Jakobi Meyers never dreamt of being on the receiving end of NFL passes. He wanted to throw them.
Fortunately for the wide receiver, the New England Patriots occasionally let him live out his fantasy.
Meyers is now a perfect 2-of-2 for 43 yards with two touchdown passes. He threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Patriots quarterback Cam Newton in Sunday’s 28-14 win over the New York Jets. Meyers also completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to running back Rex Burkhead in the Patriots’ Week 10 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Oh, and Meyers also leads the Patriots with 59 receptions for 729 yards on the season.
“It was always my dream to be playing quarterback in the NFL in the first place,” Meyers said Sunday after the win. “To actually be able to throw touchdowns and throw it to Cam, it was a pretty good feeling.”
Meyers and Newton have a long history together. Meyers, while still a quarterback, was coached by Newton in a high school all-star 7-on-7 tournament.
“I was teasing with him,” Newton said after the game. “I was like, ‘Listen, I’d like to thank my hands for really catapulting us and giving us the momentum to win.’ You know what I’m saying? But Jakobi is great, man. We had fun throughout this whole season, with this game.”
Meyers certainly isn’t the first non-quarterback to throw a pass during a Patriots trick play. Wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola and running back James White have also shown off their arms in games.
It’s another example of Patriots coaches paying attention to every small detail.
“Guys that have played quarterback previously in their career, they throw a ball back to the ball boy at the line of scrimmage after they catch a pass, you sort of notice it, so,” Belichick said Sunday. “An opportunity to use some of those players.”
Belichick did admit the Patriots haven’t been grinding on Meyers’ high school quarterback tape from the receiver’s days at Arabia Mountain High School in Georgia.
“We didn’t go back that far. Probably not doing enough homework there,” Belichick said. “Like I said really, you see a lot of it on the practice field. When receivers run routes and catch the ball, then they turn around and throw it back to the line of scrimmage to the ball boys that are setting up the drills for the next guys to run, so forth, doesn’t take too long to see if the guy can throw the ball 20, 30 yards accurately.
“Through game-planning, like (Patriots offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) as usual, does a great job of finding opportunities to attack defenses and putting players in position to execute those plays. Of course, another thing that Josh does a great job of is the timing and setting things up and making those calls at the right time and against the right defense that give us the best opportunity to succeed. That play was well-executed, well-designed, and Jakobi made a good throw, Cam finished it, got in the end zone. That was a big play for us, gave us a big boost, got us back in the game. I know everybody wants to talk about tryouts, all the highlight tape from passing and so forth. That would be a good story. I can’t honestly say that’s the way it happened, though.”
The Patriots caught Meyers by surprise when they let him throw the ball against the Ravens. He was ready for it this time.
“I just knew as long as he didn’t get hit by anybody, I was going to give him a chance,” Meyers said. “I kept the gloves on. My confidence was up pretty high. I just had to give him a good ball.”
The Patriots have needs at quarterback and wide receiver. Don’t expect Meyers to switch positions any time soon, however.