Only a few days into the new league year, a group of New England Patriots players gathered in Southern California to get started on their joint preparation for the upcoming 2021 NFL season. Led by third-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, the session featured old and new Patriots players alike.
Stidham and, later on, Cam Newton were the passers present for the workout session dubbed “Pats West.” They were joined by five returning Patriots pass catchers and three additional ones just acquired via unrestricted free agency: Jakobi Meyers, N’Keal Harry, Devin Asiasi, Matt LaCosse and Kristian Wilkerson in the first group, as well as Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in the second.
Also present for the session was a group of videographers, and Bourne recently shared the result on his YouTube channel. While not giving away too much details, it shows the players going through individual warmups, running routes, and getting taught the intricacies of the Patriots’ offensive system by the QBs present (mostly Stidham, as mentioned above).
“We have a lot of time. There may not be any OTAs, they’re saying, or stuff like that, around the NFLPA, so if I have that I just get up there and stay around these guys as much as I can just so I can get that good feeling, get that timing right. That timing is everything,” said Bourne about the workouts during his introductory media conference call last week.
The 25-year-old was not the only new Patriot to speak about his experience in Orange County during his first session with the New England media.
“It’s awesome,” said tight end Hunter Henry live from the parking lot outside the facility. “That’s the best part about football — it’s just the guys, the locker room, the guys you get to meet, all that kind of stuff is just a blast. Looking forward to immersing myself into that locker room, the culture, everything. It’s exciting. It’s good to be able to kind of do that now, even in the offseason.”
Together with fellow free agency addition Jonnu Smith, Bourne, Henry and Agholor will play a pivotal role in rebuilding a Patriots passing game that struggled mightily during the 2020 season. The main question, of course, is whether or not incumbent Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, or somebody else entirely will lead the unit this fall.