It’s one of the biggest question marks for the New England Patriots entering the 2020 season — the wide receiver position.
While the Patriots have plenty of potential at the position — a revitalized Julian Edelman, a (hopefully) healthy Mohamed Sanu and a second-year leap by N’Keal Harry — there’s certainly nothing written in stone. Their depth, after all, includes the likes of Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, potential unsigned contender Jeff Thomas, among others.
Patriots wide receiver coach Mick Lombardi, however, seems pleased with the group’s effort and attention to detail during the early phase of the NFL training camp.
“Everybody in my receiver room, or on our team, has worked really, really hard to get better after their craft, at their tools and at their skill set,” Lombardi told reporters on a video call Friday. “We’re just looking forward to getting on the field and seeing what these guys can do and how far they’ve progressed.
“Everybody’s working really, really hard, whether that’s on the playbook or on their technique and whatnot. They have a specific set of goals that they’ve set and they’ve been looking to conquer those and go forward,” Lombardi continued.
The Patriots offense enters the campaign with a new quarterback for the first time in two decades. And while it’s not yet known whether that with be Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer, it’s safe to say the signal-caller will bring a more mobile aspect to the offense in comparison to Tom Brady.
Lombardi explained how that aspect, specifically, may impact the group.
“The game is so fluid, depending on what the defense is doing and what we’re trying to attack. From a receiver’s perspective, we talk about a couple things in terms of what we’re trying to attack, in terms of what coverage the defense is playing,” he said. “… We talk about scramble plays, sure. In all scenarios whether Tom (Brady) is the quarterback or Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer or Jared Stidham. We’re just trying to make plays and and extend the plays when necessary. I don’t think it’s anything more without Tom here.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the position shakes out when the Patriots begin practice Aug. 12 with padded sessions starting Aug. 17.