Friday, April 23
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Patriots rookie Kyle Duggers breakout game drew Bill Belichicks praise – Patriots Wire

Kyle Dugger made a strong case that he should remain a starter after his debut in the role in Week 10. Dugger logged 12 tackles playing largely as an outside linebacker against the Baltimore Ravens. Though he’s technically a safety, New England has been using Dugger and Adrian Phillips, another safety, as box defenders during the 2020 season, perhaps in part because the Patriots lack depth at linebacker.

But Dugger, the 37th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, helped the Patriots limit the Ravens to 4.1 yards per carry with their running backs averaging 3.4 yards per carry. That’s where the Baltimore offense starts. That’s why the offense never really got started.

“He was involved in quite a few plays, but I thought he pursued well, tackled well and gave us some perimeter run force, which was a big part of the game. A lot of the running game was directed toward the perimeter and the outside, so he definitely helped us there and we got some good interior play, as well, on some of the inside plays. Maybe that helped push the ball out a little bit.”

New England needed younger players to step up during their four-game losing streak, but Dugger was among those dealing with an injury. With the youngster healthy, he could play a pivotal roll in helping the Patriots turn around the season. It seems he and New England have already taken the right step forward.

“It felt great and definitely was a blessing to be able to get out there and play with the guys,” Dugger said. “The energy was great, and the win was great so there are definitely no complaints tonight.”

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