Bill Belichick Called Unheralded O-Lineman One Of Patriots’ Best Players

FOXBORO, Mass. — When you think of the New England Patriots’ top players, names like Tom Brady, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, James White, Stephon Gilmore and Trey Flowers immediately come to mind.

But Patriots head coach Bill Belichick believes left guard Joe Thuney belongs on that list.

“Joe’s done a great job for us,” Belichick said Tuesday. “He’s one of our best players, one of our most consistent players.”

Thuney hasn’t allowed a sack so far this season, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s let up just 11 total pressures. He’s PFF’s fifth-rated guard this season.

All three of the Patriots’ interior offensive linemen have been standouts this season. Right guard Shaq Mason is PFF’s third-rated guard, while center David Andrews is their No. 5 center. Backup Ted Karras also has filled in nicely over the last two weeks for Mason.

“(Thuney’s) been a really solid guy for us,” Belichick said. “All three of those guys inside — Dave missed a couple games last year. Shaq missed a couple games this year. That group’s been pretty solid, pretty dependable, pretty reliable for us — very fortunate, that inside group. When Ted’s filled in, which he has for Shaq the past couple week and last year for David in Mexico against Oakland. He had a couple games in there where he filled in for David, he did a nice job too. We’ve been pretty fortunate in that part of our offensive line.”

The Patriots selected Thuney in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of North Carolina State. He hasn’t missed a start in his three-year NFL career, and he’s only missed 10 total snaps in that span.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to ProFootballFocus.com.

Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images

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