Bill Belichick: Damaris Johnson Adds Versatility To Patriots’ Offense

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Damaris Johnson

Photo via Nov 16, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Damaris Johnson (13) runs the ball during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Texans beat the Browns 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

FOXBORO, Mass. — Damaris Johnson has bounced around the NFL for four seasons, but the New England Patriots could be the perfect team to utilize his Swiss Army Knife skill set.

Johnson is the NCAA career leader in all-purpose yards despite playing just three seasons at Tulsa before being suspended for his senior season after being charged with felony embezzlement. Johnson finished his college career with 2,746 receiving yards, 1,062 rushing yards, 3,417 kick-return yards and 571 punt-return yards.

Johnson mostly was used as a slot receiver in 2014 with the Houston Texans, though he also has been given opportunities as a returner and on jet-sweep handoffs during his three-year NFL career that started with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“He’s done a number of different things,” Belichick said Wednesday. “Played — has some versatility offensively, played different positions, returned kicks. He was at Houston (where former Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien is the head coach), so hopefully there’s some familiarity with our offensive system, what we do, a little carryover. You bring in a guy in the middle of the season — not that that’s an overriding factor, but it certainly doesn’t — hopefully hurt — hopefully it helps. So, I’d say his versatility and his experience.”

The Patriots went against Johnson in 2014 during joint practices and a preseason game with the Philadelphia Eagles. He had three catches for 30 yards and 14 yards on seven handoffs in that game.

“Damaris has a good skill set, good speed, quickness, good hands,” Belichick said. “He’s been productive with Philadelphia and with Houston.”

The Patriots need depth at slot receiver with Julian Edelman likely out until the playoffs and Danny Amendola nursing a knee sprain.

Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images

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