FOXBOROUGH — DeVante Parker flashed a nice release off the line and quickly got a step on Malcolm Butler down the left sideline Monday morning.
Mac Jones spotted his big receiver and launched a deep ball (40-plus yards) that Parker hauled in as he tumbled into the end zone. It was the latest in number of crowd-pleasing moments Parker has provided in his first Patriots training camp.
“Mac threw a great ball, and I just was in a position to come down with it,” said Parker. “So, it was a great, great play on his end.”
Parker has been developing a nice rapport with Jones, and his size and speed have been noticeable. He has won more contested balls than he’s lost — always a good way to get in good with your new quarterback.
“I’d say it’s going pretty good,” Parker said of his chemistry with Jones. “There’s always some things to work on, but right now I’m pretty good.”
While many players pointed toward the first practice in full pads, Parker indicated the wardrobe change doesn’t change his mind-set.
“I’m a big, physical receiver, so pads ain’t nothing to me,’’ said the 6-foot-3-inch, 219-pound Parker. “I’m going to come out and play physical regardless.”
He has enjoyed his battles with Butler, whom he also beat on a deep ball during one-on-ones. Butler, however, bounced back nicely with some tight coverage and a pair of pass breakups later in practice, one on a ball intended for Parker and another on an attempt to Tyquan Thornton.
“It’s great [going] against him, though. He’s also a veteran guy and he’s good,” said Parker. “We compete with each other, and each trying to get better every day.’’
Not participating: QB Brian Hoyer (undisclosed), RB James White (PUP), OLs Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber (nonfootball injury).
The secondary got a big boost with the activations of Jonathan Jones (PUP), Myles Bryant (NFI), and Jabrill Peppers (PUP).
DE Deatrich Wise and rookie RB Pierre Strong would have been classified as “limited” had this been a regular-season practice.
DRESS CODE: Full pads.
The Jones-to-Parker TD is the gold-medal winner. For the silver, Jones hit Thornton with a deep shot during one-on-ones. Thornton outbattled Joejuan Williams and held on as he hit the turf. New receiver Josh Hammond made a nice effort to shake Jack Jones and pull in a TD from Bailey Zappe during one-on-ones for the bronze.
▪ Terrance Mitchell, who has been manning the outside corner opposite Jalen Mills, picked off Jones on the first competitive 11-on-11 snap.
▪ Rookie left guard Cole Strange held his ground well in his first day in pads, though he was discarded by Christian Barmore during an early one-on-one trench drill.
▪ Barmore was feeling it, winning all his battles during individual drills and gaining some penetration during the team periods.
▪ The loudest crack of the day came when Ja’Whuan Bentley stood up Rhamondre Stevenson after the running back broke through a hole in the line.
▪ Josh Uche, known for his pass-rushing skills, dropped into coverage and broke up a Zappe pass.
ODDS AND ENDS
▪ Jones got tangled up and knocked down in the backfield on one play before quickly being uprighted by his offensive linemen. He was no worse for the wear, but a message was delivered to give the QBs their space.
▪ Carl Davis Jr., James Ferentz, and Yasir Durant ran penalty laps for flinching during the individual linemen drills.
▪ Center Kody Russell and receivers Josh Hammond and Tre Nixon ran a penalty lap for false starting on the same play during the final 11-on-11 period.
▪ Right tackle Isaiah Wynn also was sent for a run for a false start during a full-team drill.
▪ With the pads on, there was a heavy emphasis on the running game during team drills
▪ Tristan Vizcaino went 4 for 5 on field goals, his lone miss coming on his last attempt from about 40-45 yards. Nick Folk did not attempt any competitive field goals for the second straight practice.
▪ Patrick Chung was a guest and helped Brian Belichick with the safeties.
Tuesday: Practice, 9:30 a.m. (gates open at 8).
Wednesday: Practice, 9:30 a.m. (gates open at 8).
Thursday: Practice, 9:30 a.m. (gates open at 8).
Friday: In-stadium practice open to Foxborough residents and season-ticket members, 7 p.m. (gates open at 6).