Kendrick Bourne Lauds Bill Belichick For Correcting This Flaw In His Game

'It's just dope how they're developing me'


November 28, 2021

FOXBORO, Mass. — It’s safe to say that Kendrick Bourne is loving life with the New England Patriots.

Bourne, signed away from the San Francisco 49ers during the offseason, has emerged as a speedy, dangerous weapon in New England’s offense. He caught five passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns, both of the highlight-reel variety, in Sunday’s 36-13 win over the Tennessee Titans.

The 26-year-old now has 42 catches for 623 yards and five touchdowns this season, putting him on pace to set career-highs in all three categories. Bourne also has gotten involved in the running game, adding 78 yards on six carries.

Bourne is at his most dangerous after the catch and in open space. As such, ball security is of great importance — as it is with any player. Bourne was benched after fumbling in Week 8 against the Los Angeles Chargers and was lucky to have been ruled down on a near-fumble earlier in the season.

Patriots coaches, with Bill Belichick leading the charge, apparently have made it a point of emphasis with Bourne.

“I’m totally different,” Bourne said after Sunday’s game when asked about his improvement with ball security. “When I first came in, I was swinging the ball everywhere, kind of playing my style of play, and (Belichick) corrected it fast. He taught me to keep the ball high and tight at all times and eventually my body just started adjusting to keeping the ball (tucked). It’s just about securing the ball, having ball security. We emphasize no turnovers, so it’s just a blessing that I can improve in different ways and be versatile for this team.

“It’s just dope how they’re developing me.”

It’s clear that Bourne’s skill set and personality are a great fit with the Patriots, and he might only be scratching the surface of what he’s capable of in the Mac Jones-led offense. But he’ll need to keep the ball in his hands moving forward, as no player is exempt from Belichick’s doghouse.

(Speaking of dogs, Patriots center David Andrews compared Bourne to a golden retriever during his postgame news conference.)

Bourne will look to keep the ball rolling next Monday night when New England visits the Buffalo Bills with first place in the AFC East on the line.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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