Thursday, May 15, 2014
Gallon gets his fill of Edelman, Welker
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For those curious how New England Patriots coaches begin the process of getting rookies up to speed in the team's system, consider the situation with wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, the seventh-round draft choice out of Michigan.
Receivers coach Chad O'Shea has turned on the tape of Julian Edelman and Wes Welker, having Gallon study their every move.
Patriots seventh-round pick Jeremy Gallon had 1,373 yards receiving at Michigan last season.
"Those are the two I've started on so far," Gallon said Thursday at Gillette Stadium.
Gallon is listed on the Patriots' official roster at 5-foot-8 and 184 pounds and he projects to the slot, where Edelman and Welker have done some of their best work. Since Edelman has played the position in the team's system most recently, he's been the focal point of film study.
"Just seeing how quick he is off the ball, how he uses his hands, how good he is at the top of his routes -- just trying to imitate that and do what he does," said Gallon, who holds the Michigan single-season record for receiving yardage with 1,373 yards.
That's one of the messages that Patriots coaches have stressed to all rookies since their arrival in town Sunday -- "You don't know anything, so watch the veterans and learn."
"I'm just here to follow and fit in," relayed Gallon, who added that the biggest obstacle he's had to overcome in football is his height. "If that means watching Edelman's film every day, that's what I'm doing. If he can give me any pointers, or at practice I'm watching him running routes 1-on-1 or even on air, as much knowledge as I can soak up from him or any receiver here is better for me. That's the way, to me, to becoming a great player."
Film study is a big part of it too for a player who has long admired smaller receivers like Welker and Steve Smith of the Baltimore Ravens.
"I think that's the way to a coach's heart -- stay in the film room and learn everything you can as fast as you to get on the field as quick as you want to be," he said.
Gallon, who attended Apopka High School in Florida (also the alma mater of former Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather), said that he is aware of some of the Patriots' seventh-round success stories in the Bill Belichick era, a group that includes Edelman, quarterback Matt Cassel (2005), outside linebacker Tully Banta-Cain (2003), receiver David Givens (2002) and running back Patrick Pass (2000). He hopes to someday add his name to the list, and the first step to doing so is turning on the film.
It's only been five days, but make no mistake, Gallon is already getting his fill of Edelman and Welker.