Kyle Dugger discusses confidence level heading into second year with Patriots

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

One of the most promising players from the 2020 draft is Kyle Dugger.

The Lenoir-Rhyne product recorded 64 tackles and played a pivotal hybrid role in 14 games for the New England Patriots. Dugger transitioned from a DII college to the NFL with virtually no offseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s 6-foot-1, 217 pounds and the sky is the limit for Patrick Chung’s replacement.

Dugger spoke with reporters on Tuesday and discussed his comfort level heading into the 2021 season.

“I feel way more comfortable, just in general, in the defense. I feel much more comfortable,” Dugger said. “I’m seeing things a little slower and a little easier. So I’m definitely feeling more comfortable already.”

Dugger started seven games and only played in 14 total because of an ankle injury.

“Right before my injury actually, me getting hurt, was actually the first game it started to slow down for me,” Dugger said. “After, of course after coming back, it was kind of just had to re-adjust. But the Denver game (Week 6) was probably when I first started to feel a little bit more comfortable and toward the end of the season, as well, things started to feel a little easier.”

He’s now healthy and looking forward to next season while focusing on his technique primarily.

“I’ve really focused on my technique and my steps, being more efficient with my feet. And making sure I was doing everything, taking out all the unnecessary movements and really just getting more comfortable with the technique,” Dugger said.

Devin McCourty will be the key veteran and Adrian Phillips will likely begin as the other starting safety, but Dugger will find himself on the field and taking on big assignments every week — with the potential of finding a starting role.

List

Signing Brian Hoyer prepares the Patriots for any what-if scenario