The Patriots didn’t have the strongest wide receiver unit, and now they are adding more players to make it strong. This time the team added a former Lions wide receiver.
Jace Billingsley was added to the team’s practice squad, as confirmed by Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly. The former Lions wide receiver spent all of his professional career in Detroit. He was a member of the Lions’ practice squad and made the active roster in October, 2017. Billingsley recorded two special team tackles, but that’s pretty much everything he has done with the team.
His story at Eastern Oregon was slightly different. The wide receiver managed to put up nice numbers, totaling 1,931 all purpose yards in his senior season, and rushed for 863 yards totaling 506 receiving yards.
Billingsley may be new to New England, but knows a lot about Julian Edelman’s game. He even studied his moves to help mold his game.
“I think one thing that I’ve learned from him is that he always is just playing hard and he’s doing things a little unorthodox, but it’s his way and it works for him and he’s gotten good at it. And he just kind of trusts his process and that’s one thing I’ve learned is just finding what you’re good at and building on that rather than trying to always be like someone else, cause you’re not them. So you have to be yourself and you have to do what you do good,” Billingsley said.
Former Patriots defensive coordinator turned Lions head coach Matt Patricia had nice words for him. “He’s a smart player. Obviously a guy that transitioned to a different position and has learned a lot there but is still really learning some of the intricacies of the techniques, releases, routes, breaks, coverage. They got to learn the whole coverage aspect of it, too, which when you’re not a receiver from that standpoint, you’re trying to understand leverage and man-to-man, zone, reading middle of the field open, middle field close, kind of some of those things. So, there’s a lot of learning going there, so that’s definitely progressed,” Patricia said of the wide receiver.
Good luck, Billingsley!