RESPONSE: Come now. The Pats' offense last year was one of the top 5 in the NFL...with Wes Welker. But, we saw a glimpse of the offense minus Welker in the Ravens' 33-10 playoff demolition of the Pats. Take away a top weapon from any of the few very good offenses in the league, and are they as good or better? Most prognostications have Welker coming back sometime in November. Minus training camp, adequate preparation time, and saddled with a questionable knee, who knows whether he can be even a reasonable facimile of what he once was?
Almost every analyst predicts Gronkowski to be a starter from day 1.
RESPONSE: Sure he'll start. Who else do they have? But, how effective will he be? Will his back hold up?
This is my opinion as well. That alone is an upgrade over Watson.
RESPONSE: You hope...but you don't know. that's a lot to ask of a rookie with a bad back, who hasn't played a down in over a year.
Crumpler is a pro. I have no way of envisioning Crumpler at worst being the 2nd or 3rd TE as a blocker or a goal line player in reserve. He'll help.
RESPONSE: If he's healthy, and if the old war-horse has anything left.
I might remind you that the TE position was not used enough and not very strong in this offense for many years.
RESPONSE: What makes you so sure that the TE position will be used more in the passing game? The TE change may signal a return to more "smash-mouth" style football.
Hernandez was clearly a steal in Round 4. Again, more competition at a WEAK position. This is the key. ONE player will upgrade this position.
RESPONSE: How do you know what Hernandez will do when he hasn't played a down? We know what Ben Watson, Dallas Clark, and Tony Gonzalez are capable of, because we saw them perform. Just because you add players to compete for a respective position doesn't automatically mean that play at the position will improve.
NE needs ONE FLANKER to emerge opposite Moss. This is Holt or Tate, and at worst case, it's Patten or Price.
RESPONSE: The Patriots needed ONE FLANKER to emerge last year, too. Unfortunately, one never did. Holt is old, Patten is old and tired, and Price is extremely raw.
Galloway did not emerge because he didn't adjust to what is needed in this offense and that is route running. Not speed, but route running.
RESPONSE: Pleeeaaassseee!!! Galloway didn't produce because he was 57 years old. He didn't have the heart or the inclination, at his advanced age, to catch balls in a crowd.
Also, Tate wasn't ready last year and Aiken and Slater were only STS guys. Edelman ascended but got hurt. Apparently, we disagree how impressive Julian Edelman is in the slot role. He may not be Welker, but he sure is a good looking young slot WR who gets it.
RESPONSE: The Pats were so desperate for a WR opposite oss last year, that they, in my view, rushed back Brandon Tate, before he was ready. The result? A second injury to the same knee...and an extremely murky future.
Edelman showed that he could contribute, but he's no Welker.
Clearly, on paper, the WR position is far deeper as is the TE position.
RESPONSE: I don't see it...especially with Welker in limbo. Patriot fans felt good about the Watson/Baker TE duo going into last year...and some thought that Joey Galloway, Greg Lewis, and Terrence Nunn provided excellent depth at WR...to Randy Moss and Wes Welker. As we know, those optimists were wrong on both counts.
This should not even be a debate. There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, but there is something wrong with contrarian behavior with irrational logic.
RESPONSE: "Contrarian behavior"?? What's that?? You think I'm saying these things just to be difficult?? LOL!! Irrational thinking? Isn't putting a ton of faith in rookies, and expecting Wes Welker, Tate, and Gronk to bounce back from serious injuries as if nothing happened, "pie in the sky" mentality?
THAT SAID...I hope I'm 1000% wrong...and that you're 1000% right!!
Posted by russgriswold