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Patriots WR Kendrick Bourne feels he 'didn't give the team my best effort' in 2022

The Patriots offense had an overall disappointing showing in 2022, finishing in the bottom-half of the league in most major categories. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne said Friday that he takes personal responsibility for his part in the lackluster effort, feeling he could have been better last year.

"I didn't give the team my best effort," Bourne said, via the team website. "Personally we as players have to be our best so we can give the team the opportunity to win and I feel like I didn't do that.

"I've been grinding, trying to get bigger, weighing more, just being a more solid receiver and being able to do more."

Bourne finished the 2022 season with 35 receptions for 434 yards, almost half of his receiving-yard total from the previous year. And notably, the 27-year-old had only a single touchdown on the year, his fewest since his rookie season with the 49ers.

Having set or tied career-highs in receiving yards (800), receptions (55) and TDs (five) in 2021, Bourne is hoping that getting into a better state, both physically and mentally, will help bring back that level of production this fall.

"I don't really go off stats, I go off how I feel, how I look and I just wasn't in a good place, now I just want to avoid that," Bourne said. "So it was a good learning process, it was good that it happened to me, and it's always good to learn from hard times, struggling times."

Bourne's 2022 stats make him one of just four returning players who had at least 250 receiving yards last season, along with TE Hunter Henry, WR DeVante Parker and RB Rhamondre Stevenson.

The team's leading receiver by far was Jakobi Meyers (804 yards), and he's departed New England for Las Vegas, meaning the rest of the WR room will have to step up to fill his place.

The Patriots do have 2022 draft pick Tyquan Thornton, who had only 247 yards last year but could see more action, and also signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to the roster off his Super-Bowl season with the Chiefs.

While this should help, the Patriots don't have a tried-and-tested No. 1 receiver on the roster at this point. That could change if things pan out from a highly-anticipated free agent visit the team is scheduled to host next week.

It was reported Friday morning that New England would be hosting DeAndre Hopkins sometime next week, the second team he is scheduled to visit since being released by the Cardinals in late May.

For his part, Bourne said he'd welcome the addition of Hopkins if the Patriots can work something out with the five-time Pro Bowl WR.

"Yeah I'm a fan of D-Hop, I don't really know the gist of what's going on but he's a great player," Bourne said. "He's just a great leader, it'd be cool to play with a great player so anything that will help us win I'm with."

But whether Hopkins ends up in New England or the Pats move forward with their existing WR room, Bourne feels that he's already seeing a different vibe among his teammates in organized team activities that he believes will translate into wins.

"I feel like last year was tough for all of us," Bourne said. "It's all about us growing. I see the growth, I see the focus from everybody, it's different this year. Ready to make it count this year."

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