FOXBORO, Mass. — Kendrick Bourne was a bit player in the New England Patriots’ season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins. That could change in Week 2.
Bourne believed he performed better in practice this week and “for sure” will be more involved in New England’s game plan in this Sunday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium.
The playmaking wideout was on the field for just two offensive snaps against Miami — catching a 41-yard pass from quarterback Mac Jones on one of them — and said after the game that he wasn’t giving the coaches what they needed to see in practice.
Here’s everything Bourne had to say about his role when speaking with reporters Friday:
Question: Any indication this week, maybe a little bit more action for you?
Bourne: “Yeah, I’ve just been practicing, been in the role. Just rotating. Just waiting to go in. It’s been good, though.”
Q: Do you feel like you’re getting closer to giving the coaches what they’re looking for?
Bourne: “Yeah. Yeah. I’m feeling better.”
Q: That role in practice, is it similar to what you were in last week in practice?
Bourne: “Yeah, kind of the same thing. Just rotating, going in when they call me in and playing the plays that I get in.”
Q: How’d you feel about your practices this week?
Bourne: “I felt better. I felt better. Felt a lot better. Healthy, just moving well and just wanting to do everything right that I’m supposed to do.”
Q: You mentioned being healthy this week. Were you dealing with something last week?
Bourne: “No, no. Just feeling good. Just moving. Just trying to stay healthy, that’s the biggest thing. Taking care of my body, doing rehab, doing things.”
Q: How significantly has your role changed in terms of the routes they’re asking you to run and the roles they’re asking you to play when you’re out there?
Bourne: “Not much has changed. Just doing what they ask me to do. Everything’s really the same in a sense. Just doing the role they ask me to play, so keeping it the same.”
Q: But you feel like you’ll be a little bit more involved?
Bourne: “Yeah, yeah, for sure. I got some plays that I see out there. It was kind of the same last week, too, but it’s the same.”
Q: What has helped you through this period?
Bourne: “Just keeping my spirits high. Not getting down. Just staying focused, staying in the playbook, staying on top of the things I need to be on top of so I can be ready to make plays.”
Bourne was the Patriots’ top big-play threat last season, catching a career-high 55 passes for 800 yards and five touchdowns while adding seven carries for 125 yards, plus one passing touchdown. He struggled in his second Patriots training camp, however, and entered Week 1 behind Jakobi Meyers, DeVante Parker and Nelson Agholor on the depth chart.
Parker played every snap in last Sunday’s season opener, with Meyers playing 50 of a possible 57 and Agholor playing 33. Practice squad call-up Lil’Jordan Humphrey also played more offensive snaps (three) than Bourne did against Miami, with the latter not seeing the field on offense until New England’s final possession.