New England Patriots: Josh Uche will turn heads and rattle QB’s in 2021

FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 28, 2021: Josh Uche #55 of the New England Patriots walks onto the field during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MA - JULY 28, 2021: Josh Uche #55 of the New England Patriots walks onto the field during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 28, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

Opposing NFL offenses, watch out for second-year linebacker Josh Uche.  The New England Patriots young stud out of the University of Michigan has been one of the team’s best players all summer long and expect that to spill over into the 2021 NFL season.

Following a rookie season in which he spent most of the time battling injury, Uche gave glimpses of what he can add to the Patriots’ defense.  Not only is he fast with extreme strength, but he also displays the type of versatility Bill Belichick loves in his outside linebackers who can play anywhere on the field.

So, despite the depth the Patriots suddenly have at the linebacker position with the return of Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy and the addition of Matt Judon, expect the former Wolverine stud to see plenty of time on the field this season, which will be good news for Belichick’s crew and bad news for opposing quarterbacks.

New England Patriots second-year linebacker bringing the energy and excitement

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With a season under his belt, Uche is ready to make that Year 2 leap into something very special.  As he has done all summer and through the joint practices with the New York Giants, the 2020 second-round pick has added a level of excitement on defense, both from his teammates and himself.

"“I’m excited every day, I get to come in with these guys, a great group of guys,” Uche said following practice on Friday, via  “It’s always fun, always a lot of energy.  And just when we’re out there it’s dynamic.  You can rely on guys; you can trust guys to do their job.  I look forward to coming to work every day, there’s always something new, there’s always a way to get better.”"

Along with fellow young linebackers Chase Winovich and 2021 third-round pick Ronnie Perkins, Uche will have some extra coaching on the sidelines and on the field as the trio of Hightower, Judon and Van Noy will provide some great leadership.

Not to take anything away from linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, who played under Belichick, playing beside and behind such great players is the ultimate learning experience for a young up-and-coming linebacker in the NFL.  Like a sponge, Uche is soaking it certainly soaking it all up.

"“You can learn something from each of those guys every day,” Uche said of Hightower, Judon and Van Noy.  “To have such a high level of guys and a high amount of guys who do things very well, it just allows me to cherry-pick a little bit, adding things into my game.”"

In all, it is a safe bet Josh Uche will have more than 1 sack in 2021.

New England Patriots veteran linebacker Dont’a Hightower praises Josh Uche

Through training camp and the first two games of the preseason, there is no doubt Matt Judon will make a major impact on the New England Patriots defense.  He will not only make a veteran like Dont’a Hightower better but will and has already shown the impact he has on a young player like Uche.

In fact, Hightower is already making that comparison between the second-year stud and the big free agent prize.  Second to Judon, Uche has been a terror on the field during these practices, which has gained some praise from the anchor of the New England Patriots defense.

"“He’s like a little Judon, almost,” Hightower said Thursday following the team’s first joint practice with the New York Giants, via WEEI.  “Honestly, that’s big brother, little brother.  He brings a lot of energy.  A different energy.  A younger, generational energy.  But I love it.  He’s a hard worker.  He’s always asking questions.  It’s never a dull moment around Uche, I’ll say that.”"

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And I’ll say Josh Uche will turn quite a few heads and rattle a few quarterbacks in his second season in the NFL.  It will be fun to watch him rack up the QB hits and even more fun watching him grow under the guidance of Hightower, Judon, Van Noy and of course the great mind of Bill Belichick.