7 things we learned from the 1st day of Patriots training camp

The Patriots' offensive coaching situation came into focus on Day 1.

Bill Belichick was very involved with the Patriots offense at Wednesday's practice.

FOXBOROUGH — Football season is officially here.

The Patriots held their first training camp practice of the 2022 season on Wednesday. While it was a session that lasted less than 90 minutes and players weren’t wearing pads, Wednesday’s practice gave us a glimpse at how New England might look come autumn.

Here are seven things we’ve learned from the first practice of training camp.

We got an idea of how the offense is going to be run.

Arguably the biggest headline surrounding the Patriots during the offseason was how they were going to replace longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. New England didn’t officially name a successor, but we might have learned how the process will go on offense during Wednesday’s practice.


Matt Patricia, whose official title is senior football advisor and offensive line coach, had a walkie-talkie during the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills and was calling offensive plays on Wednesday. Bill Belichick appeared to be heavily involved with the offense though and quarterbacks coach Joe Judge had his play call sheet, standing with Belichick during the sessions.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones didn’t necessarily spill the beans on how the offense will be run. However, his comments made it clear that the Patriots’ offense will be a collaborative process.

“Obviously, Coach Belichick’s done a great job kind of explaining exactly what we’re going to do as an offense,” Jones said. “Matty P’s seen so many different defenses along with Coach Belichick that it’s like, they’re combing their knowledge on how to attack the defense. That’s something that’s really stood out to me. They’re great guys who, [along with] Coach Judge, bring different energy to the room when they’re presenting. They’re all just trying to get us to work together and that’s the most important part, that we’re all on the same page on who’s talking, who’s making a decision on a certain play, and whatnot. It’s always an open conversation, which I love.”


Jones is looking forward to learning from Belichick, Patricia, and Judge, even if they don’t have the most conventional experience to lead an offensive staff.

“You want to listen to the coaching you’ll get from three coaches who have all been head coaches. They’ve seen a ton, a ton of football,” Jones said. “I’m just trying to take in what’s something that each one of them says in a meeting that I can take with me, whether it’s about life or football, and apply it to the game.”

The Patriots’ offense is ‘simplified,’ which players believe will allow them to move quicker.

A common criticism of McDaniels’s play-calling style was that he was a bit too conservative, slowing the pace of the game down with runs.

That style of offense could be no more, or at least less frequent.

Both wide receiver Kendrick Bourne and offensive tackle Trent Brown shared why they’ve liked some of the changes to the offense this offseason. Bourne shared “a lot of adjustments we made to come off the ball faster” was a focus of the offseason, and he believes it’s working.

“It just feels faster – more speed, more urgent. That’s what I would say,” Bourne said describing the changes to the Patriots’ offense. “It’s a better feeling of keeping the defense on their toes and not allowing them to be ready.”


Brown, who got snaps at left tackle on Wednesday after playing right tackle last season, said why he like the streamlined process of the offense this season.

“It’s definitely simplified,” Brown said. “I feel like it’ll make it able for the playmakers to play faster. It will allow us upfront to play faster as well.”

How that will let Brown play faster, we don’t know.

“I guess you guys gotta watch and see,” Brown said when asked with a smile.

With Patricia calling plays on Wednesday, there were multiple occasions where he was far away from the offensive linemen in order to communicate with the quarterbacks.

But Brown said he’s working just fine with assistant offensive line coach Billy Yates, who played five seasons with the Patriots, during those situations.

“It’s AIO: Adapt, improvise, overcome,” Brown said when having to work without Patricia. “Whoever’s down there, we’ve got to listen, pay attention, and jot down all the details.

“He played here. He knows everything we’re supposed to be doing how it’s supposed to be done, the ‘Patriot Way,'” Brown added on Yates.

DeVante Parker had a good connection with Mac Jones on Day 1.

The Patriots’ biggest offseason acquisition had a good first day of camp.

Parker, who stands at 6-foot-3, showed his potential of being a legit end zone target for Jones during the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, which were held in the red zone. Jones completed three of the four passes he threw to Parker in the end zone during those drills. Parker fed off the energy of the crowd, pumping them up after each catch.


The one incompletion came off an impressive pass batted away from cornerback Jalen Mills.

Parker was clearly the standout among the receivers during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills on Day 1. By my count, Kendrick Bourne caught his lone target during the session and Nelson Agholor caught both of his targets. Jakobi Meyers was targeted once, with second-year safety Joshuah Bledsoe knocking down the pass.

One of the bigger questions for the Patriots entering camp was who would start opposite of Mills at corner. Terrance Mitchell, who the Patriots signed from the Texans in the offseason, got those duties on Day 1.

Joejuan Williams recorded the lone interception, picking off a pass from Brian Hoyer. The 2019 second-round pick will likely have to make more plays like that through camp and the preseason to make the final roster after a disappointing first three seasons in the league.

Josh Uche tabbed as a potential breakout player.

Kyle Van Noy’s release opened up a spot at the outside linebacker position opposite of Matthew Judon for 2022. Following Day 1, Josh Uche appears to be in a good spot to get the job.

“I think he’s going to have a great year,” said Trent Brown said of Uche. “I think he’s going to have a breakout year. I think he’s another guy who took strides over the offseason and he’s prepared through the course of the offseason and he’s good to go.”

Asked what’s different between this season and last season for Uche, Brown simply said “Focused. Watch him.”

Judon agreed.

“I think we’ve got a lot of people that are going to do a lot of good things,” said Judon.” I think Uche is one of them. Trent knows, you know, he goes against him [in practice]. He sees the work he’s put in and he sees what he’s done so far. Josh was leading us in sacks at one point in time. We’ve just got to get him going and once he does that, he’s going to be a really good player.”


Uche, who the Patriots selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, was thought to be a breakout candidate prior to 2021. He got off to a good start, recording three sacks in the first two games of the season. But he didn’t record anymore after that, missing all but one of the Patriots’ final eight games due to injury.

Position change?

Bill Murray, who’s been a staple on the Patriots’ practice squad since the team signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2020, raised some eyebrows when he entered Wednesday’s practice wearing a white jersey instead of a blue jersey. The white practice jerseys are designated for offensive players and Murray’s been a defensive tackle dating back to his college days.

Murray will get some work on the Patriots’ offensive line in training camp, but he might not make a permanent switch, Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed reported.

There’s an open battle for a punt returning role.

Gunner Olszewski’s departure for the Steelers created a hole at both returning spots for the Patriots. Five players returned punts on Wednesday, with Kendrick Bourne being the most notable of the group. Rookie corner Marcus Jones could have a leg up on the completion as he was one of the top returners in all of FBS last season. Kyle Dugger, Tre Nixon, and Jack Jones also returned punts.

A potential James White replacement steps up.

With the future of the veteran Patriots pass-catching running back in question due to a hip injury from last season, New England might already have his replacement.

Veteran running back/receiver Ty Montgomery got some work with the first unit during Wednesday’s practice. He played out of the backfield in shotgun formation during multiple drills. Over the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, Montgomery caught all three of the passes thrown his way.


Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson got work as pass-catchers out of the backfield on Wednesday, too. Harris caught a TD pass from Jones during 11-on-11’s, which ended up being the final play of the day.


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