FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick hasn’t been overly talkative with the media at minicamp, but the New England Patriots coach opened up more Thursday on the final day of the mandatory minicamp sessions.
Belichick heaped praise on the Patriots’ wide receiver corps, which currently is missing starters Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola as both players recover from offseason surgeries.
“Those guys have done a good job,” Belichick said while answering a question about Nate Washington and Keshawn Martin. “I think our receiver group overall has done well — gotten open, caught the ball. Nate and Keshawn have both done a good job.
“The receivers have been good. We’ve got good competition at that position. They’ve all showed up and made plays down the field, caught the ball well. It’s been good.”
Edelman, Amendola, Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell and Matthew Slater are locks for the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster, barring injury, so Washington, Martin, Aaron Dobson, Devin Lucien, Chris Harper and DeAndre Carter are fighting for what could be just one more spot on the roster.
Martin and Dobson specifically have stood out at minicamp, though Washington, Lucien, Harper and Carter also have been sure-handed. Martin is the favorite for what’s likely the final receiver spot because of his experience, versatility and guaranteed salary, but the competition could be fierce this offseason.
Receivers typically have trouble picking up the Patriots’ complex offensive playbook, but that hasn’t appeared to be an issue for the new crop of wideouts this spring.
“I think for me right now, it’s coming in every day learning,” Mitchell said Thursday. “I trust how the coaches are installing the plays. I trust the amount of plays they’re putting in for us to learn. After that, it’s not really up to them anymore, it’s our responsibility to make sure we stay up an extra hour, we wake up an extra hour early to make sure we know everything coming in. I think once you get your priorities straight in that area, you’ll come in and kind of know what you’re doing. (I) still have a lot of room to grow and a lot to learn.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP