FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Thursday was Day 8 of Patriots training camp, and it also marked one week until the team’s first preseason game.
The rain was coming down all morning in Foxboro as the Patriots put on the pads for the second time this season.
Head coach Bill Belichick emphasized that his team only had “one practice” coming into the day, stressing the importance of full pads to practice real game situations.
A bright spot in an otherwise dreary day was the continued development of rookie quarterback Mac Jones. Jones struggled in the team’s first padded practice on Tuesday, but made major improvements this time around.
Belichick has called former MVP Cam Newton the team’s starting quarterback, but the competition is still very much alive with both signal callers splitting reps in competitive drills.
Longtime Patriot Patrick Chung, who announced his retirement earlier this year, was at practice on Thursday. Having former players present is something Belichick encourages to keep the “Patriot Way” going.
Chung watched defensive drills and gave pointers to younger players, including safety Kyle Dugger who will be wearing his old number, 23.
Team captain Matthew Slater was thrilled to see Chung, giving him a huge hug from behind.
The Patriots will practice under the lights at Gillette Stadium Friday night in front of Foxboro residents and season ticket holders.
Belichick said he expects preparations for the first preseason against Washington will begin this weekend.