By Alex Barth, 985TheSportsHub.com
On Wednesday, Patriots Wire published quotes from N’Keal Harry’s independent footwork coach Rischad Whitfield, seemingly blaming Cam Newton for the second-year receiver’s lack of success in 2020. On Wednesday night, Whitfield fired back through a series of tweets, claiming he had been misquoted.
Speaking with the media on Thursday, Harry himself had a chance to weigh in.
“Rischad hasn’t said anything like that to me. It doesn’t sound to me like that exact statement is something he would say,” Harry told reporters. I don’t know if it was taken out of context or what happened, but I know that conversation never came from me, and it was never anything that I was even aware of until I saw it on social media.”
Harry, who happens to be dealing with all of this on his 23rd birthday, said he has discussed the article with Newton. When asked what that conversation was like, Harry replied “I just let him know and made sure he knew that whatever was said, I don’t know what was said, nothing came from me.”
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While the authenticity of the quotes continues to be up in the air, on the surface they do raise some fair points. Newton’s accuracy has been an issue this year, as he’s admitted multiple times. That’s been a detriment to all of the Patriots’ receivers, not just Harry.
Whitfield also mentioned the lack of practice time the two have had together, with Newton’s first Patriots training camp cut short due to COVID. That has led to a lack of chemistry, again something that seems to be a universal issue at times for the Patriots’ offense.
Still, Harry continues to praise Newton, telling reporters on Thursday, “He’s been great. I said earlier in the season, he’s really gone out of his way and really made a conscious effort to make sure that he’s doing everything he can to help me. Just kind of mentor me throughout this whole season, and he’s been a huge help to me up to this point.”
Harry has seemed to find his groove in recent weeks, pulling in a career-long 30-yard reception on a 50/50 ball last week against the Rams. We’ll see if he can keep that going, despite the new outside noise, on Sunday against Miami.
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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at Alexander.Barth@bbgi.com