Patriots fans share excitement for upcoming NFL season
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The New England Patriots launched their 2022 training camp Wednesday. They are hoping to build upon last year’s playoff appearance with the help of some new players, but there are still some questions to be answered before the regular season begins.
Western Mass News was at Gillette Stadium Wednesday to share the pre-season excitement with the fans.
“I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember, and obviously, being a fan of a great team, you wanna come out and really root for these guys,” said Chris Lamphier of Berkley.
Patriots fans were in attendance for the first day of training camp, getting their first look at changes on and off the field.
Construction is underway in the north end zone of Gillette Stadium with plans of installing a 22-square foot video board, enhanced plaza, and 200-foot lighthouse by the start of the 2023 season.
A stage also covers the football field with Elton John set to perform the first of two concerts here on Wednesday night as part of his last-ever tour.
“You can’t have a bad show with Elton John,” fans Sharon Feraios and Melissa Wright told us. ”You just can’t. He’s amazing.”
On the field, the Patriots are retooling with a group of rookies, including first-round draft pick Cole Strange.
“I think he’s gonna be a good plug and play guy that’s gonna come in huge and hopefully bring the offensive line to the next level that we were missing last year,” Lamphier said.
The Patriots are hopeful Wide Receiver Devante Parker, who they acquired in a trade from Miami, can provide a jolt to the offense.
Other fans told Western Mass News that they are hoping to see the tight end tandem play a bigger role.
“Hopefully, they get to build off of Jonnu and Hunter Henry this year, so it looks really promising from an offensive standpoint,” said Christien and Eoin Tootell-Quevedo of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Following the departure of Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is now the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, the team has yet to name an official replacement. Instead, they are dividing responsibilities between Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.
However, despite the changes, Patriots fans said they trust the process.
“I’m one of the guys that trusts in Belichick. Believe in Bill,” Lamphier said. “He’s been a leader of the team for quite some time, and I don’t really have any worries there.”
Patriots training camp continues at Gillette Stadium Thursday through Saturday with practices beginning at 9:30 a.m. All of them are free and open to the public.
Copyright 2022. Western Mass News (WGGB/WSHM). All rights reserved.