New England Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers has expressed just how much he enjoyed sharing the field with Julian Edelman.
Edelman, of course, retired from the Patriots and NFL this offseason. Meyers, entering his third season with the Patriots, noted how impactful it was to have the longtime, shifty slot receiver to bounce ideas off of.
And it helped Meyers make the most of his opportunity in 2020 as he finished the campaign as New England’s most productive receiver.
“I think he just sat back and he watched Julian (Edelman) do it for the last two or three years,” Troy Brown, the Patriots wide receivers/returners coach, said. “(He) took down some notes and he incorporated it into his game.
“… (Meyers has) got some different skill sets that allowed him to be able to come out here and learn the way that Jules did things and guys before him did things and he worked his butt off to get to the point where it is.”
Meyers, 24, played 14 games (nine starts) during the 2020 season. He finished the season with a team-best 59 catches and a team-best 729 yards. Those numbers are a bit more impressive, however, when considering Meyers caught one ball for seven yards through the first five weeks of the season.
He actually was inactive Week 4 against the Chiefs and did not play Week 5 against the Broncos. And then Meyers came away with a 12-catch, 169-yard performance Week 9 against the Jets and a seven-catch, 111-yard outing during Week 15 against the Dolphins.
“He earned the right to play in there the last couple years and now he’s gotta fight for a spot to go out there and do it again this year,” Brown said. “But that’s really all he did. He just sat back and he watched. He studied tape. He came out here and did it against the air. Did it against players. It didn’t always look pretty at times, but you’ve gotta go through that if you want to have a spot on this football team. And it’s going to be ugly at times, but you’ve gotta live with that.”
Meyers now enters the 2021 season as one of the team’s longest-tenured receivers in a much-improved group. The Patriots spent on Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, who both arrived in New England during free agency, and N’Keal Harry also has impressed in training camp, too. It’s probably fair to wait on Harry given how his first two seasons have played out thus far, but nevertheless, Meyers seems poised for another strong season having another year of institutional knowledge under his belt.