Patriots Joint Practice Observations: Everything We Saw On Raiders Day 2

It was the Patriots' final open practice of 2022


Aug 24, 2022

HENDERSON, Nev. — Amid temperatures that approached 100 degrees, the New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders returned to the practice field Wednesday for their second and final joint practice.

Here’s everything we observed during that session:

Full pads.

Did not participate
WR Tyquan Thornton
WR Kristian Wilkerson
LB Harvey Langi

CB Shaun Wade

Running back Damien Harris left practice before 11-on-11 drills and did not return.

Wide receiver Nelson Agholor and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn both left the field during 11s. They later returned to the sideline but did take any additional reps.

Agholor downplayed his injury when speaking with reporters after practice. The nature and severity of Harris’ and Wynn’s injuries were unclear. Wynn missed four practices and a preseason game last week with an undisclosed ailment.

Barring any preseason trades, Harris, Agholor and Wynn are expected to play significant roles for New England’s offense this season.

Quarterback Mac Jones accurately called Wednesday a “better” day for New England’s first-team offense. He went 20-for-25 in 11-on-11s and hit Jakobi Meyers (twice) and Hunter Henry (once) for tight-window touchdowns, with Henry’s coming on the final play of practice.

For a full breakdown of how that unit fared, click here.

— Davante Adams again looked like Davante Adams, dominating the Patriots’ secondary in competitive team drills.

In one 7-on-7 period, the All-Pro Raiders receiver beat Jonathan Jones for two touchdowns and Marcus Jones for another. In the first round of 11-on-11s, he added a third Jones to his list of vanquished cornerbacks, smoking fourth-round rookie Jack for a deep-ball touchdown and then celebrating by firing the ball into the Raiders’ indoor practice facility.

Overall, Adams caught passes against at least five Patriots corners, though Derek Carr’s success on throws to his top target did wane in the second half of practice. Terrance Mitchell had two pass breakups on throws to Adams, and Carr overshot him on a couple of deep balls. Jonathan Jones was in coverage on two long incompletions to Adams.

The Patriots aren’t likely to face a receiver better than Adams this season, and they viewed these practices as a valuable challenge.

“Once he breaks the huddle, it’s a strong possibility that the ball’s coming to your side,” said top cornerback Jalen Mills, who allowed just one Adams reception in team drills. “I think that’s just the mindset that you have to have. It’s the mindset that I have. He’s one of the the best, if not the best in this league, so there’s no better look right now than to see him play in and play out in practice for these last two days.”

— Mills lost all three of his 1-on-1 reps against Adams on Tuesday but rebounded nicely on Day 2, swatting the ball away from the former Green Bay Packers star on the first rep of WR/DB drills. He later notched another breakup against Tyron Johnson, perfectly mirroring Johnson’s route in the end zone.

Myles Bryant opened with losses on first two reps against Hunter Renfrow — whom he called one of the NFL’s top slot receivers — then beat Renfrow (pass breakup) and Keelan Cole on his final two. Jack Jones, Mitchell and Justin Bethel also had breakups during 1-on-1s.

Marcus Jones went 1-3 and was flagged for defensive holding. Jonathan Jones went 0-2, including a loss against Adams.

— Linebacker Mack Wilson nearly intercepted a pass during a Raiders two-minute drill, settling for a pass breakup. His speed and physicality should be assets for the Patriots’ defense this season.

— Jahlani Tavai continued to get work with New England’s first-team defense, rotating with Raekwon McMillan. Bill Belichick praised Tavai on Tuesday, saying the 2019 second-round draft pick has “done a nice job” this summer and “really developed a leadership role on the team.”

Tavai was part of the starting defense for last week’s preseason game against the Carolina Panthers and is a frequent special teams contributor, boosting his chances of sticking on the Patriots’ 53-man roster.

— McMillan, a former Raider, took another post-practice dip in the full-size swimming pool that sits just feet away from Las Vegas’ practice field.

— Matthew Judon has been one of the Patriots’ best defensive players throughout training camp, and he popped again Wednesday. During one 11-on-11 period early in practice, the Pro Bowl edge rusher batted a pass at the line, stuffed a Raiders run and teamed up with Josh Uche to sack Carr, all in the span of four or five plays.

— Justin Herron subbed in for Wynn after the latter left practice. Pro Bowler Maxx Crosby beat him for a sack on the Patriots’ final drive, but Herron held his own against Crosby on the touchdown pass to Henry that closed out practice.

It was interesting that the Patriots went with Herron in that spot rather than Yodny Cajuste, who’s had the stronger camp of the two.

— Meyers caught five of his six targets from Mac Jones in 11-on-11s, including two highlight-reel touchdowns. He’s been the Patriots’ top receiver throughout camp, maintaining that status despite marquee offseason additions (in this case, DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton) for the second consecutive summer.

Jones gushed about Meyers in his postgame news conference, saying: “I’ll take him on my team — forever, hopefully.”

— Receiving stats from Jones in 11-on-11s:

Jakobi Meyers: five catches on six targets
Rhamondre Stevenson: four catches on four targets
Ty Montgomery: four catches on four targets
Hunter Henry: three catches on three targets
Jonnu Smith: two catches on two targets
Kendrick Bourne: one catch on three targets
DeVante Parker: one catch on one target
Nelson Agholor: no catches on one target

— This was the Patriots’ final open practice of 2022. Per NFL rules, reporters will only be permitted to watch a short portion of each practice from now through the end of the season.

The Patriots and Raiders will close out the preseason with a game Friday night at Allegiant Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.’s coverage of New England Patriots preseason is presented by Cross Insurance, protecting your team since 1954.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images
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