Week Two of the 2021 NFL Season is almost upon us. Two AFC East divisional rivals, the New England Patriots and the New York Jets will meet on Sunday, September 19 at MetLIfe Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. However, the Pats continue to make news, leading up to Sunday’s showdown with Gang Green. From potential milestones to hosting a free agent workout, here are the latest Pats news and notes, courtesy of the Patriot Maven Notebook:
Patriots Host Drake Jackson for Work Out
With the health of offensive linemen Trent Brown and Yodny Cajuste uncertain, the Patriots are keeping their personnel options open. As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, rookie center Drake Jackson visited New England for a workout on Friday.
Jackson joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Detroit Lions in May. The Kentucky product appeared in 47 career games and made 44 consecutive starts. Jackson was a team captain for the Wildcats in 2020, and was a second-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press. He was also a first-team All-SEC selection by Pro Football Focus.
After a brief stint with Detroit, the 6-foot-2, 292-pound lineman was claimed off waivers by the Houston Texans in August. Jackson would later be claimed by the Houston Texans in August and was waived as NFL rosters reduced from 85 to 80. He played on 15 offensive snaps during the 2021 preseason, alternating between both guard spots.
McCourty Eyes Interception Mark
Should he earn an interception on Sunday, Patriots safety Devin McCourty will move into a tie for third place on the Patriots all-time interception list. The Pats defensive captain currently sits at 28 interceptions, and his 29th would tie him with Ron Hall, Roland James and Fred Marion. Patriots Hall of Fame cornerbacks Ty Law and Raymond Clayborn are tied for the team record with 36.
Bailey Trying for Touchback Milestone
On Sunday, punter Jake Bailey, who also handles kickoffs for the team, will look to kick touchbacks on all of his kickoffs for the third time in his career. The Pro-Bowler was perfect with all five of his kickoffs going for touchbacks in the season-opener against Miami on September 12. It was the second time in his career that he has had touchbacks on all of his kickoffs in a game. He also accomplished the feat at Washington on October 16, 2019 when he was 7-for-7.
No Social Network for Belichick
It is no secret that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a palpable disdain for social media. As he virtually met with reporters on Friday, Belichick had an expected response to a question regarding his approach to responding to outside criticism and social media backlash. Belichick’s response:
“First of all, you know, I don't really know or care anything about social media. I don't even know what's out there, isn't out there, so that's irrelevant to me, but it doesn't matter. We played football before there was social media, and it didn't matter then either.”