Brendan Schooler, a specialized team member for the New England Patriots, has garnered substantial acknowledgment from his colleagues, solidifying his standing as a standout performer in his designated role.
On Wednesday, Schooler earned a spot on the 2023 National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) All-Pro team, a distinction exclusively determined by fellow players, setting it apart from the Associated Press (AP) All-Pro accolade.
The Patriots’ second-year gunner showcased his skills in all 17 games during his sophomore season, participating in 89 percent of the team’s special teams plays. Concluding the season, he found himself tied for the league lead with an impressive 13 special teams tackles. One of the standout moments of his 2023 campaign occurred in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, where his pre-snap velocity allowed him to outmaneuver the opposition’s protection unit, resulting in a blocked 49-yard field goal attempt by Dolphins’ kicker Jason Sanders.
Originally joining the Patriots as an undrafted rookie from Texas in 2022, Schooler’s inaugural season with the team saw him amass 14 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked punt recovery against the Indianapolis Colts, earning him PFWA All-Rookie honors.
With the anticipated retirement of team captain Matthew Slater, Schooler anticipates a substantial role in the Patriots’ plans for the third phase of the game in 2024 and beyond. Throughout his initial two seasons with New England, Schooler closely collaborated with Slater, refining his skills and understanding the intricacies of being a core special teamer at the professional level. Although the Patriots’ special teams unit faces a formidable challenge in the upcoming season, ranking 28th in DVOA in 2023, Schooler’s recognition from his NFL peers for on-field prowess suggests that continuous dedication and enhancement could elevate him to the ranks of the finest special teams gunners in the NFL.