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Reason Eagles’ Britain Covey Earned Surprise Mention By Patriots’ Bill Belichick

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During his weekly news conference, Bill Belichick dissected the Philadelphia Eagles and listed the players who were instrumental in the team’s rise to prominence in the NFL.

Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Darius Slay, James Bradberry, and Britain Covey were present along with the usual suspects.

Covey’s shoutout was a little puzzling because Belichick specifically recognized nine players (excluding the entire offensive line and pass rush). Of course, Belichick particularly mentioned Covey for a reason.

“The Patriots were a team that were really interested in me at draft time,” Covey said this week. “Obviously I have such great respect and admiration for him (Belichick) and just what the Patriots organization have done for people my size. I say 75% of the film I watch is Danny Amendola, Was Welker, Julian Edelman. I just have great admiration and respect.”

Covey stands out on the Eagles roster since he is listed at 5-foot-8 and 173 pounds. Belichick emphasized his explosiveness when talking about the Eagles’ special teams, despite the fact that he isn’t much bigger than the majority of people who don’t play professional football for a livelihood.

Because of Belichick’s obsessive attention to detail, the Patriots special teams have consistently performed admirably during his time as head coach. Even though Covey technically isn’t on the 53-man roster, he wasn’t leaving him off that list.

“That’s very kind (of Bill),” Covey said. “From Week 6 on, we (special teams) were top two in the league. It’s not just me, it’s the unit that really started to pick things up and performed well.” 

Covey’s explosiveness hasn’t drawn much attention on social media, but as his rookie season progressed, the Eagles came to value him more and more. Covey was only assigned to return kicks and punts for the Eagles, but he managed to return 33 punts for 308 yards overall, averaging 9.3 yards per return. He had 33 returns, which was second in the NFL, and an eighth-place 9.3 average.

Covey continued to have success in the postseason, averaging 17.5 yards per return, including a 27-yard return in Super Bowl LVII that resulted in a field goal for the Eagles just before halftime.

Covey improved during the course of his rookie season despite only being used as a returner for the Eagles. Covey struggles to find targets because of wide receivers like Brown, Smith, Quez Watkins, and Olamide Zaccheaus.

Despite being the team’s fifth-ranked wide receiver, he plays a crucial part in returning the Eagles to the Super Bowl.

Covey missed the 53-man roster for the second year in a row due to roster construction. The Patriots had the option of simply claiming Covey off of waivers, but doing so would have required them to give up a roster spot. Covey was too risky for any team to sign because he was also dealing with a hamstring ailment throughout the preseason.

Covey will probably spend the first three weeks on the practice squad before the Eagles must decide whether to add him to the 53-man roster for the remainder of the season, similar to last year. He managed to hang around the entire year after beginning his first season on the practice squad.

There are now just four wide receivers on the Eagles’ active roster, so something will need to give. This time around, Covey is a superior player, and the Eagles (and Patriots) are aware of it.

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