There might be no person — player, coach, fan or otherwise — who has a more positive outlook on the Patriots than Kendrick Bourne.
Acquired via free agency last offseason, Bourne has been a breath of fresh air since arriving in New England. In addition to being an explosive weapon in the passing game, Bourne has provided relentless positivity and energy both on and off the field.
His enviable perspective was on full display Thursday when he was asked about the Patriots enduring an inconsistent regular season. Bourne also revealed why he doesn’t get upset when yelled about by rookie quarterback Mac Jones, like he was during last Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins.
“I love kinda how we had that up-and-down journey,” the Patriots receiver said in a virtual news conference. “It shows us what we need to improve on, what we need to fix, what is our emphasis, our weaknesses. We’ve seen going up and down, going through that journey, it shows us (players’ strengths), whatever it may be. And I think that’s what’s key, is we all know our strengths, we all know our weaknesses, we all know each other. So, like, when one another come at each other on the team, we know it’s all understood. There’s no hard feelings on our team. I think that’s the biggest thing.
“When Mac can come yell at me, and I stay the same, that’s key. I’m not offended. It’s nothing personal. It’s about me doing my job so the team can succeed. And I think we’ve all grown that way together. So, to get to this point and make the playoffs our first year together, it’s just like, wow, what can’t we do? Like I said, it’s about us, it’s not about the other team, it’s about what we do and how we control our effort and things like that. It’s just gotten us to this point. It’s exciting.”
The Patriots limped to the finish line in the regular season, losing three of their final four games — including an ugly home loss to the Bills after leading the AFC standings through 14 weeks. Consequently, New England is a significant underdog in Saturday night’s wild-card game in Buffalo.
Unsurprisingly, Bourne, who kinda-sorted predicted a win in the first Patriots-Bills game, believes in his team’s ability to pull of an upset.
“I feel like we have a really good chance. … We can compete with anyone, and we know that and that gives us confidence. It’s just about being confident, going out there and playing like we know we can win and executing, and we’ll get the results.
“So, we’ll see. I’m excited.”
The Patriots and Bills will kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET.