Has Julian Edelman’s leadership void in the New England Patriots locker room been filled by a 2021 offseason import? It certainly seems like it.
Rarely thought of and never game-planned for, Kendrick Bourne opened 2021 as the forgotten face in the Patriots’ spending spree — and that’s perfectly alright with him. Lost in the weeds behind Matt Judon and the new-and-improved two-TE set, and far less flashy than Jalen Mills and Nelson Agholor, Bourne brought his workmanlike ethos from the Bay to the East Coast, and he’s fit like a wide receiver’s glove thus far.
That attitude has gotten him plenty of love from the fanbase, his teammates, and now a recently-retired Pats legend who knows a little something about putting your head down and excelling in silence … over, and over, and over again.
Edelman himself took to Twitter this week to share the perfect “Do Your Job” GIF reaction to Bourne’s recent quote about being a team player rather than a superstar. Hey, whatever we need to win — and clearly, based on this recent streak, the strategy is working.
Patriots WR Julian Edelman loves Kendrick Bourne’s mindset.
Sure, there’s plenty of brighter star power in the NFL — especially under center — than what you’ll find in New England this year. But is there a better team? Don’t think so, and Bourne is a massive part of that.
Look no further than when he played the role of peacekeeper this week ahead of the Patriots’ forthcoming showdown with Indianapolis.
After being fed some Grade-A Bulletin Board Material by the Colts this week, Bourne reacted like he’d just read The Patriot Way Handbook for the 25th time:
"“I think that’s just funny,” Bourne said at a press conference. “Obviously, we’re not a one-dimensional team. Last week we ran the ball, but conditions are conditions. That’s just a funny comment to me. I feel like we can do anything. We’re in control of what we do. It’s literally not about any other team. It’s about us. Mac knows the looks. We know the looks. We practice different looks. So nothing is a shock. Nothing is new.”"
And, at practice? Bourne’s among the Patriots wideouts who always seem to be living the life, grooving in their own world even though all the team’s previous castoffs like to be the “no fun police” and pretend this roster can’t experience joy.
Don’t turn your head on Bourne for even a second, though, or he’ll find a soft spot in the defense or some sideline space.
Like Edelman was for years, our newest wideout is shifty in the name of teamwork.