After a particularly rough day of work for the offense on Monday, center David Andrews had enough. He gathered the offense together after practice and let them know that the performance was unacceptable.
On Tuesday, he played like a guy who was still steaming about the day before.
Andrews was involved in a couple of altercations, both minor in nature, but still served as examples of the excellent leadership he provides. Early on the offensive and defensive lines work against one another and after one rep the sides had to be separated. Later during an 11-on-11 period, Andrews and Christian Barmore went at it after a play and virtually everyone on the field eventually was involved. The two main combatants were sent to the locker room with about a half hour left in the workout, but Andrews set the tone with his fire.
"We have to go in an get it corrected," Andrews said after Monday's practice. "We just have to try to move forward. It's all just part of the process. He have to learn from it. We're all striving to get better each day."
Evidently Andrews took his own advice and came out with a renewed sense of purpose. At times his troops seemed to follow his lead as well. The Patriots had several successful running plays during the practice, more so than at any other time during camp thus far.
While the performance was far from perfect and still remains a work in progress, the added fire was a welcome sight. After practice Mac Jones spoke on the struggles and expressed some optimism than better days are ahead.
"It's that two percent. We're close. We just have to buy in and trust it," he said. "I think we're going to figure it out. It's just getting the communication down. It's different than what we've done in the past. I have all the trust in the world in those guys"
It should be noted that much of Tuesday's practice was run at a slower pace than what has been the norm in full pads. Also, some of the work came with the defense operating off cards, which is likely in preparation of the Giants on Thursday night. If that's the case then it's possible we won't see much of Jones in the opener as Brian Hoyer and Bailey Zappe took the reps against those scout looks.
Here are one man's thoughts on Day 11 of Patriots training camp.
*There was one notable change to the attendance list as James White (PUP, hip) and rookie Andrew Stueber (NFI) remain out but were joined by Isaiah Wynn. Wynn suited up on Monday but did not take part in any competitive portions of the workout as Justin Herron took his place at right tackle.
*After struggling on Monday, Herron was replaced by Yodny Cajuste at right tackle. Cajuste was solid in the one-on-one periods on Monday and earned a longer look with the regulars on Tuesday. He seemed to handle his duties well as the offensive line as a whole did a better job protecting Jones and opening up some holes for the running backs. There was no quick penetration off the edge that was prevalent a day earlier.
*Former Packers and Raiders executive Ron Wolf was on the field watching practice. Wolf's son, Eliot, is the Patriots director of scouting.
*Bill Belichick's pre-practice press conference featured plenty of questions about the struggling offense. Not surprisingly, the coach wasn't willing to expound too much on the problems, instead focusing on the need for improvement throughout the team.
"Look," he said after a long pause. "We all have things we can improve in. There's some plays the quarterback could play better. There's some plays the quarterback is right and there's a breakdown in protection. There's some plays the quarterback is right and there's a breakdown in the route."
*While the Patriots worked on the kick return unit, Jabrill Peppers ran sprints back and forth on the opposite field. Tre Nixon handled Jake Bailey's kickoffs during the period. Peppers did more of the same later when the punt team got some work in with rookie Jake Julien doing the kicking.
*Rookie Pierre Strong has seen his workload increase in recent days and on Tuesday he got a handshake from Belichick following one play. Strong lined up tight to the line with Bailey Zappe in the shotgun on a third-and-goal play from the 5. At the snap, the rookie running back filled the gap nicely and picked up the oncoming linebacker, allowing Zappe time to find Kristian Wilkerson on a slant near the back of the end zone. Unfortunately the pass sailed through Wilkerson's hands but Belichick recognized Strong's effort after the play.
*Myles Bryant got plenty of reps working out of the slot with the regular group on defense. Marcus Jones got a lot of those looks on Monday and Belichick explained how the rookie missed much of the spring and was given more opportunities as a result of playing catch-up. Bryant was active throughout the day's practice and was around the ball a lot. He also took some reps at safety, adding some depth to the secondary at both spots.
*Deatrich Wise missed some practice time earlier in camp and has been sporting a large brace on his left arm. Initially he was seeing spot duty while Henry Anderson manned his normal spot at left defensive end but on Tuesday he was more involved than in recent days.
*Tre Nixon, Bryant, Marcus Jones and J.J. Taylor handled plenty of punts and kicks during the workout. All showed solid ball security and did a nice job of chasing down some directional kicks.
*Hoyer, Mac Jones, Zappe, Davon Godchaux and Devin McCourty were among those who spent some time chatting with the media after practice.
*The Patriots will practice on Wednesday but it will be closed to both the media and the public as they finish up their preparation for preseason opener. The Giants come to town for Thursday's opener with kickoff set for 7 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.