Patriots willing to do anything to land Tyreek Hill

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The first two times the Patriots saw Tyreek Hill, they didn’t really see him.

Hill threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns in regular-season meetings with the Patriots in 2017 and 2018. He caught 14 of 20 passes thrown his way.

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By the time the 2018 AFCCG began, Bill Belichick had seen enough of Hill losing defenders or his defenders losing him. Jonathan Jones and Keion Crossen — cornerbacks who ran 4.3 40s — were sent to handle Hill. Sometimes there was also a protective shade above.

Hill caught one 42-yard pass and the Patriots scored one of the most impressive victories of the Brady-Belichick era at Arrowhead Stadium.

The last two times the Patriots tackled Hill, they held him to a manageable 126 total yards. Not exactly bottled, but somewhat contained.

Tyreek is no longer in Kansas City. And beginning Sunday, the Patriots will start from scratch, figuring out how his new team, the Miami Dolphins, plan to deploy him. Miami didn’t give up five draft picks and coughed up a $120 million contract to use Hill as bait. He will get the ball. how? Hard to say.

“I think that’s the big thing,” Belichick said Tuesday. “We’ll see how they play with him, how they use him. It might be different from Kansas City, it might not be, we’ll see.”

Asked to describe Hill’s speed, Belichick was brief. “Rare”.

Fortunately, the Patriots still have Jones to take the case.

Speaking about his team’s success retaining Hill, Devin McCourty said, “Obviously the scheme and getting out there and competing (are factors), but I’d say Jon Jones doesn’t get a lot of credit from our team the last couple of years with JC and Steph ( after they received more attention).

“He was a key part of our success. His physical ability to run with Tyreek Hill as much as anyone can run with him and go out and compete against him (matters). You put that together with the game plans we have and it worked out pretty well.

“But it’s unique because we’re going up against a guy in a whole new offense,” McCourty pointed out. “It’s not as easy as putting out a movie about Kansas City and saying, ‘Let’s do something similar to what we’ve done before.’ I think it’s going to be something different.”

The secondary patriot is different. With Stephon Gilmore and JC Jackson gone and a fleet of smaller, speedy corners with water bugs filling out the depth chart, it’s clear Belichick looked around the division and realized the speed in Miami, Buffalo and New York needed to be addressed. York.

Hill isn’t the only addition Miami made. They took former Cowboys receiver Cedric Wilson, a slot big who had an excellent game against the Patriots last year. With Hill, Wilson, Jaylen Waddle and Mike Gesicki – a TE/WR hybrid – there is plenty of talent in the Miami passing game. And a lot of uncertainty with first-year head coach Mike McDaniel at the helm.

The research is extensive, and the Patriots went back to examine what McDaniel did as offensive coordinator last year in San Francisco.

“We’re trying to mix preseason games with what San Fran did and try to say, ‘This guy can be in that role…’ but it’s hard to really say,” McCurty admitted. “That’s the tough thing about Week 1 games. New offense, new players, not only Hill, but Cedric Wilson in the slot … We don’t know how that’s going to mix. We haven’t seen all these guys there. So there will be a lot of adjusting and understanding.”

How Hill impacts Miami and whether his presence can take the Dolphins to the next level is one of the NFL’s biggest stories this year. Sunday, the Patriots are part of Chapter One.

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