The New England Patriots signed Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry this offseason to recapture their two-TE magic from years past.
Through three weeks, it’s been more struggles than shine. Smith has particularly played poorly, with Sunday’s epic dud in the 28-13 loss to New Orleans highlighted by a drop leading to a Mac Jones pick-six.
After the loss, Smith owned up to the poor outing.
“You know I got to have a certain level of honesty with myself in the mirror, man,” Smith said, via Mass Live. “But the great thing about it is I have another opportunity. I didn’t put my best product and myself out there yesterday. I know that, the whole world knows that. But, you know, I know the player I am, I’m confident in the player I am, and I’m just looking forward to moving forward.”
Smith caught just one of six targets from Jones on Sunday, looking like he was fighting the ball the entire game. The 26-year-old took all the blame for Jenkins INT.
“Mac (Jones) threw a catchable ball, Mac did everything right,” Smith said. “I’ve just got to make that play that I know I can make and that I will make when the opportunity presents itself.”
Through three weeks Smith and Henry each have 10 catches. James White, who played a grand total of six snaps Sunday before injuring his hip, still sits second on the team in receptions with 12 (Jakobi Meyers leads the way with 19).
The early returns on the tight end plan in New England haven’t been pretty, but the good news is there is plenty of time to turn it around.
“This game isn’t easy man,” Smith said. “No way form or fashion is this game easy. It’s not meant to be easy. It’s not for people who are not mentally tough. Because there will be certain failures, you know, certain trials and, you know, adverse situations that you’re gonna have to overcome.
“And, you know I wouldn’t be here — I’ve been through, (we’re) talking about football. I’ve been through life situations. Things that were really serious. So, at the end of the day, you got to have a certain level of mental toughness to say OK, like this is what I’ve been doing all my life, I know what I can do, I’m confident in what I do. You got to bounce back. Every dog has his day. So you just got to continue to keep going.”
With the Pats hosting Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Bucs on Sunday night, New England needs Smith to have his day soon.
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