Patriots Robert Kraft upset with Kendrick Bourne’s bench press
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft hasn’t earned a reputation as a meddlesome supervisor, but it appears he’ll step in with a coaching decision if he’s unhappy enough with the move and the result.
Could WR Kendrick Bourne’s bench press count as one of those types of coaching decisions? It appears to be so. Corresponding NBC Sports’ Tom E. Curran, who appeared in WEEI’s Gresh & Keefethe Patriots’ owner didn’t particularly like the decision to bench Bourne.
“Are we talking about someone who’s sideways with a certain coach, and Belichick wants to give Matt the latitude to make his own decisions about how he proceeds, or are we talking about a guy who’s an active pain in the ass?” said Curran during the performance. “I don’t know, but we’re dealing with a guy whose production and the fact that he was mothballed on Sunday must have caught the eye of the owner, as far as I know. And I’d be surprised if he stays down much longer.”
Bourne is said to have landed in the doghouse of de facto offensive coordinator Matt Patricia after the latter was late for a pre-season team briefing. Bourne may also have expressed displeasure with the team’s offensive leanings.
After the Week 1 loss to the Miami Dolphins, things got a little dicey. Bourne only played two snaps throughout the game, but he managed to snag a 41-yard reception from QB Mac Jones.
Bourne’s former teammate Jaquiski Tartt took to Twitter to post a “Free Kendrick Bourne” message, and the former liked the tweet. This sparked some moderate controversy; If you also consider that Kraft may not have sanctioned the bench press, the Bourne situation may be messy.
How much will Kendrick Bourne put into the Patriots’ game plan?
We don’t know for sure that Kraft stepped in to give Bourne more playing time. That’ll be part of the narrative as Bourne sees far more snaps come Week 2. However, there’s a good chance Bourne would have been given more opportunities.
The Patriots and their coaching staff have already made their point. The team is unlikely to keep Bourne off the field given how badly they need a playmaker. Bourne has the best chance of being a big playmaker of any healthy receiver in the Patriots lineup.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see Bourne put in a great showing in Week 2. New England will likely need every yard he provides.
What happens if the Patriots fall to 0-2?
The Pittsburgh Steelers earned a win in a ferocious duel with their AFC North Division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals. However, the Steelers don’t look like world champions at all. Mitchell Trubisky is the team’s quarterback, and he looked like his normal wobbly self in the win, completing just 21 of 34 passes for 194 yards and a TD.
Perhaps more importantly for the Patriots — given their offensive struggles — edge rusher TJ Watt will not play in the game. That should make Jones’ life a little easier.
Still, the question must be asked: what if the Patriots lose again, falling to 0-2?
The blame and criticism will go up a notch, and the moment the Patriots fell victim to the dolphins, they might actually be in as much trouble as could easily be implied.
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