clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Josh Uche credits Patriots offensive tackles Trent Brown, Isaiah Wynn for his development

Related: Patriots linebacker Josh Uche named AFC Defensive Player of Week 14

New England Patriots (27) Vs. Arizona Cardinals (13) At State Farm Stadium Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

New England Patriots linebacker Josh Uche is on a roll.

Coming off a quiet first two years in the league, the former second-round draft pick recently hit his stride and is now one of the most disruptive pass rushers in football. Starting in Week 8, Uche has registered at least one sack in five of six games; his 10 sacks over that span are the most in the NFL.

For Bill Belichick, the biggest factor in Uche’s development is his availability — something the Patriots’ head coach pointed out again ahead of Wednesday’s practice in Tempe, Arizona.

“He’s always put good plays on film and good plays on the practice field, and he’s flashed,” Belichick said. “This year, he’s been able to stay out there on a consistent basis. That’s allowed him to continue to move ahead and build on his repertoire, build his communication and execution with his teammates on pass rush games and communication, drops, coverage adjustments, and things like that.”

Being healthy for once after two injury-riddled seasons to start his pro career is not the only reason for his jump in production, though. The 24-year-old himself credited several of his teammates when speaking to reporters on Wednesday.

Fellow linebacker Matthew Judon played a sizable role in helping him, as did a position group that has mostly been associated with disappointing play this year: the offensive tackles. As Uche noted, both Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn — as well as the rest of New England’s O-line — have helped him become the player that he is today.

“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. Just having the best of both worlds on each side, credit to those guys.”

Brown and Wynn are indeed on different ends of the offensive tackle spectrum. At 6-foot-8 and 380 pounds — unless dealing with an illness — Brown is a mountain of a man and one of the biggest players in football; getting around him is not an easy task.

The 6-foot-2, 310-pound Wynn is a different type of player to go up against. And while his first season at right tackle has been a challenging one so far due to uneven performance and injury, Uche has still benefitted from going up against him as well.

Besides those two, he also name-dropped a few other players that have helped him develop his game.

“Trent Brown, Bill Murray, then you got my guy Justin Herron, who’s not with us anymore, Isaiah Wynn, Yodny Cajuste, those are my guys and we work every day,” he said. “I just love to work with those guys because they make it fun.”