FOXBOROUGH — If there was ever an ideal time for Jon Bostic to have to suddenly uproot himself, move halfway across the country, and start a new job, this week might be it.
The Patriots’ new linebacker, acquired Monday from the Bears for a sixth-round draft pick and added to the roster at the expense of freshly released running back Travaris Cadet, joins the team at a relatively lax juncture, with New England in its bye week.
And, coincidentally, Bostic’s first full day in town happened to align with the others in his position group getting together for dinner, something the linebackers try to do occasionally during the season.
“You don’t want to overdo it, make a guy feel [overwhelmed],” said linebacker Dont’a Hightower on Tuesday. “I feel like he feels at home. We’re doing a linebacker dinner thing tonight, too, so if he’s not too busy I’m sure he’ll stop by.
“We just do something together — low-key, cook, chill a little bit. We try to do it as many times as we can throughout the year. We hang out, try to make it not as [focused on] football.”
Bostic was still very much taking in his new surroundings Tuesday afternoon. He arrived around 9 p.m. Monday, and as he met with the media about 24 hours after learning he had been traded, he had a suitcase by his side and no nameplate above his locker. The only apparent piece of team apparel was the shirt on his back.
“The one thing they tell you coming in is it’s a business,” Bostic said. “You can’t be surprised by anything. You have to keep looking ahead. Get in, got to learn the philosophy, special teams playbook, defensive playbook, and just keep moving.”
Bostic hadn’t had a chance to speak with the coaching staff about what his role will be, but perhaps his diction lends some insight. On three occasions when mentioning both units, Bostic referenced special teams first and defense second.
The 6-foot-1-inch, 245-pounder said he’s been playing special teams since high school, so “it won’t be anything new to me.”
The Bears selected Bostic out of Florida, where he was teammates with Dominique Easley, in the second round of the 2013 draft. In two seasons, Bostic played in 29 games (17 starts), registering 103 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery.
This season, following a switch to John Fox as head coach and an ankle injury during camp, Bostic has been inactive for all three games. Asked if he was 100 percent healthy, Bostic said he was going to “follow what the training staff says and what the coaches say and keep working.”
Some have compared Bostic’s situation — as a young, talented linebacker who maybe got lost in a regime change — with those of Akeem Ayers and Jonathan Casillas in 2014.
Does Bostic see the similarities?
“It’s my first day here,” he said. “You’re teaching me something.
“I haven’t looked at too much [of the playbook]. I went through a couple of meetings so far. I’m just getting started.”
Cadet, meanwhile, leaves the Patriots having played in just one game, getting one touch — a catch in Week 2 — for 2 yards.
The running back impressed early in camp, but a hamstring issue kept him off the field for almost all of August. He made the initial 53-man roster, only to mostly watch from the sidelines as Dion Lewis established himself as the dual-threat back Cadet was thought to be.
He was raring to go
Considering Justin Coleman’s path to the playing field, it’s no surprise to hear that the undrafted rookie cornerback jumped the gun on his first official NFL play.
In the span of 11 days, Coleman was released by the Vikings (Aug. 30), signed by the Patriots (Sept. 4), released by the Patriots (Sept. 5), signed by the Seahawks to their practice squad (Sept. 8), then signed by the Patriots to the 53-man active roster (Sept. 9). He was inactive for the first two games but suited up against the Jaguars on Sunday.
With the Jaguars in possession early in the first quarter, Coleman sprinted onto the field. One problem.
“I was trying to adjust to the personnel signals and everything, so I ran out there when I wasn’t supposed to, then I ran back off,” Coleman said. “Then I was sent out there, and all I was thinking was, ‘I’ve got to stop this guy.’ ”
In his regular-season debut, Coleman played 42 snaps and was credited with three tackles.
“My first real game situation,” he said. “At first I was a little anxious to be out there. I was ready, felt like I hadn’t been in a game situation in a long time.
“One thing I can say is I did enough to help the team win. But enough is never good enough, so I’ve got to do better.”