Wednesday Patriots training camp observations: Cam Newton bounces back after interception


FOXBOROUGH -- Wednesday was not the most electric training camp practice as the nearly two-hour session had players in just shells and there were not a whole lot of competitive periods.

Cam Newton continues to see extended reps, while Jarrett Stidham’s workload is being increased after reportedly dealing with a hip injury, but he did not throw a pass in 11-on-11 work. He did participate in the running game portion, though.

In terms of attendance, the fewest number of players were absent all summer with just four missing. Those were Lamar Miller (PUP), Devin McCourty, Will Hastings and Beau Allen.

A number of players returned, including Sony Michel (off PUP), Julian Edelman, Jeff Thomas, Yodny Casjute, Adrian Phillips and Devin Ross. Jakobi Meyers, Kyle Dugger, Ross and Cajuste were all limited.

Here are some observations from the session.

— Newton was far from perfect, but he did have a good bounce-back sequence in 11-on-11 work. He had a bad interception over the middle, which safety Terrence Brooks grabbed, but then on the next play threw a nice fade into the end zone where Rex Burkhead made a diving catch. The play likely would have likely been reviewed, but for training camp purposes we’ll give him the catch and the touchdown. It was good to see Newton not get down on himself following a bad throw and immediately come back with a good one. Overall, it was not Newton’s most accurate day, but as we’ve been saying, he is not going to be perfect every day, so it is not worth overreacting to days not as good as the others.

— While Stidham got more work than he has, he’s still not getting the same number of reps as Newton, which is probably more because of his hip than anything. In one 7-on-7 period, Stidham made great throws to Ryan Izzo over the middle and N’Keal Harry on the outside. It’s worth wondering at what point does Brian Hoyer start getting his reps dialed back because even if he isn’t the starter, Stidham’s development is still very important.

— While it wasn’t a high intensity practice by any means, Michel did look good in his return. He was moving well, which is obviously a good thing after missing the last week-plus following offseason foot surgery. One big question will be how are the reps split between he and Damien Harris, who continues to look great.

— The quarterbacks weren’t the only group to play sloppy Wednesday. At one point the punt return unit had to run laps within minutes of each other. The first time was because there were not enough players on the field and the next because they did not line up properly. Bill Belichick was not pleased.

— After getting injured Tuesday, it wasn’t the most active day for rookie tight end Devin Asiasi, which meant some more work in the passing game for Dalton Keene. While he was more of a blocker in college, he could have a role in the passing game this season, especially with a lack of depth at the tight end position.

— Harry needed to get his upper right leg taped at one point later on in the session. He returned, but it is something to monitor in the coming days, especially after he missed time last week.

— It was a heavy special teams day, which meant during that time the pass catchers were off to the side working alone with Newton and the other quarterbacks. Those players included Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, Damiere Byrd, Harry, Asiasi and James White.

— While it wasn’t against defense, Gunner Olszewski made a tremendous one-handed grab early in the practice. 

— Late in the practice, the team worked worked on angle tackling and some of the reps had defensive players with the ball in their hands. At one point, Stephon Gilmore juked Brooks making him fall to the ground.

— As he has over the last week, Robert Kraft came out to the field to take in a portion of practice.