Kendrick Bourne Makes Bold Prediction About Patriots’ 2021 Season

'(The Patriots) are going to turn it around in one year'


Mar 22, 2021

Kendrick Bourne certainly does not lack confidence.

In his introductory video conference Monday, the newly signed Patriots wide receiver declared New England’s lackluster 2020 season — 7-9 record, no playoffs — a mere one-year blip. He fully expects his new team to contend again in 2021.

“(The Patriots) are going to turn it around in one year, I can honestly see it,” Bourne said. “The first day in the building, I could feel how natural our connection was between the players — first time meeting each other, it was just natural energy, positive energy. So I feel like it’s going to be an awesome year. I can’t wait.”

Bourne is part of a revamped Patriots pass-catching corps that also includes fellow wideout Nelson Agholor and tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. All four came aboard during last week’s free agent spending spree, which also yielded two returning offensive linemen (tackle Trent Brown and center/guard Ted Karras) and a boatload of defensive reinforcements.

Spending big in free agency typically isn’t the best path to success in the NFL, but the Patriots have taken steps to improve nearly every weak spot on their roster — receiver, tight end, defensive line, edge rusher, linebacker, etc.

Bourne believes these new-look Patriots will bounce back quickly after the proud franchise’s first losing season since 2000.

“They’re going to win again,” Bourne said. “That was just a one-year thing, I feel like, so I knew I wanted to be a part of the new era, whatever you want to call it. Just to be picked with a great group of guys by a great organization, it just shows me my potential.”

He added: “It’s going to be an awesome year, man. The guys they put around us, the guys they’re bringing in, it’s going to glue well. … If we know what we’re doing exactly, there won’t be many mistakes.”

As for how he’ll fit into the Patriots’ offense, Bourne said his versatility will be a boon. The 25-year-old was overshadowed by Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders and Brandon Aiyuk during his four-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers, but he’s coming off a career season, catching 49 passes for 667 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games in 2020

“I think my skills will fit the (Patriots’) offense well,” said Bourne, who’s known for his route-running and high energy. “I can do different things. I’m just here to do what I’m asked to do, so if I’ve got to run the same route 50 times, I’m going to run the same route 50 times, 50 different ways. I just feel like I can do anything. I can run any route. And I’m definitely excited.”

Bourne also expressed confidence in Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, who re-signed with the team earlier this month. Newton posted subpar passing stats last season, but Bourne predicted the former NFL MVP will “ball out” this year with a stronger supporting cast around him.

“With the weapons they brought in, the help now — (2020) was just one of those rebuilding years that they went through, and (Newton) was a part of it,” Bourne said. “So people may say he didn’t look this good, he looked bad or whatever it may be. But now he has some help, and they know what they’re putting around him, which is awesome. I just want to be a part of five touchdowns, 10 touchdowns for him and change the narrative.”

Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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