Kendrick Bourne has a unique perspective among NFL wide receivers: he’s caught passes from two different Patriots quarterbacks.
Bourne came over to the Patriots as a free agent before playing four seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, many of which with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing him the ball. Now catching balls from Mac Jones, including a clutch 75-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys, Bourne can speak on the differences between the two.
Mainly, the difference between Jones and Garoppolo is velocity on the ball when it hits the hands. That’s how Bourne explained it in a call to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Tuesday.
“Mac, he’s throwing it hard, but when you catch it, it’s like a pillow, man,” Bourne said. “I could definitely say that dude – I don’t know, he’s special, man. Jimmy’s more – he’s got a rifle, and it comes in harder, so that’s the difference, I would say, about the two.”
Jones has been praised before by teammates from Alabama for throwing catchable balls. But that’s not to say that one style is better than another. It could come down to personal preference or playing style, as indicated by Pro Football Hall of Famer Cris Carter’s take on it.
“A pillow’s nice for the hotel. We’re playing football in the NFL, I need to catch a bullet,” Carter said Wednesday on Good Morning Football. “Or, I need a guy that can throw a bullet but every once in a while throws a pillow. I can’t have a guy have his fastball be a pillow, no sir. I’m too slow to catch a pillow. I’d never be able to get open.”
As Bourne added in his answer to Zolak & Bertrand, playing quarterback in the NFL is about a lot more than just velocity, anyway.
“Timing-wise, I wouldn’t say anything different, they both are pretty solid,” Bourne said. “It’s about pocket, pressure, stuff like that. Velocity is just the most different between them.”
Listen below for the full interview.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.