FOXBORO, Mass. — Midway through an answer about developing skills as a punt returner, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick revealed something about himself.
“It’s easier for some people than others, but in the end, you can learn how to catch punts,” Belichick said. “I feel like I can catch punts because I can know where the ball is going to go. I might drop it, but I can pick up the direction, I can get under the ball. I think it can be a learned skill. I don’t think you have to have had a lot of experience doing it.”
Julian Edelman is still suspended, and the Patriots cut their Week 1 punt returner, Riley McCarron, on Monday. So, is Belichick hinting he’ll be out there returning punts Sunday in the Patriots’ Week 2 matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars?
“We don’t want that,” Belichick said smiling.
Belichick was a lineman during his playing days, so he was never forced to catch a punt in a game.
“But on the practice field? Yeah, hundreds of them,” Belichick said. “That’s what I’m saying, I certainly think it’s a teachable skill. It’s a learnable skill.”
The Patriots’ Week 2 options at punt returner are recently signed running back Kenjon Barner, safety Patrick Chung, wide receivers Chris Hogan and Cordarrelle Patterson and running back Rex Burkhead, who’s dealing with a concussion.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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