Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
I think it depends entirely on whether or not Wendell is healthy. If he is, I think we’ll see him in there a bit, rotating with Connolly at center, who’d slide over to right guard and send Devey to the sideline.
Of course, personally I’d love to see Stork get in there more. I really like what I saw out of him in limited action last week. I don’t think there’s any question that his ceiling is better than Wendell or Connolly at center.
Who knows, maybe by the end of the season Stork’s starting, Connolly’s at right guard and Wendell might not even be on the team.
As for James White, I think it’s probably pass protection issues that are keeping him off the field. That’s the hardest thing for a rookie running back to pick up, but I’d bet we slowly start to see more and more of him.
I’d much prefer him to be the third running back over Brandon Bolden. It’s probably just a matter of time.
The Patriots are second to last in the NFL right now in passing plays 10+ yards, so yeah, I’d love to see them open it up a bit. There will always be an element of playing to Brady’s strengths which are reading the defense and getting the ball out quick, but as I’ve always said it’s simple geometry that the best offenses are ones that challenge all areas of the defense.
I think the key is Dobson. He was drafted to be that player on the outside. He has the size and speed, he’s just got to start making the plays. He gets a bit of a pass this month from me after being out pretty much the entire offseason. He deserves some time to get back up to speed.
But if you look at the player he was against Pittsburgh last year, that’s the player this offense needs. As Brady grows more comfortable and gains trust for his offensive line, I’d hope that we’ll see a little more explosion out of the offense.
The Patriots finally have their home opener Sunday against the 0-2 Raiders! While on paper this might look to be a Pats’ blowout, we’ve seen far too many ugly early-season losses to write in a “W” just yet. Let’s remember this is a Patriots team that lost to the Cardinals at home in 2012. The Cardinals wouldn’t win another road game all year. Figure that one out.
The Pats have been saying all the right things this week — what a legend Charles Woodson is, how good Oakland’s pass defense is, that Derek Carr can make every throw. You know the drill.
But who the opponent is doesn’t really matter, it’s all about focusing on the Patriots and improving. The team has shown glimpses on both sides of the ball, but the consistency has been lacking especially on offense.
Here’s my strategy and points of emphasis that will hopefully get the Pats to 2-1.
A Belichickian gem from our friends at ILoveBostonSports.com #doyourjob #patriots