Patriots Veteran Sends Message to Struggling No. 1 Pick

New England Patriots

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The New England Patriots 2022 rookie class has been a mixed bag in their first year in the NFL.

While Jack Jones and Marcus Jones have excelled, first-round pick Cole Strange hasn’t done a great job. The rookie has been benched in multiple games and has not lived up to his draft spot, though only 14 weeks into his first pro season.

It can be difficult to deal with the criticism from media and fans when struggling but veteran offensive lineman Trent Brown gave the youngster some advice.

“I think, especially for him, he feels like he has a lot of weight on his shoulders,” Brown told reporters on December 15, via the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan. “And he’s his own biggest critic. So, I just try to tell him next play, have a short memory and everything will be all right. Everybody’s gonna fuss, good or bad. The fans are gonna talk s***, good or bad. F*** ’em.

And I’m always trying to preach to him about … moving on to the next play,” Brown added. “You’re gonna have a long career. Everybody has bad plays. You just gotta move on to the next one.”

How Is the Offensive Line Helping the Team?

While Strange has had some struggles, the offensive line has helped out the team. Josh Uche talked about how the offensive line has helped him be a better pass rusher.

“Over the years going against great tackles, you learn how to play the game,” Uche said. “Especially against — I’m going against Trent Brown every day in practice! Let’s be real, that’s one of the greatest tackles in the game right now. Going against him in practice and in camp, I really had to refine my game and tune it up.

“Going against Isaiah Wynn, you get a look at some of the quicker guys in the league — quicker tackles in the league,” Uche added. “Just having the best of both worlds on each side, credit to those guys.”

What Else Is Being Said About Patriots Rookies?

On the other end of the spectrum, undrafted rookie Brenden Schooler is having a fantastic season. He has become a special teams phenom for New England and appears to be the perfect replacement for veteran Matthew Slater.

“I certainly do, yeah,” Slater said when asked if Schooler should get a Pro Bowl nod. “I think he’s playing as well as anyone in our league right now. It’s been fun to watch him grow and develop. I would say he’s getting better every week, but he was pretty good from the beginning.

“So, he’s done a great job. I think this team is really fortunate to have him. And, hopefully, he’s here for a long, long time.”

Slater also talked about the emergence of young special teams talent on New England’s roster.

“Some of us are getting a little bit older and aren’t gonna be here very much longer,” he said. “So, I think it’s great for the future of this team to build a young core of guys that, I think, have a chance to establish themselves here and do things the right way for a long time to come.”

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