The New England Patriots, and especially Bill Belichick, have been ruthless when it comes to benching players.
Belichick won’t hesitate to send you to the dog house in the blink of an eye if you make a costly mistake, and getting out of it is a bit of an uphill battle.
Not even the best players are exempt from Belichick’s tough love, and that includes promising rookie Demario Douglas.
Douglas made a big catch on third-and-eight, getting the first down and looking to pile up more yards as he seemed to have an open field to get his first career touchdown, but Dolphins LB Bradley Chubb got the best of him, punching the ball out of his hands, and ending Douglas’ night on the field.
Following the game, QB Mac Jones sent Douglas and the rest of the team a message, stating that they simply cannot turn the ball over, adding that he also needs to be held accountable if he makes that kind of mistake (via NBC Sports Boston).
"We can't have the turnovers… Myself included"
Mac Jones talks about his message to Demario Douglas after his fumble pic.twitter.com/I2cWpeHjRJ
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) September 18, 2023
Belichick benched the sixth-round pick out of Liberty for the remainder of the evening, letting him know that ball security will forever be a key aspect of his teams.
The Patriots could’ve definitely used a dynamic pass-catcher like Douglas later in the game, but Belichick used a long-term approach and decided to teach the rookie a lesson.
Douglas had been a bright spot in Week 1’s loss vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, hauling in four receptions for 40 yards, including a huge 23-yard grab.NEXT: Patriots Are In Unfamiliar Territory After Losing To Dolphins