The Patriots wrapped up their first week back at school with a little playground shenanigans to start the day and a little family field time to end it.
In what has become an initiation ritual, rookies were subjected to a fumble recovery drill in a soaked portion of the far field while being hosed down by Matthew Slater. The rookies got into the slip-and-slide action quickly as coaches and teammates cheered them on. Top pick Mac Jones even did a little break dance spin at the end of one of his dives.
“A few vets told me we had it today. I was like, ‘What’s that?’ ” said third-round pick Ronnie Perkins. “Honestly, it was fun. It was like a fun way to start off practice. Just having everybody joking around and shooting water at us and having us dive in the puddle. It was just real fun to see everybody in high spirits right before we got to work.”
Players were allowed to mingle with family and friends after practice after the NFL loosened some COVID-19 protocols that had been in place.
Not participating: QB Jarrett Stidham (PUP); TEs Devin Asiasi (COVID-19 reserve list) and Dalton Keene (PUP); OL Ted Karras; DTs Chase Winovich (PUP) and Byron Cowart (PUP); LBs Terez Hall (PUP) and Cameron McGrone (non-football injury list), CB Stephon Gilmore (PUP); and safety Joshuah Bledsoe (NFI).
LB Brandon King returned to practice for the first time since suffering a torn quadriceps during a preseason game in 2019. King received a lot of love from coaches and teammates before practice started.
LB Anfernee Jennings made his summer debut.
Karras injured his left knee during Friday’s practice.
A number of players, including Gilmore and Winovich, worked out on the lower field.
DRESS CODE: Helmets and shells.
▪ Damien Harris caught an end zone fade from Cam Newton and toe tapped to stay in bounds. His momentum kept him going toward a trash can near the bleachers and he promptly hurdled it, sparking a big crowd response.
▪ Jakobi Meyers had sparkling plays in back-to-back periods, first catching a hard pass over the middle from Newton and then a diving end zone catch from Jones to close competitive drills.
▪ Nose tackle Davon Godchaux got his hands up to bat away a Jones pass at the line of scrimmage.
ODDS AND ENDS
▪ Brian Hoyer had a nice day, completing 11 of 15 passes. He worked with the starters, second-stringers, and scout team.
▪ Ja’Whaun Bentley, Adrian Phillips, Michael Jackson, Godchaux, Justin Bethel, Kyle Van Noy, and Dee Virgin had pass breakups.
▪Jake Dolegala received his first team drill snaps and went 3 for 3 with the scout team.
▪ Kristian Wilkerson has had a nice camp. The receiver, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, has flashed good route running, quickness, and Velcro hands.
▪ With the back field drenched from the slip-and-slide activity, the team eschewed running the hills at the end of practice for the first time.
▪ It was the biggest crowd of the week and they were into it, with Newton and Brandon Bolden often egging them on.
▪ Linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Perkins would have registered sacks if not for the hands-off policy. Perkins laughed as he explained how he deals with the frustration of not being able to manhandle the QBs. “It’s just kind of funny because you’ll be like, ‘Bro, I could have laid you out in a game.’ We know it’s practice. We know we can’t really take a hit on them,” he said. “But, you know, it’s just cool to talk stuff to them, like, ‘Bro, I could have killed you,’ and stuff like that.” Perkins added that Bill Belichick likely would have “killed me” if he had hit Jones.
▪ Rookie Rhamondre Stevenson is a really smooth runner and receiver for a back who checks in at 6 feet and 246 pounds.
▪ A little country touch during one stretch of team drills that had to please David Andrews. Selections included “Cold As You” by Luke Combs; “Noise” by Kenny Chesney; “Midnight Train To Memphis” by Chris Stapleton; and “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top. Yes, ZZ Top crosses many genres.
Sunday: No practice.
Monday-Thursday: Practice, 9:45 a.m. (open to public)
Friday: In-stadium practice, 6 p.m. (open to season ticket-holders and Foxborough residents)