It's Time ...
Finally, we get some football news that matters. Rookies report tomorrow and the remainder of the squad on Wednesday. Here are 5 things I am looking at.
1. The Defense - It appears that early in the season, the Defense needs to stand tall and keep us in games until the offense can get it together. The potential is there. At the end of last season, the secondary really began to get it together. With the additiona of Adrian Wilson at S along with McCourty, T Wilson, Talib, Dennard and Arrington, this could be our best secondary in years. This assumes they remain healthy and Dennard doesn't get suspended/ cut because of his DUI.
2. The WRs - We have lost our top 5 receivers from last years team. However, we still have Tom Brady and his favorite receiver has always been the one that is open! Can Amendola and Edelman stay healthy? What can we expect from the rookie WR's Dobson and Boyce? What will we get from the veterans Jenkins and Hawkins? Who steps up at TE from Ballard / Sudfeld and Hoomanawanui / Fells? Only two of those TE's make the final 53 man roster with Gronkowski staying on the PUP until week 8. Can Vareen pick up the blitz like Woodhead did and make up for the 40 receptions he had last season.
3. Second year player jumps - It is well known that NFL rookies make the biggest jump the second year in the league. What can we expect from Chadler Jones, Donta Hightower, Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner. Ebner may be in a big fight for his position on the team. He really needs to impress on special teams.
4. What if any impact will LaGarrette Blount have on the running game? At the same time, Brandon Bolden is recovering from an injury. What impact will that have? I think the Patrots will need to go back to an old style of play where they rely on the running game and time of possession to win games, especially early in the season.
5. Injuries - I mentioned Gronk and Blount. Edelman is recovering from a foot injury. For Ras "IR" Dowling this is a make or break season. As camp progresses, there will be injuries. What is the impact of those injuries.
Other things to watch:
the Tim Tebow sideshow
Impact of Jamie Collins
The Rutgers Connection
Razor's Edge Tailgate Patriots Fangroup