Patriots’ Jimmay Mundine A Step Ahead Thanks To History With Charlie Weis

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FOXBORO, Mass. — Many New England Patriots newcomers compare picking up the team’s complex offense to learning another dialect.

Undrafted rookie tight end Jimmay Mundine studied the language in college, but he’s not fluent just yet.

Mundine has the advantage of having played under former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis for two-and-a-half years at Kansas. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels still essentially runs the same offense Weis coached with the Patriots from 2000 to 2004, though it has advanced through the years.

“It was really helpful just to come in and hear an entire play and not be overwhelmed by it,” Mundine said Saturday after the Patriots’ training camp practice. “Coming from other offenses that I played in, you know, plays were like ‘slot right 65,’ and that’s nothing compared to this entire play call where it’s a long sentence, but you just have to hear your key points in the sentence. As long as you can do that, I think you’ll be able to make it happen here.

“You still have to learn new terms and new terminologies and new concepts and things like that, but it was definitely helpful for me to hear a long play call and come here and hear the same type of things. The different things there meant different things here, but to hear the entire play was good for me.”

Mundine was the Jayhawks’ leading receiver in 2014, catching 45 passes for 584 yards, and he was a John Mackey Award semifinalist as one of the top six tight ends in the nation. At just 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, however, he went undrafted and only received invites to rookie minicamp with the Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs. Mundine signed with the Patriots during the last week of organized team activities and already has outlasted fellow tight ends Fred Davis, Logan Stokes and rookie A.J. Derby.

“Yeah, it was definitely disappointing, but I just used it as motivation,” Mundine said about the long wait to sign. “I’m not the first guy that’s had good numbers and not been drafted. All any of us can ask for is an opportunity, and I got my opportunity. Now it’s just me getting better each day and making the most out of it.”

Mundine didn’t only impress with his senior season statistics but also in his pre-draft measurables. He ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at Kansas’ pro day with a 6.98-second three-cone drill, 4.34-second short shuttle, 38-inch vertical leap, 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump and 20 reps on the bench press. He would have ranked third in the 40-yard dash among combine invitees, second in the three-cone, third in the short shuttle, first in the vertical and broad jump and fifth in bench press reps.

An NFL scout described Mundine as “not a fullback or a tight end, but an odd-sized wide receiver.” The same scout said Mundine should fit the Patriots’ offense well because he needs a smart, accurate quarterback who allows scheming.

Mundine displayed rare after-the-catch ability at Kansas that could work well in the Patriots’ short-passing attack. He had lined up at tight end, H-back and split out at wide receiver during training camp.

If you’re wondering where the name Jimmay comes from, the tight end, whose full name is Jimmayshun, received it from his mother.

“It comes from my grandparents,” Mundine said. “They both passed away right before I was born. My grandmother’s name was Jimmie, and my grandfather’s name was Maynard, so my mom took the Jim out of my grandma’s name and the May out of my grandfather’s name, and she put the ‘shun’ on there by herself, so she got Jimmayshun out of that.”

Thumbnail photo via Thumbnail photo via Doug Kyed/NESN

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