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Jones looked like a three-year veteran. Mac, that is.
Daniel Jones looked stumped by the Patriots’ defense, faltering at the goal line, where he went four-and-out for no points. Mac Jones led an efficient drive that put his team in the end zone at about the same time Daniel Jones was crossing the 10-yard line. The two 7-on-7s aren’t held equal. It’s fair to guess that the Patriots’ defense will be superior to the Giants’. But Mac Jones looked better than Daniel Jones. And it wasn’t exclusive to that session. Mac Jones was the best quarterback on the field for the entire joint practice on Wednesday.
But ultimately, that’s not all that important to the Patriots. What is important? Well, the Patriots have to figure out if Mac Jones is better than Cam Newton, who did not practice on Wednesday after accidentally violating COVID-19 protocols.
Here are our notes from the day.
The top takeaway: Mac Jones looks very comfortable in hurry-up situations
There's a reason they call it a hurry-up offense. It can be hectic. The playcalling, the adjustments, the presnap reads -- they're all a little bit faster than in another game scenario. But Mac Jones looked awfully comfortable leading his team in an 11-on-11 scenario where his team was clearly trying to get themselves in field goal position. Against the Giants' starting defense, his drive went as followed: a checkdown to a running back, a 20-yarder to Jakobi Meyers, a sack, a 9-yarder to Meyers, a defensive holding penalty on an incompletion to Meyers and a 20-yarder to White. That left the Patriots in field goal position in short time. Jones' final throw on the drive was his most impressive. He finished the drive with a great touch pass to White, arcing perfectly away from the linebacker in coverage. The anticipation was practically perfect -- and maybe even a bit too early -- with White pulling up his head at the last moment to haul in the pass on his back shoulder. White then rolled out of bounds to stop the clock.
INJURIES Left tackle Isaiah Wynn and receiver Nelson Agholor left practice under their own power with a trainer at their side. Agholor looked like he was walking gingerly. But it was a hot one -- the heat could have taken its toll. NOTABLE PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE TE Kahale Warring was present after the team added him on Tuesday. He was wearing No. 88. RED JERSEY TE Hunter Henry and safety Myles Bryant are still limited with a red non-contact jersey.
The little details
The weather: It was a scorcher, with temperatures rising to a toasty 90 degrees.
The pad level: Full pads. Contact, baby. The QB order in drills: Jones, Brian Hoyer. The energy: Fiery. We saw a fight. Everyone was celebrating big plays. It was a fairly raucous morning. The best throw: It has to be the arcing throw from Jones to White on a wheel route, which put the Patriots in the red zone and field goal range. Great timing. Great ball placement. Great, athletic catch. And, finally, White showed awareness to get out of bounds and stop the clock.
The biggest winner and loser
WINNER It has to be Jones. But we've already put together enough copy on him. So let's talk about tackle Yodny Cajuste, who was working at left tackle to block Jones' blindside during the 11-on-11 reps after Wynn left with an injury. Those are quality reps for the former third-round pick who has been injured for most of his career. Cajuste is on the bubble, but a practice like Wednesday's is a great test to justifying keeping him around. LOSER All of the Giants? It sounds harsh, but they were the worse team. It wasn't even close.
Everything else that's important
Kicker Nick Folk was 3 of 3 and received all of the live reps. Sorry, Quinn Nordin fans, it's not looking good.
The Patriots kicked off 7-on-7 by seeing Jones throw a touchdown pass to James White with Giants linebacker Reggie Ragland in coverage. That set the tone for a good day.
A fight broke out between Patriots offensive linemen and Giants defensive linemen. It started with a rep between Patriots guard Mike Onwenu and Giants defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. Isaiah Wynn and Korey Cunningham ended up at the bottom of the pileup with defensive linemen B.J. Hill.
Safety Kyle Dugger intercepted Daniel Jones during 11-on-11 drills, but it was much more of a play that was discredited to Jones than credit to Dugger. Jones fired the ball right at Dugger, who was in the path of Jones' target for Slayton.
I'm going to hammer Daniel Jones again. He simply wasn't efficient or accurate on his drives. It wasn't just that the Patriots were forcing him into quick, bad decisions because of good defense. Jones was also shooting himself in the foot with poor ball placement.
And I'm going to keep praising Mac Jones. His ball-handling was impressive, too. He managed a fake pitch on play-action that fooled the Giants' defensive front. It created some room for him to throw a touchdown to receiver Gunner Olszewski.
There was one rough series, Jones' final session. Shaq Mason committed a false start. Jones had a bad throw over the middle which Kendrick Bourne couldn't catch on a diving attempt. Jones then threw another stinker which Bourne could catch, but maybe wouldn't have been complete with live contact. Then a Giants holding penalty saved the Patriots on third down. Before we knew it, Jones was firing downfield to Meyers for a big play. Then Jones and the Patriots were in the end zone a few plays later.
WR Kristian Wilkerson got a lot of run with the No. 1 offense after Agholor left with an injury. CB Joejuan Williams also got some work with the No. 1 defense.
Jones muscled a ball into pressure for a completion to Olszewski in 7-on-7 drills. Safety Jabrill Peppers seemed to feel like he could've picked it. Either way, it was impressive to see a little arm strength from Jones.
Jones' biggest mistake of practice came on a 50-50 ball that safety Xavier McKinney nearly intercepted but dropped.
Kendrick Bourne was out of position during competitive 7-on-7 drills, and Mac Jones corrected him. WRs coach Mick Lombardi wasn't happy after the play was over, meeting Bourne to chat after the rep.
1-on-1s: James Fererentz beat David Moa. Shaq Mason lost badly in a 2-on-2 with a stunt from Oshane Ximines.
Pass-catcher/coverage 1-on-1: J.J. Taylor roasted Ximinies. Rhamondre put linebacker Cam Brown on roller skates.
Guard Shaq Mason committed an offsides penalty to kick off a competitive 11-on-11 drill.
The Giants, not the Patriots, finished their day with a session on the hill to work on conditioning.