Patriots rookie wide receiver Javon Baker made a couple of highlight-reel catches during OTAs for the Patriots on Wednesday. Paul Connors/Boston Herald

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – As the ball soared in the air, Javon Baker streaked down the left sideline with a cornerback tight on his hip. As the safety came down to help, Baker leaped in the air, snatching the ball from the two defenders.

As the rookie receiver landed, he planted his foot and sprinted into the end zone, celebrating with a nearby teammate.

Last week, Patriots Coach Jerod Mayo said if Baker was going to boast about his abilities, he needed to show it on the field. Mayo was telling the rookie from Central Florida to walk the walk after Baker declared he was going to put on a show inside Gillette Stadium.

It’s still early but on Wednesday, Baker did just that. The fourth-round pick easily looked like one of the Patriots’ best receivers during a two-hour session at OTAs. Baker caught three passes, all from Jacoby Brissett, with two highlight-reel plays.

“Oh man, he made a couple of plays today. He’s getting better,” Brissett said. “Obviously, (he’s) somebody that we are looking forward to seeing what he can become. He’s been doing a good job of getting better each and every day, and taking the coaching from the meeting room and the field and trying not to make the same mistake twice. Right now that’s all you can ask for.”

The first highlight-reel catch, which he ran for a touchdown, was the fourth play of the Patriots’ seven-on-seven drill with Brissett and his unit taking on the team’s top defensive players. Three plays later, Baker did it again.


This time, Brissett lofted a deep ball to Baker, who was well covered by cornerback Marco Wilson. The rookie again jumped in the air and snagged the ball from the defensive back.

That success with Brissett translated to full-team drills. The veteran cornerback hit Baker on a short pass near the right sideline. The rookie caught the ball, made a move to get by the defensive back, then flew up the sideline, showing off an impressive run-after-the-catch ability.

“That’s how you build the trust right there, is going out there and trying things and seeing what guys can do, and seeing what plays guys can make,” Brissett said. “Things like that. It was good to see him go up and do that.

“… Obviously he’s a good route runner, (has) good hands. He can go up and make plays like he did today. Really looking forward to seeing what more he can do.”

The Patriots drafted Baker and fellow receiver Ja’Lynn Polk, hoping to revamp their receiver room and make their offense more potent.

BRIAN BELICHICK watched this offseason as his father, Bill Belichick, had a mutual parting of ways with Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Next, his older brother, Steve Belichick, left the organization to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Washington.


Instead of leaving and starting a new chapter, Brian Belichick opted to return to the Patriots and work for Jerod Mayo. The new head coach admitted it’s an awkward situation but noted that the youngest Belichick son has handled the situation “the right way.”

For Brian Belichick, returning to New England was an easy decision after his wife, Callie, gave birth to their daughter this offseason.

“I was thankful and happy to get the opportunity to coach here, and was thankful and happy to take advantage of it and take (Mayo) up on it,” Brian Belichick said Wednesday.

“I have a lot of gratitude in my life right now with my daughter, my job, being here, living in this area. I love it. I just hope I can contribute to help us be the best team we can this year.”

Much like his brother, Steve, Brian Belichick grew up as a coach in the Patriots’ organization. After graduating from Trinity College in 2016, he joined the organization as a scouting assistant. The next year he became a coaching assistant. In 2020, he earned a promotion to safeties coach.

After his father left the organization, Brian Belichick said he spoke with him about remaining in New England and on Mayo’s staff.

He noted that he continues to talk to his father about his job and this year’s Patriots team.

Brian Belichick also said not working with his father has helped their relationship.

“This is getting a little personal about our family dynamics, but in a way I think it was good for us to have some separation from being in a football building every day, seeing each other,” Brian Belichick said. “Whereas now, we’re not just connected by football. Not that it was that way before, but we talk about other things because we’re in different places and not the same place every day. There’s a lot to talk about football-wise, so it was hard not to get caught up with that when you saw each other at work every day.”

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