Mac Jones’s deep throws indicate potential for a more explosive Patriots attack. – New England Patriots blog

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Notes and thoughts quick-hit around the New England Patriots NFL:

1. Mac's deep ball: Spring practices are the appetizer of the main menu and the quarterback Mac Jones The Patriots' offense gave us a taste of what they are cooking up in 2022.

The main takeaway is that there are opportunities to improve the depth of passing.

Jones made three tight-window, downfield throws in the last practice of mandatory minicamp. It couldn't be better.

The ball went down the left sideline and was caught by the receiver. Nelson AgholorThe rookie cornerback was Jack Jones Jones was running stride for stride with him on a “go”, route so close Jones was pulling at his jersey when the ball arrived.

You will then take a narrow right-to-left route to the tight end. Jonnu SmithSafety was not an option for him. Kyle Dugger However, he made a diving catch from his back pocket.

Finally, a 50-yard bomb in the middle of the receiver Tre NixonHe was cornerback because he somehow managed to pin the drop-into-the-bucket throw on his chest with his righthand. Jonathan Jones He was all over Jones. Based on his coverage, Jones looked stunned at the end.

These were plays that caused celebrations at the offense and veteran safety Devin McCourty They were referred to as “haymakers” — great throws against top coverage.

McCourty explained that the way defense and offense traded “big-time shots against each other” this spring is what he looks out for when evaluating the potential of a whole team.

The offense could benefit from the success of the deep passing game.

Consider these nuggets from last season, via ESPN Stats & Information:

  • 41% (or less) of Jones' pass attempts at least 20 feet downfield were under- or overthrown last season. This is a deviation that ranks 21st among the NFL's league average 36%.

  • According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jones was 24th in vertical route completions with a 38.8% rate. His completion rate was higher than expected on these throws, which was -4.5% (26th among 31 qualified QBs).

  • Jones completed his most passes 20-plus yards to receiver Jakobi Meyers (7-of-16), but failed to connect with Agholor (4-17, 0 T, 2 IN).

  • The Patriots receivers were 25th in distance on deep balls, with just 1.6 yards per NFL Next Gen Stats.

Jones acknowledged that “good steps” had been made in practice this spring but said that more work is needed.

“We want the ability to do what we want at any time. “We're trying to have a little bit more variety,” he stated.

2. Rookie hustle: When Rodney Harrison signed as a safety with the Patriots in 2003, he was moving at a slower pace and accidentally popped receiver Troy Brown one play. Nearly twenty years later, one could draw a parallel to Patriots first round pick. Cole StrangeThe guard was caught up with an outside linebacker during practice Tuesday. Matthew Judon After a few players had gathered around a loose ball, there was much shouting.

Judon had no hard feelings about Strange, but he later highlighted something that others around the Patriots said about Strange: he's always full of energy (which was a Harrison tradition).

Judon said, “If he saw me, he was sprinting 30 yards away.” He was a great hustler.

3. Nixon is in the Eyes Nixon, a practice squad receiver (7th round, 2021 Central Florida), made two impressive plays this spring. Now the question is whether he can continue that momentum into training camp and charge for a roster slot. Agholor was raving about him (“I don’t think there is anyone that trains as hard”) and Mac Jones explained that Nixon’s connection to him extends beyond the field. They used to drive together to the stadium to take their COVID-19 test, and then they would enter the building together.

4. Kendrick's cake: Receiver Kendrick Bourne As part of his wedding celebration, he was allowed to miss the first mandatory minicamp practice. However, the team surprised him when he returned with a surprise cake. This is a moment that shows the camaraderie that can be created at this time on an NFL calendar.



Take a look at Jack Jones's best plays as he prepares for the NFL Draft.

5. Draft report: First impressions of 2022 Patriots class:

  • G Cole Strange (first round): Plug-and-play starter at left guard

  • WR Tyquan Thornton (second) Speed is what he claims; a job as a gunner could help him land on the 46-man roster

  • DB Marcus Jones (third): Still wearing a red non-contact shirt (shoulders); projects to be a returner/sub defender

  • CB Jack Jones (fourth). Sticky coverage from the outside. Curious to see if he is able to push himself to start after looking at the part

  • RB Pierre Strong Jr. Fourth: I had a chance to see the kickoff returner. Speed stood out.

  • QB Bailey Zappe Fourth: A strong work ethic is not in doubt; often one of the last players to leave field

  • RB Kevin Harris Sixth: Cam Achord (special teams coordinator) was very critical of a blocking mistake on a kickoff returning.

  • DT Sam Roberts (6th): It is difficult to judge his position with no pads or full contact.

  • OL Chasen Hines/Andrew Stueber (sixth/seventh of the): I did not practice

6. Rookie value: After completing spring practices well, Jack Jones could emerge as a contributor. This would demonstrate the financial benefit of receiving contributions from rookie players. Jones signed a deal Thursday that includes a signing bonus of $746,984 (paid in two installments), base salaries of $705,000 to $985,000, $975,000 to $1.1 million, and base salaries at $705,000, $985,000, $975,000, and $705,000 to $985,000 respectively. His cap charges are $891,746, $1.1 million, and $1.2 million.

7. Keep Fighting! Jack Jones was answering reporters' questions last week, when Agholor interrupted him by shouting “Fight On!” It was a reference the fight song of USC, since Agholor graduated from USC in 2015 and Jones started his career at Arizona State in 2016. After a few memorable battles on the Patriots practice field, they shared smiles about their Trojan ties and laughed about it. Jones said, “I had known Nelly before I came up here. I used to see him all over SC.” He is a great competitor. Each other makes us better.”

8. Banda and Belichick: Although Coach Bill Belichick is very involved in the offense's success, he was not present at the team's last minicamp practice. hands-off. He spent most of the time talking with Ephraim, Utah State's defensive coordinator and safety coach, and twirling the whistle. Belichick is a valuable person and Banda was a great conversation partner. more about his background What might have caught Belichick's attention?

9. Health check: Defensive tackle Byron Cowart Hines and Stueber, rookie offensive linemen, will be closely monitored medically by the Patriots when they return to training camp in July. They haven't been practicing this spring, so they could be on the physically unable perform list if things don't improve in the following month. Meyers, running back James White, rookie defensive back Marcus Jones Tight ends Dalton Keene And Hunter Henry They had a limited amount of ground to make up, so they are still able to make up some.

10. Did you know that? Receiver DeVante ParkerThe runner, who caught a deep pass last week from Mac Jones and leapt over cornerbacks, was able to do so. Jalen MillsAccording to NFL Next Gen Stats, 69 tight-window throws have been received by, the NFL's most popular player. Julio Jones (63) Mike Williams Next up is (62). Tight-window throws refer to less than one yard separation when the pass arrives.

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