In just five short weeks, we’ll get to see the Patriots back on the field for training camp.
On Thursday, New England announced that they will host their first public training camp practice on Thursday, July 26. This practice is free and open to anyone who wants to make the trip to Gillette Stadium to see Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the rest of the team prepare for the 2018 season. The Patriots also noted that the specific time of this first public practice will be updated as we get closer to camp.
While this is the first time we’ll be able to see the Patriots on the field, they’ll actually be reporting for camp a bit earlier than July 26. The NFL also announced on Thursday that Patriots rookies will report on July 22 and veterans will report on July 25.
Overall, this is a great take to put on your summer bucket list as the environment is typically always pretty lively and it gives a rare up-close look at the team and all their star players. There’s also typically some good moments to snap some photos and potentially time for kids to get some autographs following practice as they players are often engaging with the fans in attendance.
This is the 59th year of the Patriots’ annual training camp and the 16th consecutive camp at Gillette Stadium.
Once the rest of the training camp dates are in check, it will be curious to see if there will be any joint practice sessions that the Patriots hold this year. During previous training camps, New England has welcomed in a wide array of teams like the Saints, Bears and Texans into their practices. This year, however, it’s unclear if they’ll be able to squeeze any of those in.
The Eagles have already noted that they won’t be holding any joint practices and then that leaves the Panthers, Redskins and Giants as the rest of their preseason opponents. Typically you wouldn’t hold the joint practices too close to the start of the regular season, so the Giants would likely be out the equation as well.
The Patriots’ first preseason game will be held on August 9 against the Redskins at Gillette Stadium.
As for who we should keep an eye on at camp, one player who seems to have built up some solid momentum after a strong minicamp is tight end Jacob Hollister. He’s entering his second season in the NFL after going undrafted out of Wyoming. He showed some flashes last season and if he can continue to build off his strong offseason, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he pushes Dwayne Allen for the No. 2 tight end spot behind Rob Gronkowski.
Another spot to keep an eye on is the wide receiver position as there is plenty of competition for a finite amount of spots even with the departure of Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola.