FOXBORO (CBS) — OTAs are underway in Foxboro, and that means we are getting our first glimpse of Mac Jones throwing a football for the Patriots. The rookie quarterback isn’t doing too much, but that won’t keep fans from getting excited about the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft.
These voluntary sessions are mostly just to lay the foundation for training camp, a way for the new guys to dip their toes into everything Patriots football and for returning players to get acclimated with their new teammates.
As for Jones, he is clearly the No. 2 behind Cam Newton on New England’s QB depth chart. Here are some observations from those who were at Thursday’s session, along with some thoughts from some of the players that were on the field. Plus, plenty of videos of Mac Jones throwing the football.
Cam Is Still The Man
When it came to which QB was leading the charge, that honor still belongs to Cam Newton — as expected in these early days of the 2021 season.
Cam Newton led off every practice period today. Mac Jones was second in line for the majority of practice, including each period after they broke into team drills. Jones throws a good ball.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) May 27, 2021
The Trash Can Drill
It’s back! No word on if QBs are making any friendly wagers, as they did when Tom Brady was around.
— Chris Gobeille (@WBZPhotog) May 27, 2021
Josh McDaniels also had another competition going among his quarterbacks:
Patriots QBs did some bucket drill today. Stidham and Jones threw the best-looking deep balls.
McDaniels also had QBs do a who-can-hit-the-target-quicker drill. From "hut" to the receiver's hands, who wins? Hoyer beat Jones 2x. Stidham and Cam won one each. Hoyer and Cam tied.
— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) May 27, 2021
Lots Of Mac
Everyone is excited to see Mac in action. Turns out in addition to having a cannon, the kid can also make some nifty catches as well.
Turns out Mac Jones can throw and catch the ball. Much more to come from #Patriots practice on Thursday.
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) May 27, 2021
And here’s that rifle of an arm in action:
— Bob Socci (@BobSocci) May 27, 2021
As for how Jones, Newton and the others looked out there on Thursday, a few new Patriots pass-catchers were left impressed.
“Mac’s doing a great job,” said new tight end Hunter Henry. “He’s obviously new and I’m new so we’re just all going through it together. Him being new to the whole atmosphere of this next level, he’s doing a great job. It’s good to have him here and we’re excited to have him.”
Henry was also impressed with what he saw from Newton, both as a quarterback and as a leader.
“He’s got great energy. Obviously he’s very proven in this league and I think that goes without saying. He’s a great player,” he said of Cam. “It’s fun to be around him. He’s great in the locker room, great on the field, great off the field. So it’s been a blast.”
New receiver Kendrick Bourne also shared some thoughts on the two quarterbacks.
“He has a swag to him that I didn’t know that he had,” he said of Jones.
As for Newton, Bourne echoed that the veteran brings a lot of energy to the field.
“He’s just all-around a great teammate,” Bourne said of Newton.