Mac Jones, Nelson Agholor show rapport on Day 1 of training camp

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

There was one throw that was really working for New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones on Day 1 of training camp Wednesday. With New England lining up within the 10-yard line for all of its 11-on-11 drills, Jones had little room to work with but found a soft spot by targeting his receivers in the back corner of the end zone. And twice, Jones found Nelson Agholor.

The rookie quarterback finished 9 of 19 for the practice during 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 competitive drills. Cam Newton, Jones’ top competition for the QB1 job, finished 8 of 15 with two interceptions.

The first touchdown came with Agholor dragging across the back of the end zone. They were in the first round of 11-on-11 drills, with Jones coming in after Newton. They seemed to be in a fourth-down scenario, and Jones showed touch to get the ball to Agholor, with cornerback Michael Jackson in coverage. In a 7-on-7 drill, Agholor got a mismatch with cornerback Justin Bethel, a Pro Bowl special teams player who has never made his mark on defense. Agholor toasted Bethel with a shallow corner route for another touchdown. Those passes were among Jones’ high points for the day.

“He’s doing what they’re asking of him,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said after practice. “I haven’t been able to sit down and critique everything that he’s doing, and I don’t see me doing that anyway, but he’s a sponge. He’s a smart kid, makes good throws and good decisions and hopefully he’s got Cam and (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) and all those guys to lean on. Again, he’s one of those guys who’s going to make the team better, and make that room better.”

Jones targeted that sweet spot for touchdowns to Kendrick Bourne and Marvin Hall for two more scores.

As it goes with any rookie, Jones had rough moments, including a fumble that resulted in a lap around the field for punishment. Of course, it probably didn’t feel all the awful for Jones, who ran most of the lap in front of the Patriots fans in attendance. They roared in support of the rookie, drafted 15th overall in April.

“I didn’t expect him to have the kind of swagger that he’s got,” tight end Jonnu Smith. “Hell of a guy. Great energy. Just bringing life to the locker room. Loves football, you know what I mean? Always laughing. Smile on his face. You can’t ask for a better quarterback.”

Jones didn’t turn the ball over, but he had a few passes that he likely would have never gotten off. At training camp, pass-rushers aren’t allowed to finish the play. So when a quarterback holds the ball a bit too long and the pocket appears to be collapsing, it’s likely it would have been a sack. Jones had off-target throws to N’Keal Harry over the middle and Devin Ross in the end zone. He also targeted Kristian Wilkerson, only to see safety Devin McCourty get a pass breakup.

Bill Belichick is likely to say it 100 times before the season: Jones has a long way to go.

List

Instant observations from Day 1 of Patriots training camp

View 6 items