FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Things changed for Danny Etling as soon as he walked onto the field Thursday.
Instead of coming out in his red non-contact jersey, like all quarterbacks don, the second-year player was in a bright white jersey. The reason became obvious when practice started and Etling was warming up with the wide receivers.
After playing quarterback all his life and on the Patriots practice squad last year, Etling has officially transitioned to receiver.
“Everyone has a lot of different roles on this team and I am no exception,” Etling said. “I am excited to keep trying to find a different role for myself, do whatever the coaches ask me to do and keep learning from the leaders in front of me.”
Etling finished his collegiate career at LSU, playing quarterback at the highest level in college football. That’s one reason why the Patriots selected him in the seventh round in the 2018 NFL Draft. The other was due to his athleticism.
Last offseason, Etling appeared in three games. He completed 52.6 percent of his passes, throwing for 157 yards for a touchdown and two interceptions. Etling’s biggest, moment, however came on the ground. In the Patriots preseason finale, Etling ran for 113 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown run.
Elting’s a work in progress. He deemed his hands to be “good,” but said he thinks he can pick up the position due to his quarterback playing days.
“I have not really played it per se, but I have also coached a lot, I guess, being a quarterback,” Etling said. “So I understand football and it is helping me get a different perspective of the game itself and learning a lot of different things.”
“I love football. I love playing football,” Etling added. “I am out here in a NFL training camp getting to play for the Patriots and getting to find a new role for myself and getting coached by some of the greatest coaches and getting to be teammates with some of the greatest teammates of all time. I have really enjoyed being part of this team and I am willing to do whatever it takes in order to do that and to keep becoming a better football player.”