FOXBORO -- Thursday's preseason opener wasn't a showcase for the Patriots wide receivers by any stretch. There were moments of great competency but, with the velocity-challenged Brian Hoyer taking most of the snaps, it wasn't an aerial circus.
But the wideout who made the most of his opportunities against Washington was Devin Lucien. He had a team-high 71 yards on four catches (six targets).
Another catch came on a little in-cut and required a well-executed hands catch on a ball that was away from his body.
Also impressive was the block he threw on running back Ralph Webb's first touchdown when he got into a Washington defender and walked him through the end zone, sealing the edge for Webb.
"We were taught to make sure we leave one," Lucien explained, referring to the process of selecting a defender to block and leaving the other for the back to beat 1-on-1. "I ended up getting the linebacker. The linebacker, I tried to push him into the other dude that I was supposed to get and it ended up being a touchdown for Ralph. When you've got people like Julian (Edelman) and them blocking like they do all the time, you just kind of do your best like they do."
It was a helluva block and the kind of play that will earn Lucien notice as much as the pre-halftime catches.
Getting noticed has not been an issue for Lucien since he was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round in 2016. Getting a toehold has been an issue.
After being cut at the end of camp as a rookie, the Patriots were able to re-sign Lucien and have him on the practice squad that year. But an injury at the end of camp last year caused the Patriots to put him on IR. They then released him from IR after an injury settlement. And Lucien went on an odyssey from New England to Indianapolis to Kansas City to Houston to Tampa Bay. He finished 2017 on the Bucs roster but was released in May. The Patriots picked him up again.
He's made six stops in less than a year. He still has no regular-season NFL statistics.
"We're glad to get him back this year," Belichick said after Thursday's game. "He's made some good plays in practice and he made some good plays tonight. He gained some experience in several organizations and I'm sure those places were a good learning experience for him."
Lucien acknowledged that things went pretty OK against Washington.
"I felt like it was a good way to start," he said. "A good way to start the preseason. I know there is a lot to work on both as a group and individually. I'm just trying to do that and do my best during the preseason and the regular season if I'm blessed enough to be around."
Asked if he'd be able to take a satisfied breath after his performance, Lucien indicated he wouldn't.
"I'm actually going to be looking at the Philadelphia Eagles (the Patriots Game 2 opponent)," he said. "I'll see what I did wrong but after that, I'm working on Philly. You can't wait, especially here. You can't focus on the past at all. It's on to the present and the future."