BOSTON (CBS) — We have finally reached Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season, which is the beginning of a new era for the New England Patriots. In addition to all the unknown that will go with teams playing football during a pandemic, the Patriots are going through quite the change in personnel with Cam Newton taking over for the departed Tom Brady.
No one really knows what to expect in 2020, from both a Patriots standpoint and a league standpoint, but we’re going to take a crack at it anyways. The WBZ-TV and CBS Boston Sports team will be answering a handful of questions regarding the Patriots as we count down to kickoff Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins.READ MORE: Young Crowd Eager To Attend Harry Styles Concert In Boston, But Are There COVID Concerns?
Today, the group picks which player’s progress they’ll be monitoring the most throughout the season.
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV Sports
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports
N’Keal Harry. New QB and second season. It’s critical that he steps up his game for Newton.
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsREAD MORE: Concord-Carlisle High School Teacher Accused Of Using Racist Slur Put On Leave
The player who’s progress we need to keep an eye on is Deatrich Wise Jr. The Pats lost a lot of key players on defense. They have come out and said that Wise has gained “good weight” this offseason. They are going to need him to set the edge and then at times, get after the quarterback. He needs to be a difference maker this season.
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
It’s N’Keal Harry to me – solely for the draft capital invested in him. We know the long list of second-round whiffs made during the Belichick era, but the first-rounders have generally been good. (Dominique Easley was the only total whiff, and Laurence Maroney was more in the disappointment category.)
Harry has a lot to prove as a first-round pick who was selected over Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, Mecole Hardman, Terry McLaurin and D.K. Metcalf. Harry really needs a big step forward in year two.
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
Gotta go with the two young linebackers, rookies Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings, since they’re going to have to lead the charge in the middle of the field on defense. Over on offense, there is going to be a lot of focus on how N’Keal Harry does in his second NFL season.Nor'easter To Bring Heavy Rains, High Winds, Possible Flooding To Southern New England
You can watch the Patriots kick off their 2020 season Sunday on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access and kicks off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. The Patriots and the Dolphins square off at 1 p.m., and stick to WBZ-TV after the game for Cam Newton’s first postgame press conference on Patriots 5th Quarter!