How Belichick resolved benching Pop Douglas after expensive fumble initially appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Demario Douglas’ first-quarter fumble vs. the Miami Dolphins landed him in Bill Belichick’s dog house for the rest of the Sunday Night Football face-off.
During an otherwise effective drive for the New England Patriots offense, the novice pass receiver had the ball punched out by Dolphins linebacker Bradley Chubb. The turnover moved the momentum back in Miami’s favor and showed to be the turning point of the 24-17 Patriots defeat.
Douglas was targeted two times on his very first 6 snaps in the video game. He returned punts however didn’t get any offending snaps after his fumble.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked after the video game about Douglas’ benching.
“We played all of our skill players,” he responded to.
But why didn’t Douglas get any offending snaps in the 2nd half?
“Look, we had a lot of production on offense,” Belichick stated. “(DeVante) Parker had a good day. (Mike) Gesicki had a good day. Hunter (Henry) had a good day. JuJu (Smith-Schuster), KB (Kendrick Bourne). A lot of good players. Can’t play everybody.”
Douglas took the regrettable accident as a knowing experience. The sixth-rounder out of Liberty invested his time on the sideline holding the football, advising himself that ball security is essential.
“Something to learn from,” he told reporters after the game. “Whenever I get back in I’ll make it count.”
The Patriots’ offense definitely might’ve utilized Douglas down the stretch. While quarterback Mac Jones and Co. kept it fascinating till the last minute, the system was just far too irregular. Jones, who was guilty of an expensive turnover of his own late in the 3rd quarter, shared a favorable message for the young wideout.
“Pop is a young player, just trying to keep him encouraged,” Jones said during his postgame press conference. “He’s one of my close buddies. … I told him just keep your head up.”
Douglas will intend to get a possibility to assist the Patriots make a much-needed Week 3 win over the New York Jets next Sunday.