FOXBORO, Mass. — It didn’t take long for Jabaal Sheard to curry favor with his new head coach.
Bill Belichick had high praise for the pass rusher, who signed with the New England Patriots over the offseason, during a news conference Tuesday at Gillette Stadium.
“Jabaal played in a system that (had) some definite differences between what he?s done and what we do,” Belichick said. “He?s definitely learned and tried hard to do the things we?ve asked him to do and adapt to those. Some things are probably a little more comfortable than others, but he?s worked hard at it.
“He?s a quiet kid who doesn?t say much, but he goes about his business, shows up every day ready to work, works hard on the field, practices hard, plays hard, is tough and tries to do everything you ask him to do. Again, there?s just some degree of difference and newness (compared) to what he had the last four years in Cleveland and what we?re asking him to do. But that?s not uncommon for a player coming in to any new team, really.
“I like him. I like the way he goes about his job.”
Sheard has impressed as both a pass rusher and run defender through two preseason games. He has six quarterback pressures, three tackles for no gain in the running game and forced a holding penalty against the Green Bay Packers.
Sheard is expected to serve as the Patriots’ No. 3 pass rusher in a number of roles. He has played both left and right defensive end, so he could spell starters Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich in those spots. The Patriots also could use Sheard, Jones and Ninkovich as a trio on third down, when they really need to get after the passer.
Thumbnail photo via NESN/Doug Kyed