The “actual” football, as Patriots coach Bill Belichick calls it, has begun.
The pads were on and popping Tuesday, with the revamped defense showing its mettle against New England’s massive offensive line.
A few flags flew as Clete Blakeman led an officiating crew onto the grounds to give teams an idea of what will and won’t be called now that full contact has commenced.
And for the first time so far in Patriots training camp, one quarterback was overwhelmingly better than the other and made the first big stroke in the team’s likely quarterback competition.
Tuesday, that man was Cam Newton.