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Mike Reiss/ESPNBoston.com

Trey Flowers and Derek Rivers have become fast friends.

Flowers, who is now one of the stars of the Patriots defense, has been putting in extra work with Rivers, specifically with pass-rushing techniques. And it looks like Rivers is taking notice of how hard Flowers works.

ESPN:

“His technique, he’s one of the best,” he said. “I just watch him on film and he’s awesome. An awesome dude, nice guy, definitely somebody I can go to and ask questions.

“I watch everything, how he defends the run, just how precise his hands are, how accurate they are in the pass rush, how he gets his hips around -- every little thing that helps you get to the QB or make plays.”

It wasn't too long ago that Flowers was trying to carve out a prominent role in Bill Belichick's defense. But with 7.5 regular season sacks and a huge sack late in Super Bowl LI that helped set the Patriots up for the tying score, he quickly became one of the most important players on the defense.

And now he's trying his best to become a leader.

“A lot of guys can be leaders, I’m just one of the guys that works hard and if I can help out here and there, I can help,” he said. “I’m one of the guys who have been in the scheme a little longer, so if they have questions, I can help them out.”

Rivers, meanwhile, says he's comfortable with going to Flowers with questions. He's also learning from other vets including Dont'a Hightower, Malcom Brown and others.

“They’re there helping,” he noted. “They are an awesome group of vets. It’s an awesome team. I’ve had an awesome spring [experience] so far.”

While it's unrealistic to expect a third-round pick to come in and blow everyone away from the jump, Belichick has put Rivers with top special teams players on punt return drills. This may or may not indicate that Rivers is a quick learner and could prove valuable in areas other than on defense in his rookie season.

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Jesse Gaunce 6/15/2017 11:46:00 AM Edit
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