The New England Patriots have not needed to heavily rely on their receiving corps through three weeks.
Sure, the crunch-time, Week 2 drives led by Cam Newton against the Seattle Seahawks was a positive sign, especially after the quarterback’s connections with Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry. But besides Edelman and Harry, who each lead the team with 15 receptions, New England receivers have combined for just 10 catches in three games.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, however, still seems optimistic about the positional group. He expressed just that Tuesday, seemingly showing content with the group as it stands.
“Yeah, I think our numbers at receiver are good,” Belichick told reporters Tuesday. “We have good depth there and the young players — including Gunner (Olszewski) who is on IR now, but I would include him in that group — those guys are all young and getting better and improving.
“Jakobi (Meyers, one catch) is on the roster and he’d fall into that category, as well – N’Keal (Harry), too, for that matter. We’ve got a lot of young players, and then some experience with Julian (Edelman) and Damiere (Byrd, nine catches). It’s a group that’s continuing to get better,” Belichick continued. “We’ll evaluate them as we go along and see who we feel like is moving ahead of other guys that might be able to help us. So, it’s a good, competitive situation with some young players. We’ll see how all that develops, but it’s good to be working with them.”
The success of the Patriots’ running game, which leads the NFL with 534 rushing yards (178 per game), has been a major reason the offense is 28th in passing attempts and 22nd in passing yards. They’ve been a run-first team, and for good reason.
But wouldn’t the Patriots still benefit from more receiver help? It’s caused many to think the Patriots could trade for a high-profile receiver like Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr., Browns teammate Jarvis Landry or Chicago’s Allen Robinson.
Belichick, at least for now though, seems content with the group.