Rookie Bequette eager to prove himself

Rookie Bequette eager to prove himself
May 11, 2012, 6:46 pm
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FOXBORO -- Let's get something straight on new Patriot Jake Bequette.

"Everyone was asking me how to pronounce my name," he laughed. "I said, 'Just like Josh Beckett. Different spelling, but just like that guy.'"

Boston sports fans will appreciate the distinction.

As does Bequette. The rookie defensive endlinebacker said at Friday's rookie camp session he's trying to make his own way.
"For me, it's exciting. It's been a lifelong dream to play in the NFL, especially for a great organization like the Patriots. It's just awesome -- very exciting. Like I said, I can't wait to get started.

"It's been kind of a roller coaster ride. Getting the call on draft day was awesome, and after that, just going back to Fayetteville and continuing to work out. Get ready for my first appearance here in Foxboro. Just getting ready to go."

The former Razorback gets a slight edge from one-time teammate Ryan Mallett. Bequette said he's been picking Mallett's brain about the Patriots and NFL, and the pair has worked out together a few times.

Which is not to say Bequette's getting his hand held through mini-camp.

"They just expected me to come in here in tremendous shape and ready to work.

"It's mostly rookies and coaches right now. The veterans are here in the morning and doing their own thing. We're here trying to get integrated into our own system so we can get ready to join them one day, and just get on the train."

Bequette will strive to prove he's flexible in the defense. One of his draws is the option to put him either at defensive end in a 4-3 or at outside linebacker in a 3-4. The Patriots played both schemes last season. He knows it.

"It's a tremendous point of pride for me. Like I said, versatility is about helping the team as many ways as you can. That's a big part of this organization, I've been told. Hopefully, that's something I can bring to the table."

He hopes the transition will be helped by the intelligence, confidence and competitive drive he showcased at Arkansas.

"First thing is my work ethic, and that's what I'm trying to prove, starting today. Not just to the coaches, but the veterans in the locker room, that I'm willing to come in here and work and get better every day. Just prove that I'm willing to come in here and be a part of the team."