Which New England Patriots WR is Bill Belichick Praising Despite Loss to Miami Dolphins? - Sports Illustrated New England Patriots News, Analysis and More

2022-09-17 01:54:17 By : Mr. Blank Cai

FOXBORO — Despite being limited in practice all week with a knee injury and being spotted rocking a knee brace before kickoff, New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers hauled in four passes for 55 yards in last Sunday's 20-7 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The fourth-year wideout also came down with a terrific catch along the sideline.

In his Wednesday afternoon press conference, Bill Belichick spoke glowingly of the consistency that Meyers has displayed since arriving in New England.

“Very good — and continues to get better,” Belichick said. “This is a kid that got better through the course of his first year. From Year 1 to Year 2. Year 2 to Year 3. Now Year 3 to Year 4. Not just on the field, but off the field. Preparation, leadership, adjustments, anticipation: I mean, all of the above. Smart football player.”

Meyers showed why he's New England's top wideout against the Dolphins, making contested grabs in big situations and serving as one of the offense's few playmakers. He played in 88 percent of the offensive snaps with 50.

His contributions go beyond making impressive catches. Meyers was New England's best offensive player and it wasn't just on the stat sheet.

On a third-and-12 play late in the first quarter, Meyers blocked two Dolphins defenders to help allow Nelson Agholor pick up the first down.

“He’s certainly come a long way from where he was his rookie year,” Belichick said. “He’s really learned how to become a good slot receiver, but he can do things on the perimeter as well. He’s good in the blocking part of the game and runs for us and some of the more sophisticated routes he’s had more experience with, so he’s done a good job on those. He’s got good hands. He’s got a good catch radius. He’s got good quickness to get open.”

An undrafted rookie out of N.C. State in 2019, Meyers has become Mac Jones’ most reliable weapon in the passing game. He was easily the quarterback’s favorite target during training camp this summer and figures to have an even bigger role moving forward.

Despite not possessing the quickness of a Julian Edelman, the shiftiness of a Wes Welker, or the postseason success of a Danny Amendola, the Meyers has proven to be a good route-runner from the slot. Playing in all 17 games last year, Meyers caught a career-high 83 balls for 866 yards.

The 25-year-old wideout has also taken on more of a leadership role, trying to keep his teammates focused even after a tough loss.

“You never want to lose two in a row. Don’t want to make it a habit,” Meyers said.

The Patriots will continue preparing for their Week 2 matchup against the Steelers before they travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday. Kickoff is set for Sunday at 1:00 pm.

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