FOXBORO, Mass. — Mohamed Sanu was bound to wind up with the New England Patriots at some point. He is a Rutgers alum, after all.
Not only did Sanu go to Rutgers, but he was also recruited there as a defensive back before moving to wide receiver. By now, you should be familiar with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick’s infatuation with former members of the Scarlet Knights secondary. Current Patriots Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Jason McCourty and former New England cornerback Logan Ryan all manned the defensive backfield in Piscataway, N.J.
The Patriots acquired Sanu in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday. Belichick acknowledged the receiver’s Rutgers roots while speaking to the media on Wednesday.
“He’s a very experienced receiver,” Belichick said. “He’s had a lot of production. So, yeah. Glad to have him. See how it goes. … We go way back. … We saw everyone at Rutgers.”
Belichick’s oldest son, Steve, was a long snapper at Rutgers while Sanu played for the Scarlet Knights. Steve is now the Patriots’ secondary coach.
Sanu primarily has played in the slot throughout his NFL career, but the Patriots have had a tendency to move bigger slot receivers outside with Brandon LaFell and Chris Hogan as two examples. Belichick said Wednesday it’s a little early to say where Sanu will play since he hadn’t practiced with the team yet.
It does sound like the Patriots could move Sanu around the offense as they’ve done with many other receivers.
“You’ve watched us play a lot. We’ve moved receivers around for 20 years,” Belichick said. “Sometimes guys play in one spot, sometimes they play in different spots. Depends on the formation, gameplan, play, personnel and so forth. See how it goes.”
Belichick was vague when asked if there was any carryover from the offense Sanu played in with the Falcons under offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to the Patriots’ system.
“He’s been in a couple different systems,” Belichick said. “We’ll have to see how all of that comes together.”
No one expected Belichick to make any grandiose declarations about Sanu before he plays in a game with the Patriots. So, we’ll all just have to see how it goes.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images