There has been a strong emphasis on the need for a much improved offensive line this upcoming season, which is a big reason why there was an overall disappointment that Belichick didn't prioritize the position in free agency or the draft.
The unit struggled sporadically during the 2022 season, with Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown leading the problems, and only a few seasoned veterans were signed in the spring to help improve the roster.
One of those players was a former sixth-round pick for New England, Conor McDermott.
He was signed in late October of last season to hopefully bring some stability to the inconsistent offensive line, and his performance then earned him a two-year contract extension earlier this year. Although he isn't an exciting name to watch for, his performance through training camp so far shows he could be an integral piece of the offensive come the regular season.
McDermott began training camp with the second-string offense, but his performance impressed the coaches enough to move him to the starting offense. He replaced another free agent signee, Riley Reiff, taking over at right tackle for a good portion of the third summer practice.
Given the current state of the right side of the line in particular, McDermott has a prime opportunity to become the starter for the season ahead. There was a scenario floating around that Trent Brown could possibly remain on the right side, as he did for some of last season, but the Patriots veteran seems to have locked down the left tackle position.
So far, so good for McDermott, though, who will have some competition for the spot with Reiff and newly signed Calvin Anderson. It is certainly a position to watch this summer, as it will remain one of the most important roster battles over the next month.