Patriots coach Bill Belichick is always quick to point out the three phases of the game — offense, defense, and special teams — so it was no surprise that when asked about punter Ryan Allen, Belichick had plenty to say.
Late in Sunday’s 27-20 win over the Texans, Allen pinned the Texans on their own 1 with a 54-yard punt with 43 seconds remaining. It was a strong showing for the sixth-year punter, who had comeptition in training from Corey Bojorquez.
“I think Ryan had a very mature attitude about the competitiveness of his position,’’ said Belichick. “Look, it’s no secret in this league, there’s 31 other teams out there. Everybody on the field is in competition with players on our team and players on other teams.
“He’s got to go out there and do the best that he can all the time.’’
The Patriots released Bojorquez before the season. He was eventually picked up by the Buffalo Bills.
“I think Ryan responded well to the competition,’’ said Belichick. “He’s a good teammate. He does whatever he’s asked to do. He handles a lot of situational punting. He’s worked very hard on that. It might no show on the individual stats, but it shows up on the team’s stats, and it helps us win, and that’s very important.
“As a holder, and other things during the week that are just part of the whole team environment and process, are all positives, so he does a good job in all those areas.’’
Belichick also had praise for fullback James Develin, who recorded a career-high four receptions for 22 yards.
“James is a very dependable player for us,’’ said Belichick. “Pretty much whatever we ask him to do, he does a good job of, whether it’s blocking, playing in the kicking game, catching the ball, fighting for extra yards, being tough in short-yardage situations.
“He’s just a dependable guy that works really hard at his job, does whatever he’s asked to do and does it as well as he can. It’s really important to have a lot of players on your team that do that. He’s as solid and dependable in his role as probably anyone we have in a role like that,’’ said Belichick.