Patriots: Lombardi believes new additions to the receiver group are fitting in nicely

On Saturday afternoon, many of the Patriots assistant coaches met with the media while the team had a day off. It’s always good to hear from the guys on Bill Belichick’s staff because they’re always more inclined to be a little more honest when it comes to answering questions, although none of them will ever go full Mike Tomlin on us.

One of those assistants that has quite a critical role this season is Mick Lombardi, the wide receivers coach along with Troy Brown. Lombardi has been coaching for 11 years, but now in year two without Tom Brady, the receivers are going to need to step up and play significantly better if this offense is going to have any kind of success.

The two new guys, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne are both going to be relied on heavily and Lombardi had plenty of praise for both guys, but he also acknowledged both are still learning the offense and things aren’t always going to be perfect yet.

“I think every player, especially all the new players and even the guys that have been here, whether they deal with new plays, new installations, that’s what practice is for,” Lombardi said. “Whether it’s the pass game, blocking in the running game, we ask our guys to do a whole lot of things and sometimes there’s a miscommunication. Whether it’s understanding a read, understanding where the mic call is, all those things come in to play and it takes 11 guys to be on the same page every single play for hopefully 75 plays a game or 65 plays in practice.

“Our goal is to be perfect on everything but sometimes there’s a miscommunication.”

Perhaps now more than ever, blocking in the run game is going to be huge for every receiver and tight end this season. With such a loaded running back group, the Patriots – at least for now – look to be a 60/40 running offense which means that the 3rd-&-6 catches will be crucial, but just as important as a key block on 3rd-&-4.

“Me and Troy Brown talk about it all the time, no block, no rock,” Lombardi said with a smile. “If you don’t block you’re not going to get the ball. We’re a big…like I said it takes 11 guys on every play and we’re going to run the ball, that’s part of being a tough football team. We take great pride in that here in New England and always have since coach has been the head coach here and we’ll continue to do that.

“Our job as receivers is to make sure we block whoever we have to block. Speaking of Kendrick, whether it’s N’Keal, Nelson, you can take a block and your block could mean a lot. Your block may be the difference between five yards and 50 yards. Your block could be the difference between a four-yard gain or a touchdown.”

For the time being, it sounds like the newest Patriots are the right kind of guys to have here in New England.

“Those guys work their tail off in practice and I give them all the credit in the world because they want to block,” Lombardi added. “They want to contribute in the run game, they just don’t want to catch passes and score touchdowns. They want to make sure they’re getting their job done for their teammate and that’s just mental toughness, really. Does Nelson Agholor want to catch a touchdown? Sure, no doubt, everybody does, but they also want to go in there and help their teammate block and that’s a big part of the mindset all of our receivers have.

“That makes coaching them easy.”