Tuesday Patriots training camp observations: Cam Newton up, Jarrett Stidham down


FOXBOROUGH — After a run heavy day on Monday, the first in full pads for the Patriots, the quarterbacks were given more of an opportunity to throw the ball Tuesday.

Once again, the reps were split relatively evenly between Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in the close to two-hour session, as each player led at least one drill at one point or another. 

In terms of how they looked, Stidham had a tough day with three interceptions, Newton looked solid — no real big standout moments, but also no bad ones — while Hoyer made some of the best throws of the day, connecting on a few deep balls.

In terms of attendance, undrafted rookie wide receiver Jeff Thomas, defensive tackle Beau Allen, rookie linebacker Anfernee Jennings and running backs Sony Michel and Lamar Miller (both on PUP), were not spotted for a second straight day. In addition, defensive lineman Tashawn Bower was also missing.

Julian Edelman and undrafted rookie wide out Will Hastings were limited. This was the first day for Edelman, while Hastings was also limited Monday.

Here are some observations from the session.

— Newton brought the energy for the second straight day, as he’s constantly cheering on his teammates, even when he isn’t in the drill, and is clearly excited to be on the field with his new teammates. While it’s clear he’s still learning the system, he showed some signs of progress from Monday and his shoulder appears to be healthy. He had two of his passes dropped — one by Gunner Olszewski and another by Damiere Byrd. But, he was able to make some quick reads and get the ball out quick, which seems to be an indication he’s picking up the offense. It will be interesting to see how much he grows from day to day.

— It was not a good day for Stidham, as he was picked off three times, including twice in 7-on-7 work. The first was by Stephon Gilmore and the second by Kyle Dugger on a badly under thrown deep ball. Stidham was also picked off in 11-on-11 work by Michael Jackson earlier in the session. While it wasn’t the best of days in terms of numbers, he has displayed significant development from Year 1 to Year 2 as it seems he knows the offense much better than a year ago and is showing more confidence on the field. He did make some nice throws at times, so it wasn’t all bad.

— Hoyer may have made the two best throws of the day as he had two deep connections, one to Olszewski of about 40 yards and then another of a similar distance later in the practice to Devin Ross up the sideline over Jason McCourty. It’s the second straight day he’s connected with Ross on a deep pass.

— Ross is a player to keep an eye on as he’s had two straight days of making plays in the passing game. In a normal training camp with preseason games, he would have had the potential to be a “fan favorite.” Given the depth chart at wide receiver he has an uphill climb to make the roster, but he's doing everything in his power to do so. 

— There was a lot more contact compared to Monday with tackling drills at the beginning of the session, individual work between offensive linemen and defensive linemen, and then the practice closed with work along the goal-line, which got both sides of the ball fired up. Rex Burkhead scored on two plays in a row, Newton threw a touchdown pass to Devin Asiasi and then Damien Harris got stuffed.

— Josh McDaniels spent much more time with the quarterbacks on Tuesday than he did Monday. Earlier in the session Monday he was with the offensive linemen and then Tuesday he really didn’t leave the QBs at all. Following one of Newton’s reps in 11-on-11s, McDaniels went over and seemed to go through all of his plays quickly.

— In terms of offensive line play, Jermaine Eluemunor continues to be the favorite to take over for Marcus Cannon as the starting right tackle. It hasn’t been the best starts to full-padded sessions for Yodny Cajuste, but it’s worth noting he didn’t have any experience at all last year as a rookie. Keep an eye on Hjalte Froholdt, as he could have a similar role to what Ted Karras did the last several years playing several spots.

— It seems like Asiasi is in line for a big rookie season as he is getting a lot of looks early in camp. He came out of UCLA more known for his ability to catch passes, but he has made a few nice blocks in the early going. Fellow rookie tight end Dalton Keene got his right ankle taped late in the session, but returned to action.

— Asiasi, Mohamed Sanu and N’Keal Harry all were part of a side session with the quarterbacks. This was the second straight day those three were part of such a session.

— Defensively, Josh Uche had his second straight solid day, especially in the middle of the defense. The Michigan product had a run stuff at one point that got a ton of praise from his teammates. He seems in line for a big role as a rookie. Another rookie who seems to be moving all over the defense is Kyle Dugger. He may be asked to do more than expected given the opt out of Patrick Chung and so far looks up to the task. He is not as big as Chung, but certainly has the athleticism.

— Players returning kickoffs were Dugger, J.J. Taylor, Byrd and Olszewski. Players returning punts were Olszewski, Taylor, Byrd, Isaiah Zuber.

— Jake Bailey had several great punts when he was on the field, as he landed several perfectly inside the 5-yard line. Rookie kicker Justin Rohrwasser did not get any live reps Tuesday after going 3-for-5 Monday.