Kyle Dugger “way more comfortable” in second Patriots season

Safety Kyle Dugger had to make a big transition after the Patriots took him in the second round of last year’s draft.

Dugger was going from Division II Lenoir-Rhyne to the NFL and he had to do it without any in-person time with his new team before training camp. Dugger handled things well enough to appear in 14 games and start seven of the final eight contests, which is a pretty good jumping off point for a second season.

On Tuesday, Duggar told reporters that he’s heading into that second season with a much higher comfort level.

“I feel way more comfortable, just in general, in the defense. I feel much more comfortable,” Dugger said, via “I’m seeing things a little slower and a little easier. So I’m definitely feeling more comfortable already.”

Dugger did a lot of the things that the Patriots would have asked Patrick Chung to do if he had not opted out in 2020. Chung has now retired, which keeps the path to playing time wide open for Dugger and he should claim it if that comfort level translates to progress on the field.