FOXBORO – The pads came on and the intensity was ratcheted up on Tuesday but the headline to the day had less to do with big hits and more to do with noticeable misses.
Rookie quarterback Mac Jones scuffled at times through the run-heavy practice, looking for the first time during 2021 training camp like, well, a rookie. And Cam Newton? Sharp. Sharp in 1-on-1s, sharp in commanding the running game and sharp in 11-on-11s with three of the day’s best completions.
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And that’s a departure. Through the first five workouts which were performed in shorts, jerseys and helmets, the Patriots were practicing to Mac Jones’ strengths: accuracy, quick decision-making. He throws it quicker and more precisely than Newton and – while Newton acknowledged he was overthinking things – Jones was just letting it rip.
But on Tuesday, Newton looked fully in command. It started in 1-on-1 drills where both quarterbacks were throwing to receivers matched up on the outside. Newton – who always throws with a lot of oomph – had the best completion of that session with a back-shoulder completion to N’Keal Harry who was matched up with Jonathan Jones. Meanwhile, Mac Jones threw a pick to Myles Bryant who was in coverage on Jakobi Meyers.
Newton had two stellar throws in 11-on-11 – a 50-yard hookup with Nelson Agholor over safety Kyle…