Patriots

Second-year Pats WR went all-out to develop chemistry with Mac Jones

Patriots
Tre Nixon

When you're a seventh-round draft pick trying to carve out a role on an NFL roster, you're willing to do whatever it takes -- even if that means flying across the country at a moment's notice.

That's the situation Tre Nixon found himself in this offseason. The second-year New England Patriots wide receiver was training in his native Florida when he got a call from quarterback Mac Jones, who was organizing throwing sessions in Del Mar, California.

Nixon didn't hesitate, hopping on a cross-country flight to join Jones and fellow Patriots wideout Nelson Agholor in Del Mar for a few days of workouts in late June.

That's nearly 3,000 miles of travel one way, but it was worth it to Nixon, who joined our Phil Perry on a new Next Pats Podcast to explain why it's so important for wide receivers to develop in-person chemistry with their quarterbacks.

Next Pats Podcast: Tre Nixon went ALL OUT to develop chemistry with Mac Jones | Listen & Follow | Watch on YouTube

"I feel like chemistry is everything when it comes to a quarterback/receiver relationship," Nixon told Perry. "Just constantly (running) routes, throwing the ball to each other, knowing on this certain look, when I do a head fake this way, I'm going that way. Knowing my speed down the field. That chemistry is everything."

 

Nixon was eager to work with whichever Patriots quarterback called him this summer, whether that was Jones, Brian Hoyer or rookie Bailey Zappe. But he made the most of his meetup with Jones and Agholor by spending time with them off the field as well.

"If any one of (the quarterbacks) wanted to throw this offseason, I was going to try to get my butt out and be there," Nixon told Perry. "Just happy to meet Mac out in Del Mar, California -- beautiful area, and we got a lot of good work in."

"You're in Del Mar, California, so you've got to see what it's all about," Nixon added. "... We ate at a bunch of cool, nice spots, went to the beach as well. Nelson was there as well, and he had a couple people there that he knew, and he was kind of showing me what Del Mar was all about. I'm a Florida boy, but I fell in love with California, for sure."

Perry: Versatile Patriots veteran appears to be carving out a role

Nixon faces an uphill battle to crack the 53-man roster in a crowded receiver group that features Kendrick Bourne, DeVante Parker, Jakobi Meyers, Agholor, Tyquan Thornton, Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Kristian Wilkerson and recently-signed Josh Hammond. It's likely the 2021 seventh-round pick lands back on the practice squad.

But it helps to get in the good graces of the starting quarterback, and in that respect, Nixon has another advantage -- his locker is right next to Jones'.

"It's always helpful, if I ever had a question on a route or needed help on a certain play," Nixon said of his Patriots locker room assignment. "... It definitely does help. If I do need a, 'Mac, what do I got on this?' or, 'We went over this play; what are you seeing?' Of course that is really good."

Perry also spoke to Andrew Jamiel, a wide receiver in the Fan Controlled Football league who got a tryout with the Patriots with help from star cornerback Richard Sherman, on the Next Pats Podcast. Subscribe here or check out the full episode on YouTube below.