The Patriots moved inside under the lights at Gillette Stadium on Friday night for their annual practice in front of season-ticket members and Foxborough residents. As is normally the case, Bill Belichick used the opportunity to divide his team into two squads – White and Blue – and went over numerous situations throughout the two-hour practice.
Cam Newton and Jake Dolegala took control of the White Team while Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer ran things for the Blue squad. Newton and Dolegala had Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski and N'Keal Harry along with tight ends Hunter Henry and Matt LaCosse. The White Team's receivers included Kendrick Bourne, Kristian Wilkerson, Isaiah Zuber and Tre Nixon with Jonnu Smith, Troy Fumagalli and David Wells at tight end.
The running backs were divided as follows: Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and J.J. Taylor donned blue while Sony Michel, James White and Tyler Gaffney suited up in white.
The tempo was similar to a walkthrough pace with the Blue squad working downfield on scripted plays designed to be executed. Jones mixed throws to Bourne and Wilkerson with occasional runs from Harris to move into White territory, but Jake Bailey was called on to punt and the White team took over at their 15.
Newton similarly completed passes to Harry between handoffs to Michel and soon crossed midfield. With the ball at the Blue team's 16, Quinn Nordin came on to boot a 34-yard field goal from the left hash.
On the ensuing possession, the Blue took over at the White 10. On third down Jones found Smith cutting toward the sideline along the goal line for the touchdown. Nordin's PAT made it 7-3.
Things progressed in a similar fashion for the remainder of the evening with the low-intensity tempo continuing. As a result, there were little to no competitive elements to judge for either side.
Due to the nature of the practice there weren't many noteworthy elements to pass along, but here are some that stood out during the team's ninth practice of camp.
*The attendance list remained lengthy with no changes to PUP (Jarrett Stidham, Stephon Gilmore, Dalton Keene, Chase Winovich, Terez Hall, Byron Cowart), NFI (Cameron McGrone, Joshuah Bledsoe) and COVID-reserve (Devin Asiasi). Also, Ted Karras (sixth straight), Raekwon McMillan (third), Akeem Spence (third), Nick Folk (second), Devin Ross (second), D'Angelo Ross (second) and Christian Barmore (second) all missed practice. In addition, Brandon Bolden and Adrian Colbert weren't spotted, marking their first absences of the summer. On the plus side, Cody Davis returned after missing Thursday workout.
*Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona and Quinn Nordin were the first players on the field and all donned black jerseys. They handled the kicking chores for both teams.
*In lieu of actual officials, Chris Mattes, Evan Rothstein and Daryl Nelson were among Patriots staffers suited up in black and white jerseys and serving in that capacity.
*Matt Judon spent some time riding a stationary bike on the White sideline during the practice.
*Jones found Smith down the seam for a 30-yard touchdown, and even though the play was designed to succeed it offered a glimpse of the big-play ability Smith could bring to the offense this season.
*Josh McDaniels was on the Blue sideline talking to Jones in between series. He also had a walkie-talkie and may have been calling plays for both teams. Wide receivers coach Mick Lombardi was on the White sideline with what looked to be a play sheet in his hand.
*Robert Kraft briefly addressed the crowd "at halftime" to welcome fans back after more than a year away.
*The White team held a choreographed celebration in the end zone following a touchdown, which drew a flag from Nelson. That forced Nordin to boot a 48-yader for the PAT, which he made.
*Practiced closed with situational work beginning with White team clinging to a 23-21 lead and the Blue needing to move into field goal range. Starting from their own 33 with 1:02 on the clock, Jones hit Zuber on consecutive plays to move to the White 41. An incompletion stopped the clock with :18 left and Jones then found Wilkerson on slant. Jones spiked it with :05 left and Nordin came on for a 57-yarder from the right hash, which he drilled.
*The White team then faced the same scenario and Newton hit Harry to open the drive. LaCosse picked up another 10 but a penalty pushed the White back to the Blue 48. A completion to White preceded Newton's spike and set the stage for Nordin's 55-yarder from the right hash, which he made.
*David Andrews, Dont'a Hightower, Adrian Phillips and Jonnu Smith spoke to the media on the field after practice.
*The Patriots will enjoy an off day on Saturday before returning to work on Sunday with practice set to kick off at 2:45 p.m. The workout is open to the public with gates opening at 2 p.m. As always please check with Patriots.com for the latest schedule updates.