Patriots

Patriots players reportedly want Kendrick Bourne to get more playing time

"Whatever I have to do, I'm just waiting for that moment."

Kendrick Bourne
Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne of the New England Patriots takes the field for warm-up before a preseason game. Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

If the Patriots regret their decision to bench Kendrick Bourne until the fourth quarter in their season-opener on Sunday, Bill Belichick — predictably — was not going to say anything about it.

“We did what we thought was best,” Belichick said shortly.

Bourne participated in the skirmishes between the Patriots and Panthers during the preseason and may have found himself on Belichick’s bad side as a result. Belichick was asked if the benching was disciplinary.

“No,” Belichick said without expanding further.

When Bourne finally entered the game, he made an immediate impact — snagging a 41-yard reception on his first (and only) target of the day and just his second play from scrimmage. But the Patriots fumbled shortly afterward, which allowed the Dolphins to start a drive that ran out the clock.

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Bourne was asked what he has been told about his benching.

“Not sure. Just playing my role. Whatever I have to do, I’m just waiting for that moment,” Bourne told reporters, including ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss. “I don’t really know, so I’m waiting for my opportunity.”

NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry reported after the game that Bourne kept holding up one finger on the sideline after his big catch, as if to say “one target, one big play.” Bourne also appeared heated on the sideline after Nelson Algholor’s late fumble, and Jonnu Smith came over to help him calm down.

“[He is] somebody who is frustrated, would like to play more,” Perry said in a TV hit postgame. “And I can tell you his teammates — there are some that I’ve spoken to that would like to see him play more as well, and they are surprised they are not seeing more of Kendrick Bourne.”

For his part, though, Bourne was careful to say all of the right things.

“I’m just not giving the coaches what they need to see,” Bourne said. “I need to get better on my part.”

Bourne added that his teammates are capable, and that the Patriots season isn’t about him.

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“Disappointed in myself,” he said. “I could be better. Play better. Practice better. So I think that’s what it takes, just me practicing better so the coaches can trust me more.”

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