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The undrafted rookie is trying to carve out a role on New England’s wide receiver depth chart." Patriots AnalysisPatriots Offseason CoverageMoving from cornerback to wide receiver a challenge for Patriots rookie Gunner OlszewskiNew Matthew Slater Jerseys 2019 ,14commentsThe undrafted rookie is trying to carve out a role on New England’s wide receiver depth chart.EDTGunner Olszewski’s time as a wide receiver appeared to be little more than a minor footnote on his résumé when he entered the NFL draft process: during his junior year in high school and with his older brother playing quarterback, he played receiver but was forced to abandon the position after he broke his hand in three places and had to wear a cast for the remainder of the season. From that point on, Olszewski was exclusively a defensive back.At Division II’s Bemidji State, Olszewski blossomed into a difference maker at cornerback: playing 42 games over four seasons, he registered 310 tackles, 13 interceptions — one of which returned for a touchdown — and 40 pass breakups as well as a sack and three forced fumbles. To cap his college career, he was named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference’s defensive player of the year in 2018.And yet, NFL teams were reluctant when it came to the 6-foot defender.One team that was not? That would be the reigning world champions. The New England Patriots worked out Olszewski at his Pro Day, but they were more intrigued by his upside at another position than his abilities and experience when it came to playing in the defensive backfield: the Patriots wanted him to make the move to wide receiver — and promptly invited him to their rookie minicamp after he went undrafted.“One of the scouts hit on it at my Pro Day [...] I talked to Coach [Joe] Judge, and he thinks I can do it. So, I was just excited to come give it a shot.” said Olszewski when revisiting his pre-draft encounter with the Patriots, who added him to their roster shortly after rookie minicamp. “I think they saw a small guy, lower to the ground, quick. Kind of like Danny Amendola, he’s another Texas boy. I just want to prove them right, prove that I can do this.”Going back to wide receiver after numerous years playing as a defensive back certainly is no easy task — something the rookie acknowledged during the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp earlier this month. Olszewski pointed out that the transition is not an easy one: from learning to run routes as opposed to defending them White Devin McCourty Jerseys , to studying one of the NFL’s most complex offensive playbooks, the move to receiver has proved to be a challenge.“It definitely hasn’t been easy,” Olszewski said before going into the specifics of how the challenge looks like for him coming from the other side of the ball. “Playing [defensive back], you can run however you want with the ball after you get an interception. But running routes, you just just have to keep your cuts nice and tight, protect the ball, and just catch everything — play with confidence.”“Mentally it’s very, very challenging for me. Never learned an offensive playbook before, and I hear this one’s pretty hard to learn. That’s what I need to work on for the most part,” the 22-year-old continued. Luckily for Olszewski, however, he has some veteran company in the wide receivers room to help him get up to speed — and no player is better equipped to assist the rookie than ten-year veteran and current Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman.“I love that guy,” said Edelman, a former seventh-round draft pick that moved from quarterback to wide receiver after arriving in New England, about Olszewski. “If he’s got a question, I’m here to help and try to answer it to the best of my ability. I feel that’s part of my role on the team Devin McCourty Jerseys 2019 , being here so long. He’s working hard. He’s definitely a tough kid. I love the chip on his shoulder, and I like working with him. That’s for sure.”Olszewski acknowledged that he would keep a close eye on Edelman during practice, trying to emulate his movements and jump-cuts as best as possible. The rookie in general appears to be open to doing whatever it takes to make the team (or at least the practice squad): “My mindset was ‘I’ll play anything here.’ If y’all just want me to be a holder, I’ll be the best holder you’ve ever seen. I’d really do anything to get onto the field, I’d play anywhere.”Right now, ‘anywhere’ is at wide receiver — and next month, when the Patriots open training camp, Olszewski will get another chance to prove that New England was right to believe in his abilities. CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Mixon scored on a 4-yard run and dashed toward the stands in celebration of Cincinnati’s go-ahead touchdown. On the Steelers sideline, Ben Roethlisberger looked at the clock, saw there was 1:18 left, and told his linemen not to fret.“They gave us too much time,” Big Ben said confidently.Somehow, the Steelers never run out of time at Paul Brown Stadium.Antonio Brown turned a short catch into a 31-yard touchdown with 10 seconds left Sunday, sending the Steelers to a 28-21 victory over the Bengals. They’ve now won seven straight against Cincinnati, a streak that includes highly improbable — and totally predictable — wins.The Steelers (3-2-1) sure saw it coming.“On the sideline before I went out, I told the guys White Isaiah Wynn Jerseys , ‘This is what legacies are made of for all of us. Let’s go take care of business,'” Roethlisberger said.On the decisive play, Roethlisberger saw the Bengals (4-2) were set for an all-out blitz with no safeties guarding the end zone. He knew it would be a touchdown if he got the ball quickly to Brown, who caught it in stride, cut behind Justin Hunter’s block and ran untouched to the end zone.“We’ve been in that situation a lot, and I knew we were going to do it,” said Brown, who had five catches for 105 yards.During their seven-game winning streak, the Steelers have pulled them out at Paul Brown Stadium with 14 seconds, no seconds, and 10 seconds to go.They rallied to win a first-round playoff game in 2015 — aided by Vontaze Burfict hitting Brown in the head for a costly penalty — on Chris Boswell’s field goal with 14 seconds left. Last December, they overcame a 17-point deficit and won on Boswell’s field goal as time ran out.Now, this stunner.“We’re better than them,” Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick insisted. “They’re not better than us.”The statistics say otherwise. The Steelers have won 10 of 11 and 15 of 18 in the lopsided series.Some takeaways from Paul Brown Stadium:IT’S A RACEThe Bengals got an early cushion in the division by knocking off the Ravens and opening 4-1, their best start since they won the division in 2015. The Steelers got off to a ragged start at 1-2-1, but back-to-back wins over the Falcons and Bengals have evened up the division. The Bengals finish the season at Heinz Field.SHOCKING NUMBERSThe Steelers are 16-2 at Paul Brown Stadium during Marvin Lewis’ 16 seasons as the Bengals’ head coach Isaiah Wynn Jerseys 2019 , including playoff victories in 2005 and 2015. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is 20-5 against the Bengals. Andy Dalton is 3-12 against the Steelers, missing that 2015 playoff meltdown with a broken thumb.CONNER’S HISTORYJames Conner ran for 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns, his second straight 100-yard game. Conner joined Hall of Famers Franco Harris (1976) and Jerome Bettis (2004) as the only Steelers to run for seven touchdowns in the first six games of a season, excelling as Le’Veon Bell’s replacement. Bell reportedly will end his holdout this week during Pittsburgh’s bye.“What a great game,” Roethlisberger said. “Now I know it’s his last game for us, so we’re glad he did well in his last one.”Roethlisberger laughed, clarifying that he was going entirely off media reports and speculation about what happens when Bell returns.BLITZBURGHAfter getting shredded in September, the Steelers’ defense has come around in the last two games. It got six sacks in a 41-17 win over the Falcons and sacked Dalton three times. Pittsburgh limited the Bengals to 123 yards in the second half.BURFICT REPRISEIn his second game back from his latest NFL suspension, Burfict was at the center of the riled-up rivalry. He exchanged words with Roethlisberger 3 minutes into the game. A teammate pushed him away from Conner to help the linebacker avoid a penalty after a touchdown run. In the third quarter, Burfict hit Brown in the head as he was being tackled, but avoided a penalty. The NFL will review the play. In the locker room after the game, Burfict yelled at a reporter who asked another Bengals player about the hit on Brown.“A nasty hit,” Brown said.
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