Where was JuJu Smith-Schuster in crunch time? Phil Perry explains
Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston joins Zolak and Bertrand to look back on the Patriots Week 1 loss to the Eagles. Among the most perplexing storylines was the decision not to have JuJu Smith Schuster on the field in crunch time. Phil weighs in on why the high-priced free agent receiver was nowhere to be found at an important time in the game.
Phil Perry is confused by the usage of JuJu Smith-Schuster in Week 1
This is still confounding for me. This guy’s your highest paid receiver. He’s your big name offseason acquisition. He is essentially your replacement for the guy who was Mr. Dependability in this offense for multiple years. And the explanation for why he’s not on the field at the end of the game is he’s just not part of the two-minute package. When you’re going receiver and you’re throwing the football?
And I understand, you know, maybe this is a roles thing. So Kayshon Boutte comes in because Devante Parker’s out. Boutte is a better X-receiver I guess maybe than JuJu Smith-Schuster. That’s that’s a stunner to me. JuJu Smith-Schuster was a guy who played quite a bit on the outside in Kansas City last year. Yes, he’s played the vast majority of his career in the slot. He played a lot in Kansas City on the outside and when they signed him they thought he’d be able to do the same thing here. They thought he would be versatile. So already he’s not as good on the outside as the sixth-round rookie who had a good camp.
Did JuJu run the wrong route on 4th-and-3 with 9:39 left?
I asked receivers coach Ross Douglas about that play. Asked him if he ran the right route. Basically, what Ross said was he did the right thing, but it could have been much better. I do think it was an out route, but I think the way it was run where you try to sell it inside, maybe get the defensive back to bite inside and then go outside. The defensive back probably can tell that he’s running an out-route because he doesn’t sell the in-cut at all. And so I wonder if that kind of thing, even if it’s the right route, but it’s not run to your liking if you’re Bill Belichick or your Bill O’Brien. Is that the kind of thing that could get you benched?