New England Patriots rookie guard Cole Strange made his NFL debut on Thursday, in what was a showcase for rookies as the starters rested. Strange has been making a case for himself to be a starter, and his road to achieving that began in the preseason opener against the New York Giants.
Things are beginning to slow down for him, as he gets his feet wet in the NFL. The Patriots made several moves to the line in the offseason, one of them including drafting Strange. Now, he looks to cement himself as a permanent fixture on that line.
He felt comfortable in the action he saw Thursday, as transcribed by Zack Cox of NESN.com.
“For the two drives that I was in, I think (it went) fairly well,” Strange said. “But it’s kind of one of those things where you have to watch the film and see how you did. Because sometimes it feels a certain way but then it’s not necessarily that way when you watch it. … But you’re just playing football, so I had fun.”
“…In college a bunch of the time, coaches have pointed out to me, there were times where I would hesitate off the ball, I think maybe because I was thinking,” he explained. “Not all the time, but every now and then, you could see me doing that. So that’s something I?ve worked on. I feel like my technique in pass protection has gotten better just because we’ve been hammering the fundamentals. So I feel like I’ve improved in that, too.”
Strange’s development is going to be important for the Patriots, as they look to undergo a youth movement on the line. New England took a risk by trading Shaq Mason back in March. Now, it will be up to Strange to help stabilize the offensive line.
Continued development is going to be crucial for both himself and the line’s success. As quarterback Mac Jones enters his second year, a stable line will be important for the success of the offense as a whole.