Patriots looking for larger role for Joejuan Williams

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The Patriots used a second-round pick on cornerback Joejuan Williams last year, but then used him on just 82 defensive snaps.

Now, they’re asking him to be ready to be do more.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the Patriots are asking Williams to prepare to play a varied role this year, adding safety to his offseason studies.

Williams wasn’t on the field much last year because they were so deep at cornerback, with Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, and J.C. Jackson. All four return this year.

Then again, the Patriots also bring back safeties Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, plus they used their top pick this year on safety Kyle Dugger, and signed Adrian Phillips in free agency.

The Patriots have always valued versatility, so if Williams can add to his toolbox, he’ll have a better chance of seeing the field. But there’s still plenty of traffic in front of him in the secondary, regardless his position.

9 responses to “Patriots looking for larger role for Joejuan Williams

  1. Based on Bill’s horrifying track record with second round DBs, I would not put money on him catching on any time soon. Hopefully, he does not fade from the league after a journeyman stint like some of the others.

  2. The CB depth chart may be tough to crack this next season given how well that group played last season, and assuming they all remain healthy OTOH, Williams has very good size, and with Harmon gone if he shows some skills at Safety he may get some playing time there. Especially against teams that run multiple tight end sets with good receiving TEs.

  3. Imagine that a team actually spends time developing a player instead of feeding him to the wolves and crushing his confidence. So they play him sparingly while he learns the tools he needs to be better than good… That’s the Patriot way haters

  4. No, the Patriot way is to draft busts at corner and have to rely on trades or free agents to start. If this guy is any good he will FORCE his way into the lineup. Give me a break with finding him a role. Maybe picking up the donuts on the way to practice will be his role.

  5. I thought they had visions of Devin McCourty’s replacement when they drafted him. And Kyle Dugger is Chungs’d replacement.
    That would be a hard hitting tandem at safety for a long time.

  6. The Pats use a complex backfield scheme that sometimes takes a while to learn. Last year they had the luxury of slowly developing a young rookie. Now he has to step up.

    Due to injuries, the Pats once had to play a SB with two rookie CBs and when they went nickel, they had to play WR who hadn’t played CB since high school. Worked.

  7. I wish Belichick was as good as all these other GM’s who, according to the haters, develop and retain 7 draft picks every year.

    Maybe one day the Patriots will be so good that other team’s fans become jealous and bitter.

    I can only imagine how satisfying that would be.

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