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Patriots receiver Nelson Agholor wants to know the inside and out of every offensive call; is coaching in his future?

Nelson Agholor (left) had been a big help on offense, and Jakobi Meyers (right) thinks Agholor has the makings of a coach.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots’ coaching tree has deep roots throughout the NFL and college football landscapes.

Bill Belichick’s former assistants and players can be found on the staffs of many NFL franchises and tons of college programs.

Could the next branch in that tree be a guy that currently is invested in more in running the Patriots route tree against the Bills than his post-football career?

Jakobi Meyers thinks so.

Meyers pointed to fellow receiver Nelson Agholor as a guy he believes could make coaching his vocation when his playing days are over.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Nelson would be a head coach somewhere in the future,’’ Meyers said this week. “He’s just one of those guys who loves the game. He wants to know every single detail about every single play. Like, why we call [a specific play]. What we’re calling it for. It’s fun to be around Nelson because he truly does love the game.’’

Agholor has been consistent in his praise of Josh McDaniels since signing in New England and it’s clear he’s enjoying digesting the offensive coordinator’s teaching methods and game plans.


“Being a part of it and continuously watching how he does it, it’s amazing in a lot of respects,’’ Agholor said. “I’m appreciative that I’m a part of it.’’

Although Agholor’s number (32 catches, 416 yards, 3 touchdowns) won’t blow stat geeks away, it’s important to remember that his speed and precise route running often opens opportunities for the other pass catchers, particularly Meyers (team-high 59 catches) and Kendrick Bourne (team-high 623 receiving yards).

“He’s definitely a guy you’ve got respect,’’ Meyers said. “First of all, he’ll blow past you. So, if you don’t have anybody over the top, you’ve kind of got to be a little careful playing with that type of speed. Him just doing his job and just — sometimes it’s conditioning routes and he understands that, but he doesn’t really complain. He goes out there and runs those routes and it does make it a little easier on us, knowing the safeties are back there worrying about him.’’


Belichick pointed to Agholor’s résumé and background elements that might make him a good coach.

“Nelly’s a smart guy. He’s got a good level of experience. He’s played in a couple different systems and played multiple positions: inside, outside, and played in different passing systems, so he has a pretty good familiarity with different aspects of the passing game and, obviously, the way that they’re defended,’’ said the coach. “He’s a smart guy.’’

Belichick stopped short of making future predictions for Agholor, emphasizing that the here and now is where the focus should be.

“I’m not sure exactly what his career goals are,’’ he said. “I think the immediate ones are to go up and play well against Buffalo. That’s what we’re looking for. He’s a smart player and I’m sure he’ll have a great career after football in whatever area he chooses to pursue.’’

Bourne learning from the master

Bourne had a highlight reel catch and run touchdown against the Titans last week that featured some fancy footwork and a fierce stiff-arm.

The fifth-year veteran and first-year Patriot has been excelling at picking up yards after the catch this season and credited Belichick with refining his skills in that area.

“Bill showed me techniques that I have never been taught before. And this is how I know Bill is special, he just puts us through certain drills that show us how to run with the ball, and I really emphasize working on those drills when I’m doing them trying to simulate game-like reality,’’ said Bourne.


He said he initially thought he didn’t have much to learn after four years in the league but quickly realized that wasn’t the case.

“He taught me things that I never even drilled before and I’m like, ‘Man, this is different,’ ‘’ said Bourne. “I can still get better … certain ways I’m attacking DBs always making it hard for them to tackle me, not just taking the easy way out [or] running out of bounds, stuff like that. Always making the defense work for what they work … It’s about making the job hard on them. I just take pride in it.’’

Dugger remains on COVID list

Safety Kyle Dugger and running back J.J. Taylor missed their third straight practice Friday and remain on the reserve/COVID list. There’s still an opportunity for them to be cleared in time for Monday night’s game at Buffalo, provided they are vaccinated. They would need to be asymptomatic and return two negative tests 24 hours apart to be eligible … The Patriots didn’t have any changes to their injury report, with eight players as listed as questionable: linebackers Dont’a Hightower (ankle) and Ja’Whaun Bentley (ribs); defensive lineman Christian Barmore (knee); center David Andrews (shoulder); right tackle Trent Brown (calf); receiver/returner Gunner Olszewski (ankle); running back Brandon Bolden (knee); and kicker Nick Folk (left knee) … The club will hold a rare Saturday practice before departing for Western New York Sunday … Rookie kicker Quinn Nordin, who cleared waivers Thursday, was added to the practice squad … J.C. Jackson, who was named AFC defensive player of the month for November and has seven interceptions, credited the pass rushers for his success. “I want to shout out the whole front seven, the D-line. I want to shout out to all those boys. They have been getting after the quarterback all year. So, those interceptions don’t just come off me doing it by myself.”


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.