Patriots

Rookie N'Keal Harry following Julian Edelman's lead early in Patriots career

Rookie N'Keal Harry following Julian Edelman's lead early in Patriots career

FOXBORO -- It didn't take long for New England Patriots rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry to stand out Thursday at OTAs.

The Arizona State product, who the Patriots selected No. 32 overall in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, made five receptions during 11-on-11 drills at Gillette Stadium. He also hauled in multiple touchdown catches.

Harry is learning from all kinds of people as he gets acclimated to a new city, a new team and a new offense. One of the teammates he's leaning on is Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who also participated in Thursday's OTAs.

"Just following his lead," Harry said of Edelman. "Just seeing the types of things he does, seeing the way he prepares before practice, after practice. Those are going to be the biggest things. He's helped me a lot so far."

Edelman is an excellent route runner, and some of that has begun to rub off on Harry.

"Most definitely," Harry said. "I've seen myself improve on route-running already within the first three days, so I'm just going to keep listening to him and keep that same approach and that same mindset coming into practice every day."

Harry and Edelman were among the Patriots wideouts who practiced fielding punts, and while that part of the game is not new for the rookie, the unpredictable New England weather conditions make the job a little more difficult than it was at Arizona State.

"It’s definitely different than a place like Arizona just because it’s windy," Harry said. "But that’s just something that’s going to take repetition and take practice. I’m going to have to work on it every day.”

Harry's size (6-foot-2, 225 pounds), strength and ability to make tough catches in traffic could see him line up in a few different spots in the Patriots offense this season, and he's ready for all the roles the coaching staff could ask him to fill in 2019.

"I just want to do whatever I can to be successful and to help the team win," Harry said. "Whatever coach asks of me, I'll do it, whether that's on the inside, whether that's in the slot. If they want to put me in the backfield, it doesn't matter. I'll do whatever I need to do."

Observations from Thursday's Patriots OTAs>>>

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Former Bengal, Patriot Marquis Flowers opens up on the 'We're on to Cincinnati' game

Former Bengal, Patriot Marquis Flowers opens up on the 'We're on to Cincinnati' game

The New England Patriots weren't exactly in a great spot heading into Week 5 of the 2014 NFL season. The team was only 2-2 and was coming off a crushing 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

In that game, Tom Brady didn't look like his usual self. He had two picks, just 159 passing yards, and one touchdown pass that came when the team was already down 27-0. He was replaced late by Jimmy Garoppolo, who looked solid on the field. That led some to wonder if the Patriots dynasty was coming to an end.

Famously, after the game, Bill Belichick answered every question posed about the game with one simple response. "We're on to Cincinnati." The press conference went viral and put a spotlight on the Patriots' Sunday night clash with the Cincinnati Bengals.

That game ended up defining the season. The Patriots bounced back by smashing the Bengals by a final score of 43-17. Brady looked as strong as ever, and that was the first step for the Patriots to get back onto the Super Bowl path.

At least, that's how former Bengals linebacker Marquis Flowers remembers it. On Twitter, Flowers shared a brief memory of the game, including what his then-defensive coordinator said.

So, yeah. Clearly that type of hype up didn't work, especially since the Patriots were so desperate for a win at the time. And the "demise of the Patriots" storyline was clearly overblown considering that they've won three Super Bowls and appeared in a fourth since that game.

The D-coordinator's words and the headlines of the time make this an amusing anecdote that just makes the whole event that much better for the Patriots, in retrospect.

That said, It's easy to see why Flowers was able to laugh this off. Flowers was a part of the Patriots in 2017, so he has seen both sides of the "We're on to Cincinnati" game. Flowers likely enjoyed his time in New England, as he logged 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his best NFL season to date. He also got to play in the Super Bowl (although the Patriots fell in that game to the Philadelphia Eagles).

Click here for latest Patriots 53-man roster projection>>>

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Patriots 2019 training camp schedule: Here's when veterans will report

Patriots 2019 training camp schedule: Here's when veterans will report

The defending Super Bowl champions will be back at Gillette Stadium exactly one month from Monday.

The NFL announced training camp report dates for all 32 teams Monday, and the Patriots' rookies are due in Foxboro on July 21, while the veterans are set to arrive on July 24.

Training camp traditionally starts one day after veterans report, meaning New England should begin training camp Thursday, July 25.

The Patriots have been off since June 10, when head coach Bill Belichick cancelled the team's final two days of organized team activities and set up a lively paintball experience instead.

The team hasn't announced complete training camp dates and times yet, but the Patriots will head to Detroit in the first full week of August for joint practices with the Lions prior to their Aug. 8 preseason opener.

They'll also hold joint practices with the Tennessee Titans the following week.

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