Re: Ballard off PUP
posted at 7/29/2013 10:00 PM EDT
In response to wozzy's comment:
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
Opening day roster in 2004 had Pass (FB), then Graham, Watson, and Fauria at TE. In 2003, they opened with Centers and McCrary at FB and Baxter, Fauria, and Graham at TE.
2003: Larry Centers, Fred McCrary, Pass and Dan Klecko was a two way player at fullback, Fauria, Graham at TE (6)
2004: Pass, Rabih Abdullah at fullback, Graham, Watson, Fauria, Jed Weaver at TE (6)
Those weren't the opening day rosters. Pass, for instance, was cut in August 2003 and re-signed a few weeks into the season. Abdullah and Weaver also were signed later in the season in 2004 I believe. Regardless, the Pats usually carry 3 TEs. If you want to add FBs, then they typically have 4 or 5 in the two positions.
Still, this doesn't really address the main point that the heavy use of TEs the past few years has had more to do with their role as receivers than blockers. Back in 2003 and 2004, FBs and TEs combined were receiving roughly 90 passes (with TEs responsible for maybe 50 or 60 receptions). Gronk and Hern in 2011 caught 168, I believe. Last year, the TEs caught fewer (116 I think), but Hern and Gronk both were injured for stretches. The two TE offense we've seen in the past few years is unique because of the extensive role the TEs play as receivers. Yes, both Gronk and Hern block (and block well too), but it's their ability as receivers that really makes this particular two TE offense different. Without Gronk and Hern, I'm not sure we'll see as much of the offense go through the TEs. And because of that, I don't think it's a lock the BB will carry four this year (though with Gronk out, he may carry three plus Gronk on PUP).