Bill Belichick couldn’t be happier to be a diver back for the Patriots

Late on Sunday in the fourth quarter, Derek Rivers drops Ryan Fitzrippic for a sack through two Miami Dolphins linemen.

It was not the most important game in New England’s season-21-11 victory – the Patriots were later flagged for interference in a play that saw the Dolphins take first place – but it was especially Rivers – and his main Was meaningful for the coach.

The Patriots’ top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, River, missed the entirety of his first and third pro seasons due to a knee injury. In his lone active season, he played sparingly, watching the action in just six regular season games and one playoff game in 2018.

Sunday’s competition was River’s first since the 2018 postseason win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the New England divisional round. The sack was the second part of his NFL career.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke positively about Rivers resolution and development during training camp. On Monday, he was practically overflowing with praise for the 26-year-old Edge Razor.

“Derek has done a truly incredible job,” Bellrich said in a video conference. “You mentioned some of the adversities he has gone through, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him in a day. He has always got a positive outlook, he works very hard, he always works on the things that will help him and help the team – the ‘first one in and the last one out’ type of man in the building.

“(I) was very happy to see him (Sunday) and have the opportunity to play and have some success and help us win, but he has shown a lot of mental fortitude – an incredible amount of mental toughness indeed – Over dealing with some failures in the last three years, none of which was really his fault. Just bad brakes, really. I don’t think he did anything wrong, it’s just football. But he has positives. , Was nothing but hard work, competitive attitude. He did what he could, and he did what he could not.

He said, “He had a good camp here, had a good start to the season, and got a chance to play tomorrow and go out and help the team a lot. I know for him, but for all of us – all his teammates And the other people on the team and the training staff, the strength staff, all the people who worked with him during that time, as well as to help him regain all of his physical characteristics, which I think he did a good job. And they did a good job. But it came yesterday. As I said, I think that was gratifying for everyone. ”

Rivers played 20 defensive snacks against the Dolphins as part of the outside linebacker rotation, which initially included Chez Vinovich and John Simon and deputy rusher Shilik Calhoun.

Vinovich, who in his second season with the Patriots, said it is difficult for Rivers not to root.

“I absolutely love Derek,” Vinovich said on Monday. “Football is one of those weird dynamics where you’re in a way – there’s no guaranteed money for the most part, so you’re standing against people in the same room for a competition. So dynamic from a friendship, it’s weird. Is kind of

“But Derek’s personality – I’ve talked to him about this before – it kind of transcends. He’s a great friend, and he’s a great teammate, so anytime you have a guy that Apparently selflessly gets a sack and is working hard, you just get fired for that. I was one of the first people there who would help celebrate with him.

“But hopefully, he is coming too high. When the tide rises, it picks up all the ships. So we’re definitely pulling for Derek.

Speaking to reporters in a video call on Monday, Rivers repeatedly called his visit a “blessing”.

He said, “It’s a blessing to be with your brothers and teammates.” “That was fun. It was good. At the time, clearly focusing on the game, and then getting a sack is always fun. It’s about being out with the fellows again and just being with your teammates and your family.” It was a blessing to support. Man, it’s just a blessing. ”

Thumbnail photo via Brian Flirty / USA Today Sports Image