FOXBOROUGH — The sun came out and Cam Newton sizzled during the final team period Thursday, the second day of Patriots training camp on the fields behind Gillette Stadium.
There was a lot of red zone work on screen passes and runs early on, with most of the plays run at half-speed against non-competitive defenses. Both Newton and Mac Jones performed well in those sessions.
Newton also ran the ball a few times during those periods, showing off a skill that can’t be fully appreciated during camp, as quarterbacks are off-limits.
The action heated up during the final period, when Newton completed five of his final six passes as Motley Crue’s “Kickstart My Heart” blared. It was an apt selection.
Newton hit tight end Jonnu Smith with a crosser on his first pass, then overthrew Jakobi Meyers on an end zone fade. He finished with a flourish, hitting Kendrick Bourne over the middle (Newton may have been sacked had the real bullets been flying), then Brandon Bolden (nice sideline out route), Hunter Henry with a zip over the middle, and Henry again in traffic.
Jones took over (as did Bon Jovi, with “Keep the Faith”) and the rookie struggled, hitting just 2 of 6 in the full-team exercise. He had a pass broken up by Joejuan Williams, overthrew Jakobi Meyers, completed one over the middle to Troy Fumagalli, overshot Meyers on back-to-back chucks, and hit Sony Michel for a TD.
Jones took it hard, slapping himself on the helmet a few times as if to take blame for the incomplete passes.
Nelson Agholor, who figures to be the No. 1 receiver on the depth chart when camp breaks, has enjoyed working with both Newton and Jones.
“It’s been going well,” he said. “They do a great job of communicating. We work hard and we’re trying to get our timing down.”
Brian Hoyer continues to work with the scout team and was impressive in his final work, completing 8 of 10 passes, including three connections with Fumagalli.
There was a new face in the quarterback crowd as Jake Dolegala, claimed off waivers from Green Bay, made his debut.
The Central Connecticut State product, who spent most of last year on New England’s practice squad, gives the club a fourth camp arm with Jarrett Stidham on the physically unable to perform list.
“We just thought it would be good to have another quarterback activated and participate in the camp,” said coach Bill Belichick. “Jarrett Stidham will miss a little bit of time, so we’ll have Jake in here.”
According to The Athletic, Stidham is dealing with shoulder and back woes and may need surgery.