Re: This years receivers Better then last?
posted at 8/8/2013 1:23 AM EDT
In September, the wideout receivers alone won't be better. Too many rookie receivers, and Amendola won't be 100% on the same page with Brady.
There's only one Wes Welker, racking up 120 pass completions year after year after year. Otherwise, the 2012 wide receiver corps was, like young Werner van Braun, taking up space in school.
In September, the tignt ends won't be better either. How can you replace Gronk and *Mister Persona Non Grata* on the field?
That said, the various rooks were practicing hard at Coach Brady's Sun 'n Fun camp in Calif. all spring. I'd say that Brady put half a season into each of them.
Zach Sudfield is an extra ace that fell out of the front office's sleeve. How did 31 other teams let this guy walk? He's almost Gronk-sized, he runs well, he catches the ball well and he put in six seasons in college so he's almost not a rookie. The two knocks on Sudfield are that he broke his leg (can happen to anyone, leg breaks almost always heal well) and that he doesn't have any upper body strength (so he'll lift some weights and then he'll get stronger).
Dobson seems to be a find for a second rounder. Boyce seems to be a find for a fourth rounder. Kenbrell Thompkins looks like a find and a half for a walk-in UFA.
After week six, the question gets harder with Gronk back on the field. Dobson and Thompkins give the Patriots a deep passing game that they didn't have in 2012. This backs defenses off of the line and keeps them honest. A lineup of Sudfield, Gronk, Amendola and Dobson gets 100% vexing because unlike 2012 there aren't any weak receiving spots to single-team, because cornerbacks must back off far downfield and because the O-line with its double jumbo-sized tight ends is going to knock defensive lines all the way back to the next first down marker on running plays. A defense's best chance is to blitz Brady to lower his QB rating, but he's about the NFL's #1 in getting rid of the football quickly and his O-line is dominant. Twin monster tight ends is only going to reduce the blitz's effectiveness.