Morning Sports Update

‘Bill Belichick changed my life’: Kendrick Bourne on how he grew in his first Patriots season

Kendrick Bourne
Kendrick Bourne after catching a touchdown pass against the Bills during the Patriots' playoff loss in 2022. AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

The Celtics rallied to defeat the Hawks 107-98 on Tuesday night. Jayson Tatum led Boston with 33 points and seven assists.

The Bruins’ comeback bid fell just short against the Ducks, as Boston lost 4-3.

Kendrick Bourne on Bill Belichick: A little over a year ago, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne left the 49ers in free agency and signed with the Patriots on a three-year deal.

Bourne, 26, quickly became a popular figure given his energetic and enthusiastic style. On the field, he set career highs with 55 catches for 800 yards and five touchdowns.

According to Bourne, signing with New England has been mutually beneficial.

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During a recent interview on Fubo Sports Network’s “Getcha Popcorn Ready with T.O. & Hatch,” Bourne was asked by show co-host Terrell Owens what he does differently now in his career with the Patriots that he wasn’t doing previously. Bourne laughed and responded that, at a fundamental level, a key factor has been improved hydration.

“Bill Belichick changed my life,” Bourne explained. “He is the best coach in the world, shoutout to you, Bill Belichick.”

Owens pointed out that he believes Belichick to be “stoic” and “dismissive” from having an outsider’s perspective of the longtime Patriots coach.

“He really is how he acts,” Bourne acknowledged, adding however that “once you get a relationship with him and understanding [with him], having played with him, he opens up and he shows that side.”

“He taught me really how to hydrate,” Bourne continued. “He sat me out of practice because I failed the hydration test.”

After the show hosts reacted to the idea of a hydration test, Bourne maintained that it was “what I needed though.”

“Because I want to buy in,” Bourne explained. “I’m trying to be the best I can be. And this is how they work, so I’m like, ‘OK, I’ve got to figure this out.’ And I kind of just found a routine.”

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Bourne noted that Belichick holding him out of practice showed how serious the Patriots were about the process. After he started adapting to the system, the receiver noted how he saw results.

“Over time, I just learned how to drink water in the morning, drinking it all until practice, and I just found myself getting better,” said Bourne. “Like, now my body’s feeling better. I could make it through practice easy. I could go longer after practice, throw extra and things like that…I put on 10 pounds of muscle.”

“It was just a shift, man,” Bourne admitted. “I bought into everything, and that was one of the smallest details of buying in. It’s a small detail, but people don’t think about it. They don’t drink water. I just [did that] every day, and everything got better after that, off that little detail, adding it to my routine. It was huge.”

Trivia: In Kendrick Bourne’s rookie season with the 49ers in 2017, San Francisco started three quarterbacks. One was rookie C.J. Beathard, another was Jimmy Garoppolo (following his trade from the Patriots). Who was the third?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He has had three different stints with the Patriots.

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Trivia answer: Brian Hoyer

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