3 biggest questions for the New England Patriots heading into training camp

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

The New England Patriots return to action this week as training camp begins at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday. The gates will open, and fans will get their first glimpse of the 2023 roster. 

With training camp fast approaching, it got us at Musket Fire wondering what the three biggest questions were for the Patriots heading into camp.

Training camp question #1 What is going to happen with Kendrick Bourne?

Kendrick Bourne is the biggest question mark for the Patriots at the wide receiver position. After a disappointing season that left his Patriots future in doubt, Bourne is entering a crucial season. With much to prove, it will be interesting to see if Bourne enters camp with new energy and fire.

Also, it will be interesting to see how new offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien utilizes Bourne early in camp. The number of reps Bourne receives early on in camp will be important in understanding where he lies on the team. Bourne could become a trade candidate if he fails to accept his role or plays poorly. Patriots fans that attend camp should pay attention to Bourne.

Training camp question #2 How much of an impact will Bill O’Brien make?

All of the Patriots nation expects Bill O’Brien to overhaul the offense and return them to elite status. Training camp will be an excellent tool to see O’Brien’s progress with the offense. Crucial things that fans should watch out for are the overall pace of the offense, how vocal he is with the offense, and how he coaches Mac Jones.

The pace of the offense is going to be important to monitor because the Patriots should look to utilize their playmakers. It will be a good sign if early reports out of camp are that the Patriots are practicing an up-tempo offense.

Furthermore, O’Brien being vocal is another thing to monitor because the Patriot's offense needs real coaching again. The Patriots lost valuable coaching with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running the offense a year ago. The same is true for Jones, as he needs to take O’Brien’s coaching this season.

Training camp question #3 Will Mac Jones and Bill Belichick interact?

A fascinating story to watch for the Patriots at training camp is will Mac Jones and Bill Belichick interact. Jones and Belichick have shot at one another in the past year, and tension is high. It's crucial to find out if they are willing to have conversations or interactions in front of the fans.

Belichick and Jones can show that there is no beef between the two. If they fail to interact at training camp, it will only heighten the suspensions of a potential disconnect between the two.