Morning sports update: How N’Keal Harry’s new trainer helped correct a footwork flaw

"We're almost there with him."

N'Keal Harry during the 2019 season. Gary Landers/AP

While much of the world continues its attempt to reopen following lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, the effects are leaving a lasting impact.

On Thursday, the Boston Athletic Association announced that the Boston Marathon — which had already been rescheduled to September — would be cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history.

And though Major League Baseball may return in 2020, the minor leagues have been dealt severe blows:

N’Keal Harry and his new personal trainer: Rischad Whitfield’s nickname is “The Footwork King,” given his ability to help improve wide receivers simply by bettering that particular aspect of their technique.

Whitfield’s latest effort is with Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry. Though extremely talented, Harry had an underwhelming first season after arriving as a first-round pick. He finished the year with just 12 catches and two touchdowns in seven games.

One example Whitfield gave for improving Harry’s technique was his stance. He recently explained his method in an interview with’s Mike Giardi.

“N’Keal told me, he goes, ‘All my life, I’ve been told to stay low, stay low, stay low.’ But the lower you get, the heavier you get,” Whitfield told Giardi. “That’s a science. Anybody can do a squat right now with no barbell on their back, have a little squat and then jump. The lower they get, the heavier they get. They can’t move. I’m breaking him out of that mold.”

It’s all part of a process to make Harry a more efficient NFL receiver. The timing could be vital for New England, as the team looks for success in the post-Tom Brady era.


“I tell people all the time, I’m like, I’m that blacksmith,” said Whitfield. “I take N’Keal’s skills and I put them in a fire. Take them out of the fire, I beat the impurities off for him, and then I give them back to N’Keal, so they can be lethal weapons on the field. So that’s what I’m doing with him. We’re almost there with him.”

Trivia: Before Drew Bledsoe, who was the last Patriots quarterback to be drafted in the first round?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He started in a Super Bowl.

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On this day: In 1993, Jose Canseco pitched an inning for the Texas Rangers against the Red Sox. The power hitter gave up three runs on two hits and injured his arm in the process (eventually requiring Tommy John surgery).

This came at the end of what was already a difficult week for Canseco, who had infamously shepherded a home run over the wall a few days earlier via his head:


Trivia answer: Tony Eason

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