Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Here’s one for you that we can only just guess at right now: Who will lead the Patriots in receiving yards this season? Your answer depends on how you feel about Antonio Brown’s chances of sticking around all year. I think he’ll conform and will have an amazing year. Who you got? – Steve D.
Pretty obvious it’s going to be Phillip Dorsett, Steve. He’s on a 64-catch, 1,520-yard, 32-TD pace! When will he get some respect outside of the Sports Q headquarters?
OK, it probably won’t be Dorsett. But he’s a heck of fourth or fifth receiver, anyway, depending on what Demaryius Thomas’s role ends up being.
Man, this is a tough one. It’s tempting to pick Brown, for obvious reasons. He’s an incredible all-around receiver, one who has had six straight 1,000-yard seasons and has four seasons of at least 1,499 receiving yards. (He must have been mad about missing that last yard to get to 1,500 in 2013). But I need some evidence first that he’s going to be as committed to the team and doing things right and in the disciplined way the Patriots demand. So much of what he has done lately suggests he doesn’t exactly love football. And the reported habit of tardiness even when things are going well for him had better be broken here, or he won’t be around long. I can’t pick him.
Same goes for Josh Gordon, as dynamic as he was against the Steelers and as easy as he is to root for. You just don’t know whether he’ll be with the team all year.
So I’m going with Julian Edelman. No, he’s not a huge yardage compiler – Brown has more than twice as many career receiving yards – but he’s as reliable as it gets, and you know Brady will continue to turn to him at all the usual times. He had 850 yards in just 12 games last year. I bet he’s right around 1,000 this year, though the Patriots have so many weapons that they made end up with three receivers in that 900-1,000-yard range.
He’s my choice, though, because he’s the most trusted, and the most likely to be here all year.
Oh, and put Gronk down for 500 or so after Week 10.
But what does everyone else think? Who will lead the Patriots in receiving yards this year? I’ll hear you in the comments.