BOSTON (CBS) — Another day, another training camp practice.

The Patriots hit the practice field on Friday morning for the third consecutive day, as they work toward the start of their 2021 season.

Here’s what stood out on the practice field for this one.

THE QB BATTLE

Of course, this has been and will be the top story of the summer, as every snap, throw, handoff, and mini-burst of emotion will be analyzed, scrutinized, and digitized if it’s performed by Cam Newton or Mac Jones.

The Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan said Newton was the better quarterback, with Jones fizzling out at the end for the second straight day.

MassLive’s Chris Mason framed it interestingly: Cam Newton had the better overall day, but Mac Jones made the best throws of the day.

NFL Network’s Mike Giardi likewise agreed it was a “good day” for Cam, despite some misfires. He also noted that Jones faded late in practice.

ESPN’s Mike Reiss noted that with the offense moving away from the red zone, Mac Jones was able to display his downfield passing ability.

BIGGER CROWDS

Training camp is usually filled to the brim with Patriots fans. Yet whether it’s due to there being no autographs allowed this year, or a lack of enthusiasm from the 7-9 season, or people being out of practice with attending events in the COVID world, the crowds were smaller than usual on Wednesday and Thursday.

But the crowd was noticeable larger for Friday’s session.

It’s likely fair to assume the crowd will grow larger for the weekend session on Saturday.

RHAMONDRE’S DEBUT

Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson started camp on the non-football injury list. But he was present and participating on Friday, having only missed two sessions.

Stevenson was selected by the Patriots with the 120th overall pick in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Stevenson ran for 1,180 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 28 passes for 298 yards in 19 games over the past two seasons for Oklahoma.

FIGHT!

OK, not really a “fight.” But emotions did run high between David Andrews and Rashod Berry.

PROMISING SIGN FOR AGHOLOR

Nelson Agholor — despite a drop — had a good day on the practice field.

KARRAS HURT

Ted Karras — who returned to the Patriots presumably to take over at center, only to presumably get moved into a backup interior spot after David Andrews re-signed — suffered some sort of lower-body injury.

“THESE TIGHT ENDS LOOK GOOD”

Now there’s something that was not said once last year:

DEFENSE

Again, with no tackling or hitting, the defense isn’t really on full display here. But it’s worth noting the standout plays and players.

The Patriots will be back on the practice field on Saturday, before getting a day off on Sunday. The Patriots announced that they’ll be holding training camp practices Monday through Thursday next week on the practice fields, free and open to the public, with gates opening at 8:30 a.m. each day. The team will hold its in-stadium practice on Friday, which is open to season ticket holders and Foxboro residents.

CBSBoston.com Staff