Bill Belichick seems to be impressed with New York Jets’ wide receivers
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has never been one to make any bold statements that could potentially be misinterpreted or weaponized against him and his team.
However, for a team he has beaten 11 consecutive times, Belichick sure doesn’t hold back when it comes to complimenting the New York Jets.
For instance, near the end of the 2020 season, Belichick called then-Jets head coach Adam Gase a “very good coach” in a press conference prior to facing Gase’s 2-13 squad in Week 17.
Because of this, it’s extremely difficult to gauge how he truly feels about the Patriots’ intra-division rivals.
Fortunately for Jets fans seeking Belichick’s genuine opinion, he seemed to loosen up on this week’s segment of the “Belestrator,” a weekly show posted on the Patriots’ YouTube channel in which Belichick breaks down All-22 film of that week’s opponent.
This week, Belichick and host Scott Zolak turned back the tape to the Jets’ Week 4 bout against the Titans, where the focus was on the wide receivers. They specifically keyed in on Corey Davis, Keelan Cole, and Jamison Crowder. The trio had a strong outing in the team’s lone win, combining for 14 catches, 264 yards, and two touchdowns.
Belichick started off on Davis. The first play he covered was a deep out in which Davis made the catch and broke upfield for a gain of 30 yards.
“Davis is a strong runner after the catch,” Belichick said. “Very tough to tackle and gets a lot of extra yards once he has the ball in his hands.”
He then transitioned over to the 53-yard touchdown pass from Zach Wilson to Davis. Most of the commentary revolved around Wilson’s ridiculous arm strength, but Belichick did compliment Davis’ chemistry with Wilson.
“You can see the chemistry starting to develop here between the quarterback and the receiver,” Belichick says in regards to Wilson famously signaling for Davis to go deep.
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The third play Belichick covered was Wilson’s 54-yard bomb to Keelan Cole. Despite the original play falling through, Belichick praised Cole’s ability to adjust his route and make himself a target for Wilson.
“[Cole] sees him scrambling and just instinctively turns up. Little bit like the play we just saw with Davis, kind of an improvised, extended play.”
Belichick ended with slot receiver Jamison Crowder on a play that set up a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. After a botched snap, Wilson recovered and rolled to his left before making a nice throw to Crowder for a gain of 29 yards. Belichick praised Wilson for staying poised and giving Crowder a pass “on the money.”
Perhaps the most intriguing line from the segment was Belichick’s overall praise of Crowder’s impact on the team.
“[Crowder] looks really good,” Belichick said. “I would say that Crowder and Davis are really Wilson’s top two guys that he looks for … Crowder being back on the field is certainly a big boost for the Jets’ pass offense.”
If the Patriots’ defense is primarily focused on Crowder and Davis, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur should certainly try to get the ball to rookie Elijah Moore early and often. Moore is averaging only 5.0 targets and 2.0 receptions per game this season.
New York’s wide receivers could have themselves a golden opportunity this week against a banged-up Patriots secondary.
New England will be without starting slot cornerback Jonathan Jones (shoulder). Defensive backs Adrian Phillips (back), Kyle Dugger (knee), and Jalen Mills (hamstring) are all listed as questionable and were limited participants in Friday’s practice.
This is the inverse of the Week 2 matchup between these two teams. That week, New England had a healthy secondary while the Jets were without Crowder and Cole. Denzel Mims was also a healthy scratch for the game.
With more reinforcements in the fold, the Jets’ wideouts will attempt to improve upon a lackluster Week 2 performance against New England in which they combined for 14 catches on 26 targets for 163 yards, zero touchdowns, and only four first downs.
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