The New England Patriots coaching staff has come into question ahead of the start of the regular season and one prominent wide receiver is reportedly among the skeptics.
Kendrick Bourne has had a difficult start to the year. Bourne received few targets in training camp and the preseason and has seen his role in the passing game reduced.
While this was partially expected with DeVante Parker’s and Tyquan Thornton’s acquisitions, it’s still jarring to see Bourne not be a major part of New England’s offense. Last season he led all wide receivers in touchdowns (5) and also had 55 receptions for 800 yards per Pro Football Reference.
Why Has Bourne Struggled?
But it appears that part of Bourne’s struggles might partly be due to his opinion of his coaches. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated appeared on 98.5 The Sports Hub and detailed how Bourne thinks of Joe Judge and Matt Patricia.
“I think he was one of the primary ‘what the hell is this?’ guys from the spring and summer,” Breer said. “My feeling on it was, like, he was one of the guys that was sort of questioning the plan, questioning what was going on there. I had said before, some of the questioning of what they’re doing offensively was internal — and I certainly think that was the case with him.
“Now, has he gotten over it? I’m not sure. But you can see, if you look at who the guy was coached by, why he would be one of the guys who would say ‘what is this?’ Because he played for Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco and he played for Josh McDaniels his first year in New England. So, if there was somebody who might feel like he is entitled to a certain level of coaching at this level of football, it’d be a guy on that side of the ball who played for Kyle Shanahan and Josh McDaniels.”
What Are Patriots Receivers Focusing on Before Week 1?
Bourne likely respects his wide receivers coach, Troy Brown. Brown played in nearly 15 seasons for the Patriots and tallied 557 receptions for 6,366 yards and 31 touchdowns in 192 games per Pro Football Reference.
Nelson Agholor spoke to the media on Thursday and discussed what Brown has been focusing on as a coach this season.
“The best part about Troy is, you understand that he’s a guy that did the little things right consistently,” Agholor said before practice at Palm Beach Atlantic University. “So, when he tells you, ‘Hey, we gotta do this, we gotta get in shape.’ … His biggest thing is being in shape. He wants us to be able to run all day.
“And that’s a coaching point that has nothing to do with X’s and O’s — it has something to do with mentality. And his build as a player, he’s trying to instill that in us and you’ve gotta respect him.”
Patriots fans will see if all that hard work has paid off when New England goes up against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1. It will be interesting to see what the passing game can do to kick off the season and what Bourne’s role will look like in the regular season.