Jacob Hollister is ready to step up for Patriots

New England Patriots

Second-year tight end Jacob Hollister is expected to take on an increased role for the Patriots in 2018.

It’s pretty easy to get overshadowed when you are a tight end for the New England Patriots and your name is not Rob Gronkowski.

Fans don’t really know a lot about second-year tight end Jacob Hollister, and much of that is due to the fact that he didn’t play much during his rookie season. He caught just four passes for 42 yards all year after being signed as an undrafted free agent. It’s not surprising, though, because when you have a dominant tight end like Gronkowski on your roster, there’s no need to rush your rookie tight ends into serious action.

But that’s not expected to be the case in 2018. The Patriots are badly hurting at the wide receiver position following a roller coaster of an offseason, and now Hollister is expected to see a much-increased role on the field. Gronkowsi will be the No. 1 tight end on the depth chart, and Hollister is likely to be right behind him.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Patriots frequently using two-tight end sets on offense, something they’ve been famous for in years past under head coach Bill Belichick.

Whatever his role ends up being, Hollister is ready to go all out.

“I wouldn’t say there’s any added pressure at all,” Hollister said via NESN.com. “We’ve constantly had a team mentality of doing your job and being ready when your name’s called, so I’m really just ready to do whatever the team asks of me. And that’s been the past year and a half.”

Hollister is likely to see an increased role all season long, but definitely during the first four games while No. 1 receiver Julian Edelman serves his four-game suspension. New England kicks off its season at home against the Houston Texans, then travels to play the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions before returning home to face the Miami Dolphins.

Next: 10 AFC predictions for Week 1 of 2018 NFL season

He might not have much experience under his belt at this point, but Hollister does have the best quarterback of all time in Tom Brady working with him, so he shouldn’t have much trouble adjusting to a larger role with the Patriots this season.

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