How JuJu Smith-Schuster feels about role on Patriots through slow start to season

FOXBORO — There had been excessive hopes for broad receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster this season popping out of coaching camp, however the first three video games of his Patriots profession have gone something however clean.

The veteran broad receiver has 10 catches on 16 targets for simply 66 yards. Of 161 certified go catchers, Smith-Schuster ranks 127th in yards after catch per try, a hundred and fifteenth in yards per route run, 111th in common depth of goal and 112th in drop fee.

He had a smile on his face whereas speaking about his place on the crew Wednesday within the Patriots’ locker room, nevertheless.

“Yeah, it’s going well,” Smith-Schuster stated. “Honestly, I feel like the role that I’m playing is pretty big. Doing my part in trying to contribute to this team and help the team as much as possible where I’m needed. I think it’s all coming along. I’ve played in this league for so long that you kind of learn to learn how to adapt and do things that the team needs. And I feel like me being here, I love my role. I embrace it. It’s fun. I do a lot of dirty work, which is nice too.”

So, how does he view that position?

“Obviously it comes to blocking, catching passes, just overall what receivers do,” Smith-Schuster stated. “But obviously I’m a guy who likes to go in and block. I embrace that part of my game.”

Quarterback Mac Jones stated Smith-Schuster “is great” this week. Head coach Bill Belichick stated the receiver has “been great.”

“I love working with him,” Belichick stated this week. “Tough kid, really smart. Does a good job for us. He does a lot of things well.”

Smith-Schuster blamed an obvious miscommunication he had with Jones in Sunday’s 15-10 win over the Jets on the wet climate situations.

“A play where I just kind of slipped and I can make those plays. It’s just the connection, it’s there, but thank god we don’t have another rainy game,” Smith-Schuster stated about Sunday’s upcoming recreation towards the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. “So, we’ll be in a dome. We’ll be a lot faster. There’s no climate to it. It will be fun.”

Patriots broad receivers coach Troy Brown was a bit extra tepid in his response when requested about Smith-Schuster, who signed a three-year, $25.5 million contract as a free agent this offseason.

“He’s been fine. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Brown stated Tuesday. “That’s where we are on JuJu. He’s going out there, he’s competing, he’s trying, he’s trying to get blocks, trying to get open, trying to catch the ball, doing all the things we ask him to do.”

The ex-Chiefs and Steelers receiver has break up his time between the slot and the Patriots’ “Z” position exterior. He performed in 53.8% of offensive snaps in Week 1, 59.5% in Week 2 and 73.6% in Week 3. His position does seem like rising, however he was anticipated to be nearer to 100% because the Patriots entered the season. Smith-Schuster has out-snapped Kendrick Bourne in every of the final two video games, however Bourne really has extra snaps on the season. Smith-Schuster can be competing for snaps with rookie Demario Douglas, who misplaced some belief with a Week 2 fumble.

“Definitely want to give him the ball more, and we’ve worked really hard in practice,” Jones stated Monday on WEEI. It’ll occur.”