Harry, the Patriots first round pick, has been through extremely high and low points in his young professional career. The Number 1 pick was thought by many to be a big time playmaker that the team desperately needed, although that didn’t last long.
Harry from the Begining
The very first WR Bill Belichick has ever drafted in the first round had a rocky start to the 2019 season. Many say he was hurt, many say the Patriots mishandled his injury which landed him on IR. Harry caught two eye opening passes but was slow to get up. I imagine my feeling was similar to yours when this happened.
Why would the team keep a 1st round pick out on the field continuing to let him play after clearly hurting himself. One theory was to see if he could play through pain, another was that he wanted to push through it. Either way you look at it, my opinion is mismanagement. Sure, testing a player to see if he’s mentally and physically tough is necessary, but not when it’s your first pick.
The second disagreement I have is when people say well he was trying to show his toughness to make the team. This is something that I commend Harry for, showing grit and being reliable. But let’s get serious here...Make the team?? Harry is a first rounder so stop with that nonsense, he would’ve made the team if he didn’t play a snap all preseason, which basically is what happened.
After the two excellent catches showing his versatility, which are shown below, the fans, the team and anyone with eyes can attest that Harry could be a guy who will help in a big way.
Harry is Hungry to play
Bill Belichick and the coaching staff possibly could’ve mishandled Harry in the preseason game. The fact is it doesn’t matter right now. The only important thing is that he’s ready to come back and face the Eagles in two weeks.
The bye week comes at a great time for Harry because it allows him even more time to ingratiate himself in this offense. The young WR has now been at practice for 3 weeks and has another 2 to make the best of his season.
Harry being hungry may be an understatement according to his teammates, as Devin McCourty explained to “Dale and Keefe” on WEEIs radio show. Since returning to practice, many of the Patriots defensive backs have felt frustrated in a way, and it’s due to Harry’s skill set, they haven’t really seen a player like him in awhile. D-Mac had plenty to say about the youngster, here’s what he said about Harry:
“I think he (Harry) continues to get better." McCourty told WEEI. “One of the things he does a really great job of is playing hard in practice. At times, he pisses the defense off due to his work ethic. He works his butt off, out there blocking and finding ways of getting open.”Devin McCourty on N'Keal Harry
The defensive backs seem to have noticed something, we’ll have to wait to see how it unfolds.