Former N’Keal Harry coach reveals real reason behind his failed NFL career: “He had hanger-on’ers”

Last season, the New England Patriots faced challenges on the field, missing the playoffs and undergoing a coaching change with Jerod Mayo taking over from Bill Belichick. Nevertheless, the team’s decline actually began with the departure of legendary quarterback Tom Brady.

N’Keal Harry, who played alongside Brady during his time with the Patriots, was expected to thrive in the NFL. Yet he faced difficulties establishing himself as a top performer, prompting his former college coach to offer insights into his struggles.

Herm Edwards sheds light on N’Keal Harry’s NFL struggles

Former Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards recently offered insights into N’Keal Harry’s struggles in the NFL, attributing them to two main factors. According to Edwards, Harry faced challenges due to “having too many followers” and being a “New England Patriots player.”

According to Edwards, Harry’s downfall stemmed from having “too many followers,” which hindered his performance on the field. 

“He had too many followers, man. That’s what killed him. That poor kid. He had hanger-on’ers. And it was like, ‘C’mon, N’Keal.’ Because talent-wise?”

Edwards later went on to praise his physical prowess as a receiver, highlighting his size and strength. Nevertheless, he suggested that Harry’s skills did not align with the Patriots’ system, leading to a poor fit for the young player.

“He’s got enough talent. He’s a big, strong physical receiver to catch the ball. And then he went to New England. That was the worst place for him to go because it just didn’t fit. That didn’t fit him,” Edwards added.

Harry was drafted with high expectations in 2019 after being chosen as the 32nd overall pick in the NFL draft. He had the chance to learn from legendary head coach Bill Belichick, but he was unable to reach his full potential in the NFL and was not successful in the Patriots’ system.

Looking at N’Keal Harry’s disappointing Patriots stint

N’Keal Harry showcased immense potential, receiving over 1,000 yards in each of his final two seasons during his college days. Yet, his transition to the NFL was fraught with challenges, particularly injuries and difficulty establishing rapport with various quarterbacks, including Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Mac Jones. 

Injuries ruined his rookie season, reducing his playing time and impeding his development. His most productive season came in 2020, where he amassed 309 receiving yards on 33 receptions, per Gridiron Heroics.

In 2021, Harry’s frustration reached a tipping point, prompting him to request a trade from the New England Patriots. The 26-year-old player’s move to the Chicago Bears in 2022 failed to rejuvenate his career, as he managed just seven receptions for 116 yards.

Now with the Minnesota Vikings, the former Patriots player’s journey continues, but his struggles persist. Despite signing with the Vikings in the past offseason, he found himself sidelined for the entirety of the 2023 season, unable to make an impact on the field.

What’s your opinion on Harry’s coach’s remark?

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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