Patriots get a wake-up call about one of their players during game against Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots
Jacksonville Jaguars v New England Patriots / Maddie Malhotra/GettyImages

There has been a lot of conversation surrounding Kendrick Bourne over the last year, particularly because of the dramatic shift in production from the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Debating the actual reason for his decline in performance could be argued all day, but his explosive play style has continued to be evident, which we saw again on Saturday night.

With just one preseason game left before the start of the new season, Mac Jones and most of the starting offense took the field to start. And right away, the quarterback had his eyes set on involving Bourne, throwing him the first pass of the night.

It continued that way for much of their time on the field through the first three drives. Rhamondre Stevenson and Bourne were splitting the ball, helping to move the ball down the field to score the first touchdown of the game.

On the final drive with the starters playing, we saw Bourne of old with an incredible catch on 3rd and 8. It was a staunch reminder of the type of player the receiver is and how much he was missed throughout last season.

After the catch, Bourne stood up with a noticeable excitement, which was then met with his teammates taking the time to hype him up for finishing an incredible play.

Along with the team, Patriots fans were also happy to see Bourne show what he can do, but mostly seeing his involvement increase in the game, even if it was just the preseason. But with that happiness also came frustration, mainly from the memories of last year when he spent more time on the bench than actually on the field.

We've seen how vital of a player Bourne can be within this offense, especially when catching passes from Jones. Their connection is evident, and it should be utilized to the fullest.

Sure, the intention is to have JuJu Smith-Schuster become the WR1, and his potential is obviously there from what we've seen during his career. But Bourne's talent has shined through right in front of the coach's eyes, making it even more inconceivable that they wasted his talent last season, no matter how much they struggled in a game.

Now that they intend to be a more complete and successful team, hopefully, we will see more involvement of Bourne in the offense. He's made it clear he is dedicated to improving and demonstrating how he can help the team win. So there's no reason not to let him shine this season.