Posts Tagged ‘Josh Boyce’

2014 Patriots’ Secondary: An Island Chain Has Emerged Behind Revis

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

Christmas came early this year when Lovie Smith gift wrapped #24 under the tree for Patriot fans. In the span of about 48 hours New England went from losing Aqib Talib to their main AFC competition the Denver Broncos, to signing one of the hand full of players that would be considered an upgrade to him.

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Nine Glimpses: Josh Boyce’s Rookie Season in Patriots Offense

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Josh Boyce’s rookie season with the Patriots was one of glimpses. And in the offensive huddle, there were nine. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Nine.

It’s the number of games Josh Boyce played in during his rookie season. It’s the number of kickoffs he returned on special teams. And it’s the number of passes he caught in the New England Patriots offense.

It’s a number the former fourth-round pick is looking to multiply in 2014.

For Boyce, 2013 was a year that came to an end just as it got started. The Texas Christian standout landed on injured reserve in Week 17, after having tallied eight of his receptions over a three-game span in the final months of the campaign.

There were moments where he flashed, where he was able to make use of his 4.38-second 40-yard dash speed in the open field, where his 2,535 receiving yards and 22 touchdown grabs during his Horned Frogs career came to light.

Those moments were only that, however. No. 82 was an inactive for seven contests. He logged just 182 offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He was targeted 19 times. But, those moments, they were there. (more…)


Patriots Wide Receiver Breakdown: Volume in Numbers at OTAs

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The Patriots’ wide receiving corps was highlighted during the summer of 2013, and it is once again in 2014. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

As organized team activities opened up on Tuesday, May 27, the New England Patriots filled the 90-man roster to maximum capacity by signing two wide receivers. In doing so, one of the positions which grew scarce with attrition and inexperience last season now stands among the squad’s deepest in volume.

It stands at 13.

In a numbers game, though, less than half of that baker’s dozen will ultimately make the 53-man roster. And if the past serves as an indicator of the future, the process will remain a fluid one until then.

That was illustrated last June, as the Patriots stocked OTAs with 10 wideouts. The pool included three incumbents – who combined 21 receptions for the year prior – along with four veteran signings, two rookie draft picks and two undrafted rookies.

The average age of the nucleus was 25 years old.

But by the time OTAs turned into training camp and the preseason, the landscape shifted. Rookie Mark Harrison was never activated from the non-football injury list, incumbent Kamar Aiken and veterans Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones and Lavelle Hawkins were let go. Several more joined only to meet the same fate.

The fate of New England’s 2014 collection is not yet known. Even so, there are some elements that are. (more…)


In the Red Zone: Examining the Patriots Passing Attack vs. Dolphins in Week 15

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Julian Edelman and the productive Patriots passing game met its match in the red zone. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

While 34 completions, 364 yards and two touchdowns convey otherwise, the New England Patriots passing game was condensed in Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Without tight end Rob Gronkowski attracting defenders off the line, without rookie wideouts Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins stretching the edges of the field, and without left tackle Nate Solder enduring blocks off the blind side, New England’s offense was forced to change shape.

The unit did so with backup tight end Michael Hoomanawanui supplanting Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and fourth-round pick Josh Boyce occupying the top three wide receiver spots, and left guard Logan Mankins transitioning to left tackle.

The modifications exchanged size and downfield presence for short, timing routes built to exploit Miami’s off-man and press-ball coverage while preserving quarterback Tom Brady.

The offense remained relatively efficient through the process. Brady was sacked once, hurried 12 times and hit seven times, according to Pro Football Focus, but the Patriots managed to sustain drives of 16, 10, 15 and 12 plays long.

As those four drives merged into the red zone, however, New England’s undermanned and undersized attack revealed its side effects.

Only one drive inside the 20 resulted in a touchdown. (more…)


Finding Space: Patriots Rookie Wideout Josh Boyce vs. Browns in Week 14

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Patriots rookie Josh Boyce saw extended opportunity versus the Cleveland Browns in Week 14. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Josh Boyce has been finding space dating back to his days at Copperas Cove High School, where he amassed 42 receptions for 837 yards as a senior target for current Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

That penchant followed Boyce to nearby Texas Christian University, where the 5’11”, 205-pound wide receiver accumulated 161 catches for 2,535 yards and a school record 22 touchdowns on his way to becoming a New England Patriots fourth-round draft choice last April.

Yet as a rookie in Foxborough, Mass., this season, finding space of another sort has been a challenge for Boyce. No. 82 has been confined behind the likes of Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman on the wideout depth chart. In turn, his chances to carve a role have been limited.

Over the first 13 weeks of New England’s regular season, Boyce played in seven games and was inactive for five. He stood in the offensive huddle for a total of 74 plays, according to Pro Football Focus, recording two catches for 30 yards on five targets while also returning six kicks for 149 yards on special teams.

But against the Cleveland Browns in Week 14, injuries to fellow rookies Dobson and Thompkins thrust Boyce into an extended moment. (more…)


Notes from Philadelphia: Receivers Impress, Defensive Backs Inconsistent

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

NEPD Contributor: Eric Galko

Watching two teams and a combined set of 180 players wasn’t an easy task during Day One of the Eagles-Patriots scrimmaging. However, with my main focus on the quarterbacks, receivers, and defensive backs, I was able to glean out some impressions from a difficult to keep up with practice.

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Rookies Looking Ready to Step Up in New England Patriots Training Camp

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Second-round pick Jamie Collins is among the Patriots rookies standing out in training camp. (Photo: Stew Milne — USA Today Sports)

NEPD Contributor: Dan Hope

Every rookie goes into their first NFL training camp with an opportunity to prove himself, and a necessity to prove himself should he want to earn immediate playing time with his team. Many rookies are already taking advantage of that opportunity for New England Patriots, and look ready to take on immediate on-field roles for one of the NFL’s premier teams.

The rookie acclimation process is an important one for the Patriots this season, as they are relying at least somewhat on rookies to step up in a number of areas where their veteran presence is thin. While it may be too early yet to draw conclusions on the Patriots rookie class after just eight training camp practices, numerous Patriots rookies are already turning heads and outshining veteran counterparts.

In the three training camp practices I have attended thus far, the rookie standouts have ranged from second-round picks Jamie Collins and Aaron Dobson to undrafted free-agent signings Zach Sudfeld and Kenbrell Thompkins, all of whom who are expected to make an impact for the Patriots this season.

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