Offensive line breakdown for the first week of camp. One of the biggest concerns after the 2021 NFL season was the offensive line. The Patriots drafted three linemen in the draft and named Matt Patricia as the offensive linemen coach. Patricia has been calling plays, and with limited contact, how would the line look in training camp?
NFL Protects Lineman and other players
Mike Debate wrote, “The lineman looked a little different on the field for the first day of camp due to new league rules. In accordance with a league-wide directive, all Patriots’ linemen, linebackers, and tight ends wore padded shells over their helmets called Guardian Caps. This process will continue throughout the entirety of training camp.”https://www.si.com/nfl/patriots/news/new-england-training-camp-opening-day-mac-jones-devante-parker-tyquan-thornton
Offensive Line Injury Update
The Patriots’ 2022 starting OL showed up for practice. Well, at least all but starting center David Andrews who was out until day three of training camp. In addition, rookie linemen Chasen Hines and Andrew Stueber have both been out with non-football injuries.
The Patriots appear to be sticking with the swap they made at tackle between Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown. Many have reported that they continued to have Brown as the new blindside tackle and Wynn on the right side. They also appear to have a front-runner as Andrews’s backup.
Henry McKenna wrote, “On the offensive line, Andrews was out, so James Ferentz took over at center. Tackle Trent Brown remained on the left side and Isaiah Wynn kept playing on the right side.”https://patriotswire.usatoday.com/lists/instant-observations-from-day-1-of-patriots-2022-training-camp/
Andrew Callahan wrote, “Newly converted offensive lineman Bill Murray, who was a practice-squad defensive lineman the past two years, lined up with the field goal unit.”https://www.bostonherald.com/2022/07/27/patriots-training-camp-day-1-mac-jones-sizzles-matt-patricia-calls-plays-and-a-new-receiver-shines/
The Patriots allowed at least two sacks. One to Josh Uche and another to Daniel Ekuale. No word on who got beat. Ronnie Perkins was also said to be getting after the quarterbacks.
Bill Murray will go from trying to make opposing quarterbacks see ghosts to keeping Mac, Hoyer, and Zappe from seeing ghosts. The Patriots have converted the former undrafted defensive tackle to an offensive lineman. And the Patriots have already put him to work on special teams. He will now be wearing number 62.
As expected, Billy Yates had to take on more responsibility with Patricia calling plays. And his players don’t seem worried.
Trent Brown said of Yates, “He played here. He knows everything we’re supposed to be doing how it’s supposed to be done, the ‘Patriot Way.'”https://www.boston.com/sports/new-england-patriots/2022/07/27/patriots-training-camp-day-1-takeaways-mac-jones-bill-belichick-matt-patricia-devante-parker/
Coach Belichick talked about Cole Strange saying, “Cole’s worked really hard. He’s one of the first guys in the building every day, last to leave. He’s done a good job on his assignments. I think he’s shown a lot of maturity in the situations that we put him in. But you know, it’s a long way to go, obviously everybody in this league has talent. It comes down to production and consistency, and we will find out over a period of time how that is.”https://www.patspulpit.com/2022/7/30/23284918/cole-stranges-work-ethic-positive-impression-patriots-punt-catching-skills
Paul Perillo wrote, “The second group on Thursday featured Will Sherman occasionally at center. Rookie Kody Russey also took some reps in the middle. Yodny Cajuste and Arlington Hambright worked at left tackle and guard while Yasir Durant and Drew Desjarlais manned right tackle and guard.”https://www.patriots.com/news/day-2-blogservations-defense-turns-the-tables
The sacks and pressures continued. It’s only day two, but the line shows it needs work.
Andrew Callahan wrote, “Would-be sacks: Judon, Barmore, Perkins, Team.” “The front seven pressured more than it had most of the day, with Barmore and Judon knifing through the pocket on separate snaps.”https://www.bostonherald.com/2022/07/28/patriots-training-camp-day-2-defense-forces-10-straight-incompletions-devante-parker-flashes-again/
Newly converted lineman Bill Murray played some right guard, and the line gave up more sacks. And the team broke out mitts to prevent holding. So that pretty much summed up the day for the line.
Greg Bedard and Callahan credited the Patriots with three sacks on the day (Carl Davis, Perkins, Judon). The reports didn’t say anything about hurries. Again, no word on who’s getting beat. I questioned Bedard about it, and he said it was too far away from the media vantage point to tell.
The line got beat again, and it was noticeable as at least four people took note. Trent Brown had to run due to a penalty, and Cajuste got some work in. And the Patriots are still moving Wynn around when Brown is off the field. The Patriots also let Kody Russey fill in for Andrews.
Andree Callahan wrote, “Would-be sacks: Team 3, Jennings, Tavai, Cameron McGrone, Jeremiah Pharms Jr.”https://www.bostonherald.com/2022/07/30/patriots-training-camp-day-4-kyle-dugger-intercepts-mac-jones-defense-dominates/?clearUserState=true
Brian Hines wrote, The “defenders were constantly and quickly in the backfield forcing Jones on the run. “https://www.patspulpit.com/2022/7/30/23285112/patriots-training-camp-recap-defense-dominates-saturday-day-4
Zack Cox write, “Both quarterbacks faced frequent pressure from New England’s D-line, with more than a half-dozen reps resulting in either scrambles, “sacks” or throwaways.”https://nesn.com/2022/07/patriots-training-camp-observations-everything-we-saw-on-day-4/
Bill Murray On Converting
“I’m just here to help the team out in any way possible. Coach wanted me to try out offense line, so I’m going to give it everything I got and help out the team any way I can. I’m excited, It’s an opportunity. All I can be is grateful for this opportunity and take it in stride. It’s a whole new position. It’s very tough. My teammates have been very helpful, the coaches have been very helpful, and every day I’m just trying my best and just getting better every day,” said Murray.https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/patriots-training-camp-observations-on-day-4-mac-jones-throws-pick-6-as-offense-struggles-during-11-on-11s/
Offensive Line Summary
So far, after four days, the Patriots’ offense has allowed a dozen sacks or more and a lot of pressure. They’re not even wearing pads yet. We’ll have to see if things improve come on Monday when more contact is allowed. It’s still early, but something to watch.
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