By making the Patriots' initial 53-man roster, Quinn Nordin has extended the Patriots undrafted rookie streak to 18 seasons, a testament to the level playing field that exists in Foxborough. Every year for almost two decades has a player whose name was not called at the draft made the team.
As the only undrafted rookie in camp and starting off behind a veteran coming off an excellent year, it was a tough task for the rookie. He fought through some inconsistency that included two missed extra points in the second preseason game against the Eagles, bouncing back with a solid final outing against the Giants to secure his spot.
"[Quinn was] definitely able to bounce back," said special teams coach Cam Achord on Wednesday morning. "He had the one rough outing and then he came back out and had a solid performance the other day. That's the big thing, is you continue to get better....You've got to continue to look at guys as long as they're continuing to get better in their progression. It makes a big difference for you in the end.
"I think the mental toughness is a big factor, because there's going to be ups and downs throughout the season and being able to have the ability to bounce back and show some mental resolve there and fight through things. It's definitely something that you have to look at. And is it somebody that you can depend on moving forward?"
After being unsure about his future after graduating from Michigan, only the Patriots gave Nordin a chance to continue kicking the pros and he made the most of the opportunity.
"He was a guy that when you talked to him, he loves the game of football," said Achord. He's invested, he loves this trade, he wants to get better every day and had some intangibles... leg strength, power...that you look at. Consistency was the thing we had to work on with him and get better at, but there's a lot of things there that you could build off of."
Now Nordin looks to continue building that consistency into the regular season.
"I think you have to take into consideration, what is the ceiling?" said Achord. "What is the guy going to be in January? What are you going to be in at the end of the year, and understanding that's the thing with any player. A rookie is going to continue to improve usually, where a veteran or a guy that's been here a few years, you know what they're going to be."
Practice Squad taking shape
The Patriots have begun signing players for their practice squad with a lot of familiar faces. Check out our running list here of who has reportedly signed here.
Report: Former Navy QB claimed
According to the transaction wire, the Patriots claimed former Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry off of waivers from the Miami Dolphins. A 2020 7th-round draft pick, Perry spent time at both wide receiver and running back as Miami looked to find a way to use the explosive weapon who owns the FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback. With Bill Belichick's history with the Navy program and Joe Cardona already on the roster, it's a move that isn't that surprising. Perry was featured on our 2020 big board for his Navy roots alone.
He played nine games as a rookie for Miami in 2020, grabbing nine catches for 92 yards and a touchdown while adding three rushes for five yards. How exactly he'll fit in with the Patriots offense will remain to be seen but he offers some potential depth at multiple positions.
Mike Reiss reported the corresponding move would be to release linebacker Harvey Langi but he's expected to re-sign onto the 53-man roster, while Mike Garafolo reports that N'Keal Harry will move to Injured Reserve to start the season. He's eligible to return after missing the first three games.
Quotes of Note
Bill Belichick on Mac Jones:
"First of all, he's had a high level of production. I feel like he's been able to show an ability to do things the way we want them done at a productive level. He's young. I'm sure he'll continue to learn and grow. We'll see where that goes, but that's why we drafted him. I think he's come in and performed at a level that supports that."
Running backs coach Ivan Fears on J.J. Taylor:
The thing that always held him back what he did in the passing game was a little bit limited in what we needed him to do. He's picked that up big time. He's made some great strides in the passing game, he's a helluva lot more productive as a route runner, whether we detach him or coming out of the backfield. The kid has stepped up."
Mike Pellegrino on new cornerback Shaun Wade:
Shaun, smart dude, working hard. A little too early to tell, in all fairness to him because look, he got here on Friday, he played on Sunday. We grinded it out, we're still grinding it out. We still got a long way to go here. Not going to make any crazy predictions or anything. I like him, he works really hard. I'm excited to work with him every day."