in the Patriots room, he did acknowledge the production that he took away from going against a dynamic receiver like D.J. Moore.
"It was a battle for sure. He's a guy that I know that if he's coming out of the huddle it's coming my way. He's one of the top players on the offense besides McCaffrey," said Mills.
In addition to a handful of great reps in one-on-ones against Moore, Mills' climax of the second joint practice was an interception from Panthers' quarterback, Sam Darnold, intended for Moore in a two-minute drill.
On the contrary, Panthers' team reporter Kristen Balboni reported that CB Jaycee Horn thought that going up against the Patriots wide receivers was an invaluable experience for him, who is working his way back from injury.
"He shouted out Mac Jones for giving him those one-on-one balls to have the opportunity to go up and make a play. Those are exactly the kind of balls that he hopes to go up and be able to make plays on. He's coming out of this with great experience and really a lot of respect for the receivers and Mac Jones," said Balboni.
Horn's 2021 season ended in week three with a foot injury and in the trio of games that he played in he finished with one interception, one pass defended and five tackles.
Panthers' Head Coach, Matt Rhule, has been limiting Horn's snap counts as he continues to work back from some foot soreness at the beginning of camp but Balboni was impressed with his performance the last two days because this is the most work they've seen from him during the offseason.
"I can only imagine what this does for your confidence as such a young player who missed so much of his rookie year. I don't think he's missed a beat," said Balboni.
"Again I don't know what they're going to do but we will play a lot more of our younger guys trying to make the team," said Rhule.
The Patriots wrapped up open training camp practices this week and following Friday's preseason game will gear up to Las Vegas for a second round of joint practices; this time with the Las Vegas Raiders.