Patriots

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers lights it up in game situations too: 'I want to be great'

Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers lights it up in game situations too: 'I want to be great'

DETROIT — Jakobi Meyers will tell you he doesn't feel like he has anything to prove to people as an undrafted rookie trying to make the Patriots roster. Especially not the 31 other teams in the league that could've drafted him . . . multiple times. 

But he does. He has people he knows, people buzzing his phone, wondering if what they've heard about his practice performances in training camp have been true.

"I was getting a lot of texts about ‘Oh, I heard you were doing so great in practice?’ But it didn’t mean anything because we didn’t have a game yet," Meyers said Thursday night. "So just the fact that I can go out there and show that I deserve to be here for now. I’m just trying to keep pushing forward."

Meyers proved he deserves to be here for more than just the time being in his team's preseason-opening 31-3 win over the Lions. He played 44 snaps and caught six passes on eight targets for 69 yards and two touchdowns. 

Meyers worked his way through physical coverage from safety Miles Killebrew to haul in one touchdown from Brian Hoyer. Then he shook corner Mike Ford at the line of scrimmage with a subtle fake to the outside to score on a slant from Jarrett Stidham for score No. 2. 

There was also the sneaky-good play Meyers made late in the second quarter that deserves some recognition. When Stidham tried to find him on a fade down the sideline in the end zone, he turned into a defensive back and broke up the pass that looked like it was due to be intercepted. 

"I want to be great," Meyers said, "and I want to be in a position where they can depend on me, trust in me on tough downs."

Thursday was only confirmation that Patriots quarterbacks do trust the NC State product despite his draft status — or lack thereof. 

He's been a favorite of Tom Brady in the last week or so, and he's made acrobatic contested catches consistently throughout the course of training camp, matching contested-catch fiend N'Keal Harry highlight-for-highlight.

At a position group that was loaded with question marks going into the summer, Meyers took his opportunity at Ford Field to continue to make the case that he can be an answer. Along with Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett, the combination of Meyers with Harry and free-agent acquisition Maurice Harris gives the Patriots some intriguing physical skill sets at their disposal. 

But Meyers is more than just leaping ability and good hands. What he does at the tops of routes to get open, how he frees himself at the line of scrimmage — those things look like they'll play at the pro level. 

And while he put on a memorable show for those who'd only heard about his practice performances before now, he's not making any assumptions about where he'll be in September. 

"I have to keep proving to my coaches that I deserve to be here," he said. "I’m not on the team yet. I’m trying to make sure I can stay here and continue to be here. That’s really who I’m trying to prove a point to, not really to people who didn’t give me the call."

Click here for Curran's 10 takeaways from Pats-Lions>>>>>

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Tom Brady and Jamal Adams sound off on NFL officiating during Jaguars vs Titans

Tom Brady and Jamal Adams sound off on NFL officiating during Jaguars vs Titans

Tom Brady couldn't contain his disappointment in NFL officiating Thursday night after Titans edge rusher Kamalei Correa was flagged for roughing Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew. 

Here's the play that netted the Jaguars 15 yards during a first-half drive:

For two seasons now, the NFL has been trying to protect quarterbacks from plays where defensive players drive them into the ground on sacks and/or QB hits. Plenty of quarterbacks have suffered collarbone and/or shoulder injuries that cause them to miss significant time, so the league has put an emphasis on calling bigger hits on quarterbacks. 

But sometimes, plays like these don't warrant a 15-yard penalty and players have been expressing their frustration lately. 

Jamal Adams was recently fined for a hit on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on Monday Night Football, calling the league a "damn joke" for fining him. And if a quarterback is complaining about a rule protecting quarterbacks, then it's probably time to reconsider how it's being called out on the field. 

Brady and Adams will square off against each other this Sunday when the Jets visit the Patriots in Week 3, so it'll be interesting to see what Adams will do if he has a chance to put a hit on Brady, and how the QB will react if it happens. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Josh Gordon appreciative of Patriots' support: 'I love these guys'

Josh Gordon appreciative of Patriots' support: 'I love these guys'

Josh Gordon is settled in and feeling more comfortable than ever in his second year in New England.

It hasn't been the easiest road for the Patriots wide receiver, who was acquired from the Cleveland Browns 12 months ago. Gordon played in 11 games with the Patriots last season before being suspended for violating the terms of his reinstatement under the league's substance-abuse policy.

But the 28-year-old has received immense support from his Patriots family through it all, and for that he's appreciative.

“It feels like I am back home," Gordon told reporters on Thursday. "It is a home environment. I love these guys. They corralled around me to support me, showed me love and I appreciate that each and every day that I am here. It is easy to come in and do what I have to do."

Gordon was reinstated on Aug. 16 and immediately made his presence felt in the season opener vs. the Steelers, notching three receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Through two weeks, he's feeling far more confident with his role in the Patriots' offense.

“Last year was kind of on the fly," Gordon said. "I got traded in the season and had to pick it up as I was going along and with the injury at the same time. It was a lot to take on. This year, I have more familiarity with it, got extra time in the offseason to study what I already knew and when I got in here I was able to pick it up where I left off and even better I would say.

"It is pretty smooth right now.”

So far, so good this season for Gordon as he looks ahead to Sunday's AFC East matchup against the New York Jets.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.