<Mark Morse> This is by no means the roster they will start the season with on the 9th against the Titans.
I sure hope it isn't because right now there's no depth at wide receiver. Even if Hernandez is counted as a hybrid TE/WR, that gives you three dependable guys for a team that often uses three wide receiver sets (although two tight end sets have been in the forefront the past few years). If Lloyd tweaks something, the Pats will have no real outside threat and no real deep threat, making them more vulnerable to the tactics employed by the Jets, Steelers, and Browns in beating New England the last few seasons. I hope some of these are largely salary cap moves and that we'll see Gaffney or Branch back early in the season.
And I really hope Demps is only on the new partial season IR, because right now the Pats have no upgrade in a kick return team that was among the worst in the NFL last year. I'd rather see Demps out there (as a returner, not a third down back) even if he struggles early on as he gains experience and weight. I mean even a struggling Demps has to be at least as good as what the Patriots had last year. By the end of the season he may develop into something special.
Do the Patriots really need 11 defensive linemen?
I have no idea how Sebastian Vollmer's back is going to hold up to extended playing time. Plus Nate Solder hasn't inspired confidence. I hope Im just being overly negative, but right now I have visions of Tom Brady under heavy pressure, with the middle of the field clogged, no outside targets to throw to, and consistently bad starting field position.
Then again on the bright side, even though Danny Woodhead is an RB now as he was in college, the Jets did move him to wide receiver for awhile. Maybe, now that he's had some experience returning kicks, he'll improve. He and Edleman weren't great at returning kicks last year, but they ended up there because they were better than the other options. I hope Ebert makes it to the practice squad and then back to the team soon. Last I heard, the Eagles had released Marvin McNutt, a tall, physical rookie wide receiver whom they drafted in the sixth round. He was respectable speed, not great speed, for a wide out. Scouting reports say he's good at tracking the ball and catching passes away from his body. Plus, he's good at attacking the ball at it's highest point. So, he should have a good catch radius at least. Maybe he could compliment the rest of the current receiving corp?
Right now though, for me, a mere fan who totally lacks the knowledge and experience of the team's staff, this seems like a very disappointing day.