FOXBORO — The Patriots are giving offensive lineman Jordan Devey a long, hard look this preseason.
Following the second week of preseason games, Devey was the only player in the entire NFL to go wire-to-wire in both games, as the 26-year-old has played all 148 offensive snaps for the Patriots through the first two games.
“It’s camp. We’re all fighting for a position and we’re all trying to do our job to our best and that is what I am trying to do — get better everyday,” Devey said.
After spending last season on the Patriots practice squad, Devey entered training camp as a long-shot to make the team, but he’s given himself a chance. The Patriots drafted three offensive linemen — Bryan Stork, Cameron Fleming, and Jon Halapio – and also have plenty of veterans at the position, but even with the crowd, Devey has stood out in Bill Belichick‘s mind.
“I think he’s improved a lot from last year,” Belichick said. “He’s had a good offseason. He’s worked really hard. He’s a smart guy. His fundamentals have improved. His strength is better. His offseason program was very productive. … He really was able to take advantage of that and put himself in a very competitive position.”
After being an undrafted free agent by the way of Snow College and the University of Memphis and linking up with the Patriots following a stint with the Ravens last year, Devey acknowledged the offseason work he put in is starting to show in his play.
“I feel like I am able to sit lower in my stance and come off with a little bit more power,” Devey said. “I still feel like I have a long way to go, I haven’t peaked in the weight room yet. Everyday I still feel like I can get stronger.”
A number of the current Patriots starting linemen have spent time on a practice squad at one time or another, including Dan Connolly and Ryan Wendell. Seeing them get to where they are today, gives him some added confidence in getting to his goal of one day being a starting offensive lineman.
“It was incredible,” he said of his time on the practice squad last year. “We have a lot of great guys on the o-line with a lot of experience. I knew as a practice squad guy — first off to help the defensive guys get better, but also learn from the vets — guys like Logan Mankins, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell — all those guys at one point or another have been in my shoes and I learned from them and how to get better from it.”
One of the biggest things going for Devey is his ability to play almost every position on the line, as he has lined up at every spot except center this preseason.
“All the coaches that I’ve had in the past and the coach I have now, they really stress trying to be able to play more positions,” Devey said. ‘I feel like it’s helped me. The more you can do, the more it helps you in the long run.”
Although it would seem Devey has come a long way in just one offseason – going from the practice squad to now playing every snap through the first two preseason games — he still feels like he has a long way to go and can be even better.
“I feel like I still have a long way to go,” Devey said. “There are always techniques that I can improve on. I feel like I have improved a lot from last year, but I still feel like there is a long way to go for me.”