New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick handed out a heap of praise to second-year quarterback Mac Jones on Tuesday.
But that’s not the only member of the team currently in his second year that Belichick had high acclaim for when speaking to reporters.
Belichick also commended the development of wide receiver Tre Nixon, who like Jones, has seemed to have caught the coach’s eye with the work he has put in this offseason.
“Tre’s worked very hard, too,” Belichick told reporters Tuesday. “He’s one of the hardest working kids we have on our team. He had a good spring, had a productive spring. It’s the same things I’ve said about Mac, he’s way ahead of where he was last year in terms of his physical strength, speed, quickness, route technique, understanding of the offense, defense, so forth.
“Hopefully, he’ll continue to make progress as we transfer that into competitive on-field situations. He has certainly prepared himself as well as he can to do that. He’ll be in a good, competitive situation.”
Nixon, who the Patriots drafted in the seventh round out of the University of Central Florida in last year’s draft, didn’t appear in any games during his rookie season, spending it all on New England’s practice squad.
While Nixon made some impressive plays during minicamp in June, he’ll have to come up with many more of them during training camp — first official practice is Wednesday — to carve out a role in a deep wide receiver group. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver finds himself at the moment pretty far down the depth chart, especially after the Patriots traded for DeVante Parker and drafted Tyquan Thornton in the second round of this year’s draft.
Nixon certainly has his work cut out for him, but it’s never a bad thing for Belichick to be singing your praises.