Why Patriots’ Jakobi Meyers Believes He Wasn’t Great Teammate During Rookie Season

'Just kind of going through the motions'


December 16, 2021

Jakobi Meyers works hard, doesn’t cause any drama and has overcome limited athleticism to become a legitimately good NFL player. From the outside looking in, the undrafted receiver seems like a great teammate and a perfect fit for the New England Patriots.

But while that might be true now, it apparently wasn’t always the case.

While speaking with reporters at Gillette Stadium on Thursday, the third-year pro was asked to identify an area in which he’s most improved since his rookie season in 2019, when he caught just 26 balls and struggled to earn Tom Brady’s trust.

“Just being able to help my teammates,” Meyers said. “I feel like I was a real independent contractor my first year. Just showing up, doing what I was supposed to do, going home as soon as (Belichick) let us out. Now, I feel like I bond with my teammates more, just talking to them more if they need something. ‘Cause I’ve been the one receiver here, outside of N’Keal (Harry) and Gunner (Olszewski).

“So, just, whatever they need help with, trying to help them and, at the same time, they help me whenever I need help. Just being a better teammate, honestly, and I still got a long way to go.”

Meyers then was asked to expound on the “independent contractor” description, which was an interesting one.

“I feel like, first year, I just kind of realized that I was really, just, kind of going through the motions, not really talking to anybody, not really being a great teammate,” New England’s current receptions leader said. “So, I knew my goal was to come back and just do more for the team and just help out, talk more.

“And whatever I can do to just stay around and be an influence to somebody — just try to do that.”

Meyers now is adored by his Patriots teammates, as evidenced by their reactions to his first NFL touchdown reception, which occurred during the November win over the Cleveland Browns. He also is regularly praised by New England players and coaches.

Meyers will look to add to his 59 receptions, 620 yards and one touchdown grab when the Patriots visit the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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