The New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had nothing but good things to say about 6’7″ practice squad QB Jake Dolegala.
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“I’m Glad We Have Him”
With Cam Newton struggling, Brian Hoyer imploding during a primetime performance against the Kansas City Chiefs back in Week 4 that kicked off the current four-game skid, and with Jarrett Stidham looking less than stellar in his opportunities this season, Belichick is beginning to get questions about Dolegala.
The massive QB was signed to the practice squad in September, and he has stuck with the team since then, which is saying something considering the manner in which players have been shuttled in and out.
Belichick talked about his progression earlier in the week.
Dolegala’s Skill Set
Dolegala is a natural pocket passer, but not in such a traditional fashion that you can expect him to be a statue in the pocket. In fact, the Patriots used him to emulate the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson in practice prior to the Week 2 matchup.
Dolegala isn’t quite that mobile, but that’s proof he’s at least agile enough for the team to be able to use him in this way for preparation. Dolegala has a big arm and some solid accuracy. It’s likely the only reason he wound up going undrafted heading into the 2019 draft is that he went to a smaller school.
Out of high school, he was considered a DI-scholarship talent, but a shoulder injury set him back. He was with the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad, but after the team drafted Joe Burrow, it’s obvious his chances of ascended and playing regularly were decreased.
He may have a clearer path to playing time in New England.
What Needs to Happen For Dolegala to See the Field in 2020
I wouldn’t expect Dolegala to be on the sidelines warming, and waiting to relieve Cam Newton anytime soon, but I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see him get an opportunity to play late in the season if the Patriots can’t right the ship.
Quite honestly, most Pats fans are probably hoping Dolegala doesn’t get an opportunity this year, because if his number is called, it’ll be due to a complete collapse or massive injury issues at the position.
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