Perry: Patriots' O-line struggles were on full display Monday


FOXBORO -- David Andrews told reporters Monday that experiencing frustration at times during camp was just part of the deal. But what he did just a few minutes prior to meeting with the media was no run-of-the-mill post-practice ritual.

For an extended period of time, Andrews stood at the center of a large huddle made up exclusively of offensive players. He wasn't happy. Understandably so.

The Patriots offense had just put together what might’ve been the most broken sequence of plays it had compiled in 10 practices. Which is saying something.

Reactions to Monday's practice don't bode well for Patriots offense

Ever since a Day 1 outburst of production, Bill Belichick’s offense has been consistently stagnant. The running game seems to hit walls at the line of scrimmage constantly. Mac Jones is under duress regularly. Miscommunication between quarterbacks and their pass-catchers has become routine.

And it’s been hard to discern much in the way of improvement. That was certainly the case in a fully-padded practice to start the week. Here’s our stock watch for Monday, this time starting with those on the offensive side trending in the wrong direction.

Stock down: Justin Herron

After getting into a skirmish with Josh Uche and getting kicked out of the stadium practice Friday, Herron found himself with an opportunity for redemption three days later. Isaiah Wynn was essentially a non-participant as he appeared to be dealing with some kind of injury, and it was Herron who took his place at right tackle. No dice on the redemption front. 

Herron lost a one-on-one rep to Anfernee Jennings (nice spin move by the Alabama product), then soon thereafter had a tough rep in 11-on-11 work that led to Ja’Whaun Bentley stuffing a Damien Harris outside zone run. He was later beaten by Matt Judon for a “sack,” stomping both feet on the ground and punching the air as Judon got to Jones. Judon notched another pressure on Jones later in the practice, which led to a Jones checkdown. Not a great day for a player looking to earn a spot as the third tackle on the roster. 

Stock down: The rest of the O-line

Christian Barmore plowed through Andrews for a pressure that ruined a rep and led to a Jones scramble. Herron and the team’s interior linemen appeared to let both Uche and Raekwon McMillan through the line simultaneously on another dropback. Trent Brown committed a false start and had to run a lap before the very first snap of 11-on-11s, negating what looked like the offense trying to hustle from the huddle to the line to put some pressure on the defense. Cole Strange was in the middle of things on a blown-up outside zone run.

Jones had just 10 completions on 23 competitive 11-on-11 dropbacks. Pressures on nine of those dropbacks led to four checkdown attempts (one looking like a last-second desperate shovel pass to J.J. Taylor), one throwaway, one scramble and three "sacks" by Judon, Barmore and Harvey Langi.

Stock down: Kendrick Bourne

Typically one of Jones’ most reliable targets, Bourne had some issues simply holding onto the ball Monday. He dropped two passes in one-on-one periods and appeared frustrated with himself. He was later targeted by Mac Jones on a sideline fade that was picked off by Jalen Mills.

Mills leaped for the pass uncontested while Bourne watched and picked it easily. Wouldn’t be surprised if Bourne heard it from the coaching staff for not battling more on a 50-50 throw like that one. 

Stock up: Marcus Jones

The rookie third-round pick was touted as a dynamic athlete before the Patriots even drafted him, but he's flashed that kind of ability in spurts throughout the course of camp. His quickness and speed have been apparent on punt-return opportunities, and on Monday his vertical leap showed up. On a fade to Jakobi Meyers -- to whom Jones was giving up six inches in height -- Jones stuck with his coverage assignment and then leaped to break up the pass that hit Meyers' hands.

Perry: Why Marcus Jones could be a legitimate slot WR for Patriots

Jones is making a push for a real role defensively. It appears as though the Patriots are doing what they can to get him on the field with starters more frequently, which has led to another bit of shuffling on that side of the ball.

Stock up: Jonathan Jones

The senior member of the Jones corners -- Jack and Marcus are in the middle of their first camp -- is typically the team's go-to option in the slot. But he has seen some time at boundary corner over the last few practices. On Monday he was part of the top tandem opposite Mills. (For about two weeks that spot had been taken by Terrance Mitchell.) 

The Patriots appear to be trying to figure out what their top trio of corners will be when the regular season begins, and the combination of Mills with two Joneses looked stout. Not only did Marcus Jones break up a pass, Mills picked off a ball to Bourne, and Jonathan Jones had a near pick on the outside against Tyquan Thornton. He made a diving attempt at a slant that seemed to have Mac Jones and Thornton crossed up. Thornton ended up stopping his route early and the ball seemed to come out late, with the slot-slash-boundary corner Jones making what was almost an acrobatic grab. 

Stock up: Matt Judon

Judon was worked around his target by Trent Brown in a one-on-one drill, but no shame in that. Brown has been working everyone in those periods. It was what Judon did later that stood out.

He breezed past Herron for a "sack" and later got right through Herron again for a pressure that led to a checkdown attempt to Harris. Judon feasted on backup tackles when given the chance early last season and had no problem doing the same again on Monday. 

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