FOXBORO, Mass. — The first game of a player’s NFL career can be an intimidating experience. Jakobi Meyers hopes he can make Mac Jones’ debut a bit less daunting.
The Patriots wide receiver plans to do all he can to help his rookie quarterback when New England hosts the Miami Dolphins on Sunday in their season opener.
“I’ve had a first game,” Meyers said Thursday. “I know the jitters. I know the nerves that come with it. It’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders, and hopefully I can sit there and be somebody who he can rely on and help take some of those nerves off and ease his role. Being steady hands for him, a calm voice — whatever he needs, honestly. We’re all going to pull together and get him through this. Because it’s all of our first game of the year. We’re going to make it work.”
Jones’ poise and command of the Patriots’ offense have earned him plaudits from his veteran teammates. On Sunday, he’ll face a Brian Flores-coached Dolphins defense that’s known for using creative pressure packages to fluster opposing QBs.
Meyers believes Jones will be up to the challenge.
“That guy was a first-round pick for a reason,” the wideout said. “He’s going to put the ball in the spot where he feels like it needs to go, and it’s our job as receivers to make the play. And I think little things like that will help calm the nerves and help the offense move and get into a rhythm. Wherever he puts it, I’m going to do the best I can to make that catch and come down.”
Meyers was the Patriots’ most consistent and productive pass-catcher this summer, building on his strong 2020 season. The third-year pro enters Week 1 as an unquestioned starter and could see an even larger target share Sunday with fellow wideout Nelson Agholor dealing with an ankle injury.