New England Patriots

5 best training camp battles for Patriots in 2019

For the third time in five years, the New England Patriots are defending Super Bowl champions. What’s worth watching this summer when it comes to this team?

It would be a somewhat-safe assumption that if asked, New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick would suggest that every job on his football team is up for grabs. Yes, that’s probably a massive exaggeration but the point is that the NFL’s reigning dynasty is all about doing your job.

There’s a reason that the Patriots have posted 18 straight winning seasons, reached the Super Bowl in half of those campaigns and walked away with six Lombardi Trophies since 2001. It’s a culture built by Belichick and part of that is knowing when to play your best football. In 2018, the team was 11-5 and lost more road games than they won.

But come the postseason, they came through when it counted and have now won three of the last five NFL titles.

For the record, there will be no attempt at humor in putting the quarterback position on the list. All joking aside, which five spots will see some serious competition this summer when it comes to Belichick’s squad?

5. Punter

Ryan Allen vs. Jake Bailey

There’s little question the emphasis that New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick puts on special teams and field position. So it was interesting when the club opted to use the second of two fifth-round picks in April on Stanford punter Jake Bailey.

As for incumbent Ryan Allen, it’s worth noting that the six-year pro finished 16th in the NFL in gross punting average (45.1) and 19th in the league in net average (39.5). And the Patriots ranked 26th in the NFL in opponent’s punt return average.

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