The New England Patriots have just completed their second day of training camp, and there are many storylines, developments, and performances that fans should note.
Patriots Have Three Names Absent; One Rookie Limited
Like yesterday, three players were unable to practice. Guard Mike Onwenu and special teams tool Cody Davis were on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, while tackle Calvin Anderson was sidelined for an NFI (Non-Football Illness).
2023 third-round pick Marte Mapu remained in a red non-contact jersey, which is most likely a precaution to avoid further aggravating the torn pectoral Mapu suffered in March.
Demario Douglas Plays With The Starters
Rookie receiver Demario Douglas, a sixth-round pick from Liberty, was getting first team snaps today.
Aside from a nice catch made during route running drills, not much was reported on Douglas' second day of camp. Douglas will definitely be a story to follow as the regular season nears, however, seeing as the coaching staff obviously sees something special in him.
Mac Jones' Early Struggles Headlines All
To start the day, starting quarterback Mac Jones completed zero of four passes in goal line passing drills and went six-for-ten with an interception during 11 on 11's later on. Yesterday, the first day of camp, Jones was equally as dreadful, throwing an interception on the first drill of the year and overall throwing 50% on the day.
Jones' struggles may be growing pains tied with the new offensive system being implemented under first-year offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, but if they persist for the rest of the week and beyond, Patriots fans and coaches may enter panic mode. As of right now, worrying about that is an overreaction, but Jones will need to step up his game if he wants fans and coaches to believe in him for the upcoming season.
Tyquan Thornton Has Been Quiet
Yesterday, sophomore receiver Tyquan Thornton saw one target that fell for an incompletion. Today, Thornton saw zero targets.
Thornton's slow start may be frustrating, but it is in no way concerning. Just like Mac Jones' situation, until Thornton's struggles become a recurring issue, there is no reason to worry about his status entering the regular season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Is Slowly Easing His Way Into The Offense
In 2023, Smith-Schuster is going to be an important receiving piece for the Patriots, who recently lost out on the DeAndre Hopkins sweepstakes. If he can become a solid inside option with outside receiving capabilities, then he may transform New England's offense and help it make a playoff push.
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