The trust is starting to build between the New England Patriots, Tom Brady, and N’Keal Harry.
After starting the season on IR, N’Keal Harry has had a strong debut thus far for the New England Patriots. We’re seeing more targets, trust, and confidence starting to build between Tom Brady and the young rookie.
Over the last three weeks we have been starting to see how strong and durable N’Keal Harry is. It could be due to his youth and athleticism, but it’s definitely a quality the New England Patriots have been lacking on the field this season. Even though this was a no-call on the touchdown, Harry displayed a tremendous effort in even being able to reach for the pylon.
In the past, there’s been a lot of speculation over the struggle of learning the dynamic offense of the New England Patriots. But players like Josh Gordon, Antonio Brown, Phillip Dorsett, and now N’Keal Harry have all seem to have early success in New England’s offense.
Due to the turnout of the season for the Patriots, the expectations of Mohamed Sanu and N’Keal Harry came high, and right around the same time. If both Harry and Sanu can get a better grip of the playbook and Brady’s expectations, then the Patriots could have a great receiving corps heading into the playoffs.
Yesterday’s game against the Bengals was a huge turning point in the right direction for N’Keal Harry and in his development in learning the offense. During the play in which he caught the touchdown pass, Harry adjusted to what Brady was doing in the pocket, and in turn, Brady found him in the back of the end zone for the score.
Tom Brady was pretty pumped after the play and had this to say about his rookie wide receiver after the game.
"“It was a good play by him. He adjusted. Kind of a little bit held in the pocket, he adjusted his route and then came back and found some space. It was a good play. We needed it. He’s fighting. He’s working hard every week to learn and he’s a very hard-working guy. It’s fun to see him make those plays.” Tom Brady, per Boston.com"
N’Keal Harry now has two touchdowns in five games this season. It’s noteworthy to mention Brady is looking for Harry in the Red Zone and giving him opportunities to make big plays for the Pats. Josh McDaniels was asked about the progressions of his rookie receiver N’Keal Harry and had some positive things to say about him.
"“N’Keal had a good week of practice last week and played a lot of different roles for us yesterday, aligned in a lot of different placed in the formation which was a little bit of a change for him, but it was good so that he could do some things that suit him and that fit what we do on offense. I thought he ran hard when he had the ball in his hands.” – Josh McDaniels, per Andy Hart of WEEI"
As the offensive line strengthens, the passing game will open up more. The thing with Harry is he struggles with breaking-free from his defender right out of his break. It will start to delay Brady, as he expects his receivers to be where they need to be. But that’ll become more polished with experience and better techniques.
As the regular season is inching closer to its completion, it appears the Pats are trying to lay down some kind of offensive foundation as the playoffs are nearing. The trio of Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, and N’Keal Harry looks great on paper, but if they can’t translate it to the field; the Patriots aren’t going to last long in the playoffs.