Chase Winovich has been a talking point from training camp and throughout the preseason. The pass rushing group has been completely revamped and Winovich’s role has become unclear as of late. Last season, Winovich led the Patriots with 5.5 sacks and was the most dominant overall pass rusher. However, there were many times where Belichick cut his snaps down substantially despite his effectiveness pressuring the quarterback. We have recently learned that Belichick has not been happy with Winovich’s ability to contain the run game. He also appears to be more of a free lancer than Belichick is comfortable with. He plays with an extremely high motor but can sometimes go a little too far with the occasional late hit to draw a flag.
The pass rushing depth for the 2021 Patriots is MUCH deeper than a year ago, which makes Winovich far more expendable. Many are speculating that the Patriots may look to move Winovich in a trade. The theory was strengthened as Winovich stayed on the field late into the last preseason game. Playing the fourth quarter of the preseason is almost never a good sign. However, this is not necessarily a death sentence for Winovich. Belichick has done this with players in the past who make the team. Jason McCourty made the roster after playing deep into the final preseason game last season. Many thought this meant the end for the McCourty twin in New England. In reality, he was adjusting to playing safety and needed some extra reps.
So will Chase Winovich make the roster?
Not only do I believe he will make the roster but I emphatically believe he should. What makes a great pass rushing team is depth. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to keep Mahomes scrambling for 60 minutes because they had the ability to create pressure from all angles and rotate their pass rushers. The Patriots front seven is going to wreak havoc all season because they have unbelievable depth in that area. Chase Winovich is a player that already excels as an edge rusher and is actively improving in the run game. He put on 15 pounds in order to hold up better against the run this season. I have always been a fan of Winovich and strongly believe he can be a notable piece of the Patriots devastating front seven. He’s improved in both of his seasons in New England and has a lot more veterans to learn from in 2021.
To put aside my personal opinion’s, Belichick’s postgame quote seemed to back Chase Winovich as well. Belichick was asked about his impression of Winovich since he has returned from injury:
“It’s good to have him back out there, he’s been able to get back to work and get his timing and improve his techniques and fundamentals of the game. It’s been good, still has a way to go, but it’s way better than it was three weeks ago.”– Bill Belichick
It doesn’t appear as if Bill Belichick is done developing the third-year player. If you liked this article check out the rest of my author page!