FOXBOROUGH — Halfway through Sunday’s training camp practice, the crowd erupted.
Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry beat cornerback Joejuan Williams during one-on-one drills to reel in a pass from quarterback Cam Newton, eliciting applause and cheers from the fans. Harry dove to make the grab in the corner of the end zone, and pounded his chest after getting up off the ground.
“I feel like that’s what I’m on the field to do,” he said following practice. “Any ball that’s in my vicinity, I feel like I have to do anything in my power to get it. Balls like that, I’m going to dive for it and I’m going to give my all to get there. I’ll do anything to catch that football.”
Newton ran to greet Harry, as the two euro-stepped before jumping up in celebration.
“It’s all juice,” Harry said. “It’s all juice.”
The touchdown headlined an impressive day from Harry, who received an uptick in reps with fellow receiver Nelson Agholor absent. Another of Harry’s highlights came earlier in practice during three-on-three drills, where he leaped up to snatch a jump ball over safety Myles Bryant.
According to Harry, this training camp “definitely” represents the best string of practices of his career. Entering his third NFL season, he said he’s been taking “really good care” of his body, so he feels both faster and more agile. Harry also stressed the importance of consistency and improving each day.
“This whole training camp, this whole offseason, I just had a vision the whole time,” he said. “Now I’m starting to attack that vision every day.”
While his catches may get the crowd buzzing, Harry doesn’t seem fazed by his own performance.
“It’s great to have the fans back out here, supporting us,” he said. “That’s just a couple examples of the plays I expect myself to make, so they see them as spectacular, I see those as routine plays for me.”
New England has no shortage of pass-catchers, with tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry; wide receivers Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, and Jakobi Meyers; and even running back James White. But Harry, after two underwhelming seasons, is certainly making a case that he is deserving of targets, too.
As for the status of the trade request his agent issued earlier this offseason? Harry still does not want to discuss the matter.
“Everything that’s going on off the field, that’s not my focus at all,” he said. “I’m focused on becoming a better football player each day. Whatever happens off the field, happens. I’m not going to worry about that right now.”
Several Patriots are expecting their first child. Among them are defensive lineman Henry Anderson, center David Andrews, special teamer Justin Bethel, tight end Hunter Henry, and safety Adrian Phillips. Said Bethel: “I feel like everybody is having a baby right now” . . . Defensive tackle Carl Davis may have played a small role in helping recruit defensive end Matthew Judon to New England. Davis, who signed with the Patriots in October 2020, said he told Judon, ‘You need to come up here. This would be a good place for you.’ The pair have known each other since college and also played together on the Baltimore Ravens.
Nicole Yang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow her on Twitter @nicolecyang.