The reported deal shouldn’t come as a surprise after Bill Belichick called Board the best special teams player the Patriots will see in 2022 and extended the player later in the week before the Lions game with a lengthy description.
“He’s a very tough guy to go against,” said Belichick when asked what makes Board so good. “He’s got a great combination of size and speed and experience and instincts and technique. All of the above. There’s really no weaknesses as a player. You’ve got to figure out how to deal with him. He’s seen He’s seen it all.
“He looks like he weighs more than 245 pounds to tell you the truth, but I don’t think he weighs that much. But he’s a boxer. He’s a very physical player. He runs well. He’s very instinctive. So it no It doesn’t matter who’s with him, it’s a tough matchup. If you start double teaming, everyone else gets singled. You might solve one problem, but you can also create several more. You have to figure out how to deal with it. He creates a lot of problems and then everything rolls downhill from there.”
The Patriots’ special teams group ranked 32nd in the league last season in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric, so Board’s arrival should provide a significant boost to the unit. The Pats have been very active on special teams so far in free agency. The team has re-signed longtime veteran leaders Matthew Slater and Joe Cardona and has a collection of rookies from last season like Damarcus Mitchell, Brenden Schooler and Raleigh Webb returning who should improve in their second season.
New England has always invested in special teams talent and it looks like today they got a player who can now cause problems for the Patriots.