Tyreek Hill was impressed by Patriots rookie Christian Gonzalez: ‘He’s real good’

Patriots

“They’ve got some real good pieces over there in New England, man.”

New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez (6) prepares to tackle Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.
Christian Gonzalez more than held his own against Tyreek Hill on Sunday. Greg M. Cooper / AP Photo

Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill did not make any friends in Foxborough on Sunday by calling out Patriots fans following Miami’s 24-17 win. 

But the four-time All-Pro wideout did have positive things to say about one of the Patriots’ rookies in Christian Gonzalez.

The 2023 first-round pick has put together impressive returns in his first two games in the NFL. He has played 100 percent of New England’s defensive snaps while holding his own in daunting matchups against players like Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and A.J. Brown.

Gonzalez was one of the few bright spots in the Patriots’ frustrating defeat against Miami. He allowed three catches for just 32 yards against Hill and Waddle, while also reeling in his first career interception by snagging an under-thrown ball from Tua Tagovailoa that was intended for Hill.

Hill, who has routinely torched some of the top defensive backs in the league, liked what he saw from the 21-year-old Gonzalez.

“I was able to go against the rookie. He’s real good,” Hill said during an episode of his “It Needed To Be Said” podcast. “Very lengthy corner. Had some real good technique and speed about him. They’ve got some real good pieces over there in New England, man.”

Hill isn’t the first to praise Gonzalez’s technique and refined skill set. 

On Tuesday, former Patriots cornerback Ty Law was impressed by how quickly Gonzalez has settled into a high-pressure starting role as a rookie, especially when it comes to executing in critical moments. 

“Christian Gonzalez, man — that dude. I look at the little things,” Law said during his weekly interview on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Tuesday morning. “First of all he was competitive, he wasn’t afraid, and on the interception. … He picked it off at its highest point. He didn’t sit there and wait for it to come down … He went up there and did it fundamentally correctly.

“He did it at the highest point, giving himself a chance to make a play, and he did that. That is something during the game that a lot of people don’t do. And he’s doing that at such a young age and being competitive and running with guys. He’s not afraid and I like him.”

Through two games, Gonzalez is currently ranked third in the NFL among cornerbacks with a PFF grade of 82.6. He will face another tough test in Week 3 against Jets star wideout Garrett Wilson, who stands as one of the few bright spots on a New York offense now led by Zach Wilson. 


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