Foxborough, Massachusetts (AP) — Johnne Smith is looking for a new start to the point where he leaves the Tennessee Titans and honed his reputation as one of the league’s top tight ends before signing the New England Patriots. did not. Last season.
He had finished his year in Tennessee and was one of the most popular names available on the open market. The Patriots were looking for an upgrade in that position and would invest $ 87.5 million to seduce both Smith and the former Chargers’ prominent Hunter Henry to New England.
The idea was to recreate a version of the Rob Gronkowski-led bifurcated tight end attack that patriots enjoyed during his tenure full of Tom Brady titles.
New England regained some of its investment in 2021, Henry recovered from a slow start and recorded 50 catches at the team’s and career’s best nine touchdown receptions. Smith struggled to find the rhythm, and he managed 28 catches at 295 yards and one low-career TD catch.
Smith said on Friday that he believed that being in the system for a year would help him in the second year. Despite the tough season, he hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for the franchise, which has signed a four-year $ 50 million deal. ..
“Thanks to experience and time, many things become more natural,” says Smith. “It’s a normal life. It’s my second year here. I know people better and just adapt more. It’s great to be a patriot.”
Smith seemed to struggle to adapt to the Patriots’ attack system after being targeted more than five times in the first seven games of 2021.
He was targeted only an average of 1.6 times in the last nine games he played, and most of the time he was supposed to perform blocking missions later in the season.
Improving compatibility with Mac Jones was a priority for this off-season, and he emphasized attending a quarterback slow session in April.
“That’s why we spent the off-season,” Smith said. “That’s where it comes over time. We just learn from each other and know each other. We all need to be on the same page for wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, etc …. We are all on the same page. I know what I’m thinking in my head. Keep supporting the team and put us in a better position to win. “
One of the things that can benefit the entire offense is that players describe it as a more streamlined offense from top to bottom. Coaching staff also attempted to place Smith in different locations during the first week of the camp.
Smith said it was an example of how he adapted in the way he was sought.
“It doesn’t matter where they put me,” he said. “It was always my MO. I’m the guy on the team and whatever the team needs to win, that’s what I do.”
That’s why he doesn’t put extra pressure or expectations on himself.
Instead, he focuses on what he did to get the Patriots’ attention in the first place.
“I came here just because I love football. I love my teammates. I love the people around me,” Smith said. We love games. … everything else cherishes itself. “
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Patriots Tight End Smith Ready to Bounce Season | Sports
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