From Gresh and Zolak
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BOSTON (CBS) – While it was just one preseason game, there are a few reasons to be excited for undrafted wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins.
The rookie looked to understand the playbook and be on the same page as quarterback Tom Brady in the Patriots preseason win over the Eagles on Friday night, finishing with four receptions for 23 yards on five targets.
“I was blown away at his ability to adjust,” said Gresh. “He saw what Brady saw, but you and I both talked about it, it was really the (touchdown) to Vereen that this kid — to this point, what they’ve shown — he seems to understand the concept. It was what he didn’t do on the Vereen play that let you know that.”
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“On the Veren play, not getting in the way of the fade-route, he ran his route to allow proper spacing to give Brady the window to throw it to where either Vereen catches it or it goes out of bounds,” said Gresh.
“It’s Thompkins’ ability to adjust mid-route; he gets jammed and pushed down inside but he’s still running that slant. He understands the route,” said Zolak. “He is, and I’m going back to 03-04 when they drafted Deion Branch and the offense started to evolve where it was Brady with the play-fake one way and then that backside slant… I think as this thing develops so far, and you’re picking one guy out of that group that you’re saying ‘it’s third and four, here’s the route and go wind on it’ I can see that relationship forming between #12 and #85.
“The fact that he got jammed, and continued to work inside to keep his defender out of Shane Vereen’s way, that’s huge for that kid,” said Zo. “He actually cut his route short to hold his defender on it.”
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“When you look at Thompkins the size stands out, but his body-type as well,” said Gresh. “A lot of people look at him and say ‘he looks like Ochocinco, except with talent.’ Ocho was a long, lean-type guy who had long arms and he could pluck it out of the air. The one where Thompkins caught it on the numbers in front of the defender, (he turned his body to catch it). That’s something you envision Ochocinco, in his heyday, doing.”