If this offseason has proven anything, it’s that playing for New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is still a draw for many players.
Patriots third-round pick Oklahoma edge defender Ronnie Perkins sounded beyond elated to get working with Belichick.
“Honestly, it’s surreal,” Perkins, the Patriots’ 96th overall pick, said Friday night on a conference call with New England reporters. “My mind can’t even wrap around it. Just to get the opportunity to get coached by Coach Belichick is the most mind-blowing thing in my head right now. So honestly I’m so excited tonight. I just can’t even wait to go in and learn from Coach Belichick, the younger Coach (Steve) Belichick, like I’m just excited for this whole opportunity. I just can’t wait.”
Patriots safety Jalen Mills literally screamed with excitement the first time he met Belichick at Gillette Stadium after he signed with the team as a free agent. Multiple other free-agent signings and draft picks have expressed their eagerness to get to work with the six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach.
“I spoke to the Patriots I wouldn’t say a lot of times, but I spoke to them a few times,” Perkins relayed Friday. “I would definitely say walking away from the interviews that I had with them, I felt positive that I did a great job in talking to them. Really the whole thing, like I said, I was mind-blown.
“I wasn’t talking to Coach Bill Belichick, but I was talking to Coach Steve Belichick, and I was really still mind-blown that I was talking to somebody who is part of the Belichick family. You mention that name, that’s just one of the most legendary head coaches in the NFL. So just to be talking to his son who will probably be just like him in a few years — definitely talking to him was a huge blessing and I was super excited. Now I’m super excited to go in and play for both of those guys.”
Perkins was an uber-productive pass rusher and run defender at Oklahoma. Among players listed in PFF’s draft guide, Perkins led edge defenders in run-stop rate and finished third in pass-rush win rate. He fell to the third round, in part, because of some off-field issues.
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