Patriots fullback James Develin was not a superstar during his seven seasons in New England, but Bill Belichick considers him among the best he’s coached.
Belichick said after Develin announced his retirement today that everyone in the facility knew how much Develin contributed.
“To some people, James Develin may be ‘unsung’ in terms of publicity and fame, but to his coaches and teammates he is one of the most appreciated and respected players we have ever had,” Belichick said. “In football, there are a lot of tough, unselfish and dependable people who bring positive leadership on a daily basis, but the name James Develin represents those qualities at an elite level. A tribute to the impact James had on our success, of the five seasons in which he appeared in every game, we won three championships. Any team would be fortunate to have a James Devlin-‘type’ on its roster but the reality is he is a rarity and we are very fortunate he was a Patriot.”
Develin, who will turn 32 in July, said he decided to retire because of complications from the neck injury that cut short his 2019 season.