N’Keal Harry scores first career touchdown
BOSTON (CBS) — N’Keal Harry had just one catch in New England’s rain-soaked 13-9 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. But it was a big catch for the rookie and the New England Patriots.
Harry’s first career touchdown was the only touchdown of the game, a beautiful back-shoulder grab on the left side of the end zone in the final minute of the first quarter. The rookie showed off some great concentration on the play, catching the ball in tight coverage while also making sure he got both feet inbounds.
“It was a great feeling,” said the first-round pick. “It was a great throw. I’m just happy I could come up and make the play.”
Harry said there wasn’t much going through his mind on the play — just to make the catch.
“Everything out there is really instincts. When I’m out there, my body takes over,” he said. “You have to trust your technique and apply what you did in practice in the game.”
Now that he’s shown the world what he can do in the NFL, Harry is eager to contribute a lot more. He isn’t satisfied with his output on Sunday, as the 10-yard touchdown was Harry’s only reception of the day on four targets. He let a potential big gain slip right through his hands, though the wet conditions likely played a part in that miscue. So far in his two games on the field, Harry has just four receptions on eight targets for 28 yards.
“Obviously, those are tough conditions to play in but I feel like I could have handled it better. I’m definitely not satisfied and anybody who knows me knows that I’m about to turn it up a notch,” said Harry. “I’m about to hit the grindstone and really get back to work.”
Harry’s 6-foot-4, 225-pound build makes him the perfect red zone target for New England, an area where the offense has struggled in all season. The expectations for the rookie are tempered after he spent the first half of the season on IR, but he could provide a gigantic boost in a big area of need down the stretch run.
Harry is now the 75th different receiver to catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady. The veteran QB offered some words of encouragement to the rookie on the bench after the scoring strike, and gave his highlight catch a lot of love after the game.
“He made a great catch. That was a great play,” said Brady. “That was awesome. That’s what we need.”
Harry may not be fully entrenched in Brady’s circle of trust just yet, but the rookie said their relationship is growing every day.
“Every day you get to connect more, feel each other out more. Everything is coming with time,” said Harry.
The Patriots have needed a big-bodied red zone target all season, and Harry could provide a boon for the offense if can indeed take things up a notch over the next two months.(by Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston)