N’Keal Harry’s trainer thinks Cam Newton is the problem
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The Patriots won at least ten games for a stunning 17 years in a row, but they’ve quietly had a number of misses in the NFL Draft over the past decade. It’s still early, but one of them may be wide receiver N’Keal Harry, who was taken in the first round out of Arizona State ahead of D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel in 2019.
The second-year player has 29 catches for 277 yards in 11 games this season, after having just 105 yards in seven games as a rookie. But his trainer thinks Harry’s lack of success has more to do with the quarterback throwing him the ball than the player himself.
“We’ve got a new quarterback. We’ve got to put some of that [expletive] on Cam [Newton],” his trainer, Rischad Whitfield, told Patriots Wire. “Cam hasn’t been the most accurate this year. Like if [N’Keal] had Tom Brady, Tom Brady would’ve fed him. But we’re back there with Cam and Cam’s getting acclimated to the offense, too.”
Harry has shown signs of life on the field recently, having made impressive catches while jumping over cornerbacks Chris Harris Jr. and Darius Williams in back-to-back games against the Chargers and Rams. But he is still behind two undrafted free agents in Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd on the depth chart. He is fourth on the team in receiving, behind Meyers, Byrd and Julian Edelman, who has only played six games in 2020.
Brian Phillips of Pats Pulpit pointed out on Twitter that in 2019 with Brady, 76.7% of Harry’s targets were catchable, and that number only fell to 73.8% in 2020 – the difference of one throw.
Newton is on pace to throw for 2,896 passing yards, certainly less than the 4,057 Brady threw for in 2019. But at this point, it’s hard to blame his struggles entirely on the quarterback.
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