A change of scenery has been a game-changer for Kendrick Bourne.
After spending the last four seasons as a lesser-known wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, Bourne has become a focal point for the New England Patriots offense. The 26-year-old's talents were on display in Sunday's win over the Tennessee Titans as he caught five passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns. One of those TDs was a 41-yarder in which he had a 0.3% chance of making it to the end zone, per Next Gen Stats.
Bourne has also made an impact in the running game for the first time in his career. He's totaled 78 yards on six carries this season after not tallying a single rushing attempt during his time with San Francisco.
It's been a welcome change for Bourne, who credits his head coach Bill Belichick for his noticeable improvement.
"When I first got here, I kind of was running with the ball in my way, my technique, and doing just how I've grown up playing," Bourne said Friday. "Bill showed me techniques that I've never been taught before, and this is how I know Bill is special. He just puts us through certain drills that show us how to run with the ball and I really emphasized working on those drills, trying to simulate game-like reality. The more I did it at practice, it just happens in the game.
"That's what it really comes down to. Bill's philosophy here, it just enhanced me at an amazing, rapid rate."
Bourne should set career-highs in single-season receptions and receiving yards within the next couple of weeks. The Eastern Washington product needs eight catches to surpass his high of 49 and only 45 yards to beat his previous mark of 667. He already has tied his career-high for touchdowns in a season with five.
He'll look to stay hot when the Patriots visit the Buffalo Bills for a big AFC East matchup Monday night. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.