Why the Patriots’ new offensive scheme has Kendrick Bourne excited for 2023
Last year was a visibly tough season for New England Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. After breaking out in his first year with the team in 2021, Bourne saw his role significantly decrease in the newly-installed offense. His targets dropped from from 70 to 48, and his playing time decreased from 52 percent to 44 percent.
This year it looks like the Patriots will give Bourne, who just turned 28, a chance to pick up where he left off in 2021. He’s been heavily involved in the Patriots’ offense throughout training camp, and arguably had the best summer of any wideout on the team.
Bourne has also brought plenty of energy to the Patriots’ offense this summer – something anybody who attended a Patriots training camp practice should have quickly recognized. That was a part of Bourne’s presence in 2021, but it faded last year.
On Wednesday afternoon after Patriots practice, Bourne was asked how much the new offense – installed by Bill O’Brien – has been a part of his excitement.
(Question at the 0:46 mark of the above clip)
“I think scheme is a big part of players’ – how we feel, what we want to see and how it can make us be better players. We always want to improve, like I just said, and we want to be better as a group every day and I think we’re in that place of knowing we’re improving every day,” Bourne explained. “That feels good, to come to work every day and [be] getting better. And that makes you want to come back again and see where we can improve even more, strengthen our weaknesses. And I think we’re doing that every day.”
With Bourne’s strong summer came trade calls. It was the second year in a row team acquired about Bourne during roster cuts. However, it was reported that when those calls came this year the Patriots were not interested in moving on from him. On Wednesday, Bourne was asked what it meant to him that the team didn’t plan on trading him.
“I appreciate Bill [Belichick]. Bill stuck with me. I had a – I struggled last year personally. He’s always pushed me and (sic) to be better,” Bourne said. “I feel like Bill encourages me every day, what I can get better on. I appreciate that personally, because he could have just been like, ‘whatever.’ But he’s always pushing me, and this year I want to go my hardest I’ve ever gone. And it feels good.”
“I’m glad to be here,” he continued. “This is where I’m supposed to be.”