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Bentley is a prime candidate to make the second-year jump.
01-14-2020, 06:50 AM,
Post: #1
Bentley is a prime candidate to make the second-year jump.
" Patriots AnalysisPatriots Player ProfilesPatriots Offseason CoverageNew England Patriots 2019 roster breakdown: #51 LB Ja’Whaun BentleyNew Jarrett Stidham NFL Draft ,7commentsBentley is a prime candidate to make the second-year jump.EDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:New England Patriots 2019 roster breakdown: #51 LB Ja’Whaun BentleyTwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Scott Halleran/Getty ImagesThe New England Patriots, who will be off until training camp starts later this month, currently have 89 players on their active roster. However, only 53 of them will be able to survive the cutdowns on August 31 and ultimately make the team. Over the course of the summer, we will take a look at the players fighting for those spots to find out who has the best chances of helping the Patriots defend their Super Bowl title.Today, the series continues with one New England’s second-year players.Name: Ja’Whaun BentleyPosition: LinebackerJersey number: 51Opening day age: 23Experience: 1Size: 6’2, 255 lbs.2018 review: Even though he entered the NFL as just the 143rd overall selection of the 2018 draft, Ja’Whaun Bentley quickly showed promise as a rotational linebacker in New England’s system. The Purdue product also proved himself to be more than ‘just’ the primarily run-stopping defender he was in college: he was used in numerous roles during the preseason and showed upside in coverage and when playing downhill.As a result, Bentley was able to carve out a role on the Patriots’ 53-man roster as the top depth option alongside Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy. As such, the rookie was not just active for the first three of New England’s regular season games but also on the field quite regularly: Bentley played 138 of a possible 217 defensive snaps (63.6%) as well as 46 additional snaps in the kicking game (of 85; 54.1%).All in all, the regular season was a continuation of his strong training camp and preseason performances. The fifth-round draft pick, who saw most of his action as a box linebacker, was strong as a tackler and in the running game, and also competitive in coverage and as a pass rusher: he allowed just two pass completions on four targets for a combined 16 yards and an interception Jarrett Stidham Buffalo Bills Jersey , and registered three quarterback pressures (one hit, two hurries).Bentley also was trusted by the coaching staff to call the defensive shots on one occasion. In the first half of New England’s week three game against the Detroit Lions, he had the communication device in his helmet — another sign that the coaching staff was pleased with his development before a torn bicep suffered in that very game forced the team to place him on its season-ending injured reserve list.However, Bentley’s rookie season can still be seen as a success: he was able to find a role on the team, showed promise as a possible three-down linebacker, and was regularly used on special teams as well (playing on punt coverage, kick return and field goal/extra point blocking units). He certainly adapted well to live in the NFL and built a solid foundation on which to work on in year two.2019 preview: Entering 2019, Bentley can be seen as one of three roster locks at linebacker alongside the aforementioned Hightower and Van Noy. The main question heading into the new season will therefore be what his role will ultimately look like. Given his rookie campaign, however, it would not be a surprise if the 22-year-old again served as the top option behind New England’s one-two punch at the position (ahead of Elandon Roberts and Jamie Collins).After all, Bentley fared well as a rotational three-down option alongside the veterans: he looked very solid in coverage and run defense, and also showed good versatility when being moved around the formation. And while he should not be expected to rival Hightower and Van Noy when it comes to playing time, it would not be a surprised if Bentley was on the field for 50-60% of defensive snaps any given week.Ultimately, he appears to be prime candidate to make the famous second-year jump. Every year Color Rush Byron Cowart Jersey , Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy nips any playoff talk in the bud by saying it's not a topic of conversation until the team wins 10 games.The Packers hit the season's midpoint with a 3-4-1 record, meaning there is little margin for error after back-to-back losses to two of the NFL's powerhouses.To reach double-digits in victories, the Packers will have to win seven of their final eight games. That quest begins with a return home to face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday."We're focused on winning No. 4. That's all we're talking about right now," McCarthy said on Monday, a day after a 31-17 loss to the New England Patriots."We improved as a football team the last two weeks, but you have to play your best football coming down the stretch. We're not playing to the level we need to play in the fourth quarter."In the final seven minutes of last week's 29-27 loss at the Los Angeles Rams, the Packers failed to extend a 27-26 lead, had a bad punt, gave up the go-ahead field goal and fumbled the ensuing kickoff.On the first play of the fourth quarter against the Patriots, the Packers were driving into scoring position when running back Aaron Jones fumbled.The Patriots used a pass from receiver Julian Edelman to running back James White to set up the go-ahead touchdown, forced the Packers to punt, then added an insurance touchdown.Not only did the Packers lose the game, but they lost ground in the NFC North to Chicago (5-3), which routed Buffalo for its second consecutive win Youth Byron Cowart Jersey , and Minnesota (5-3-1), which beat Detroit for its fourth win in five games.After hosting Miami (5-4), Green Bay goes back on the road to face Seattle (4-4) and Minnesota."The games in November are really where teams historically start to separate one way or the other," McCarthy said. "Our focus is really on our self-scout and things we've been working on. The last two weeks, we're not finishing games."The problems run across all three phases. Defensively, the Packers have failed to get a takeaway the past two weeks.On special teams, there was Ty Montgomery's fumble on the kickoff return against the Rams and two penalties against the Patriots.On offense, Green Bay has run a total of 22 plays in the fourth quarter the past two weeks. Against the Patriots, the fourth quarter started with a fumble, continued with a three-and-out and ended with a fourth-down failure."We're not hitting on all cylinders," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "We're hurting ourselves with negative-yardage plays and missed throws and turnovers at the wrong time and not being on the same page too many times, whether I'm missing a throw or we're not in the spot I think we're going to be at, it's happening in the worst times. When we have to play our best in those crunch times, we haven't been playing our best."To get on track Womens Byron Cowart Jersey , the Packers are going to have to play through some injuries. Right tackle Bryan Bulaga (knee), safety Kentrell Brice (knee), cornerback Kevin King (hamstring) and linebacker Blake Martinez (ankle) were knocked out of the game by injuries.Martinez, who was injured when he stepped on the ankle of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, returned for the final couple of series."I pride myself on being a tough guy and I didn't want to leave my team," Martinez said."I knew if I could run straight and do certain things, I could go out there and finish the game."According to McCarthy, King will be "hard pressed" to be ready to face the Dolphins. Bulaga, who's suffered major injuries to both knees, avoided a significant injury and could be back for Sunday. Receiver Geronimo Allison might need surgery after suffering a groin injury at Thursday's practice.
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