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Saturday, August 17, 2013
Thompkins, Tebow & more after win

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Some of the notable soundbites and storylines from the Patriots' postgame media access following Friday's win over the Buccaneers:

1. Thompkins carries chip on his shoulder. Undrafted rookie receiver Kenbrell Thompkins, who served as the No. 2 receiver in the game, is sharing a locker right now with fellow undrafted tight end Zach Sudfeld. It shouldn’t be long before each gets their own locker, as both have seemed to solidified important roles with the offense.

We haven’t heard much from the 25-year-old Thompkins this preseason -- the Patriots generally prefer their rookies to be seen, not heard -- but the former Cincinnati Bearcat spent a few minutes chatting with reporters late Friday.

One thing he said that stood out was the permanent scar he has from this year’s draft.

“I can remember sitting down and waiting for my name to be called and for it not to be called is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life,” he said. “That’s a guy’s dream, to hear their name get called.”

Thompkins, whose rookie contract included just $5,000 in guaranteed money, also spoke about “living in the moment” with the Patriots. Thompkins’ past is obviously a big part of who he is, but it is a topic he prefers to deflect at this time.

2. Tebow faces the music. After a tough second half in which he didn’t lead a scoring drive and struggled mightily throwing the football, quarterback Tim Tebow fielded some tough questions.

“As a competitor, you want to do your best and play to the best of your ability, and have it all go right. Sometimes it doesn’t,” he said. “You have to keep going.”

When Tebow first entered the game, there were cheers from the home crowd. Those had mostly subsided by the end of the night.

His low point was an interception intended for Thompkins early in the fourth quarter.

“I didn’t even necessarily see it. It’s definitely something I shouldn’t have thrown,” he said. “I forced that too much.”

3. Develin gets an early look. One of the early-game surprises was the presence of fullback James Develin with the first-unit offense, as he played 10 of the 25 snaps in which Tom Brady was on the field.

“He didn’t play last week [and] he’s done a good job for us in camp,” coach Bill Belichick said. “We wanted to get a look at him and we didn’t really get a chance to do that last week.”

The former Brown defensive end, who switched to fullback when he entered the NFL with the Bengals in 2010, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds.

“It was definitely a blessing getting out there early, it was a great feeling running out there with the first team,” he said. “I’m just trying to go out there and continue that.”

Develin said it was “kind of a surprise” that the opportunity presented itself. He is scheduled to earn $480,000 in base salary in 2013, which could be a factor in his favor if the coaching staff views him as being in a competition with Michael Hoomanawanui ($1.3 million) for a roster spot for a lead-blocker.

4. Sudfeld relishing his opportunity. Sudfeld, the undrafted rookie tight end from Nevada, played 10 snaps with the first-unit offense when Brady was in the game. He was on the receiving end of a two-point conversion pass from Brady, and later caught a 22-yard touchdown from Ryan Mallett.

He flashed his sense of humor after the game when asked why he remained on the ground after the touchdown catch, apparently shaken up.

“I was just trying to enjoy the moment,” he cracked, later turning more serious. “It’s been such a great experience, this entire thing. The game today was pretty incredible.”