The void is upon us with the end of minicamp and OTAs, there will be no new Patriots news to discuss in the next weeks. Instead it will be a re-hash of everything we’ve talked about this offseason, and how well the Pats have filled their holes in free agency and the draft.
There’s no question, the Patriots’ defense is in position to build off of two seasons that saw them slightly more successful on the field than on the stat sheet (we all know which one really matters), while on offense they’re taking a step back to hopefully take two big steps forward by the end of the season.
For the first time since 2007, the offense will truly be an unknown until the first snap of the regular season. Personally, I kind of enjoy that.
Until the numerous position battle articles start rolling in, here’s the best of the last week.
Cutting off the Sleeves: The History of Bill Belichick and his Hoodie —> extremely proud of this one, must-read if I do say so myself.
A Brief Appreciation Of Bill Belichick « CBS Boston —> Enjoyable read from Mike Hurley
The 5 Games that will determine the Patriots’ fate —> Another one from yours truly.
PatsProp & Frenz Podcast —> New show, lots of Tebow talk, click at own risk. There’s a Colts troll that calls in too, but I was nice to him.
Amendola and Brady finding some synergy —> Good news for the Pats offense.
Momentum Builders from OTAs —> Don’t get too excited but Ras-I is on there.
Tim Tebow’s Last Chance —> The only Tebow article from last week worth reading.
On offense the breakout player has to be Amendola. If it isn’t, the Pats could be in trouble, because a receiver HAS to break out this season. Amendola should get plenty of passes thrown his way, and if he stays healthy he should be fine.
On defense, I’m going with Dont’a Hightower. I just think he’s in position to make a big jump, and really be a force on the edge of the defense.
As for underachievers let’s go with Aaron Dobson. I think his development will be slower than most would like, and won’t be surprised to see him make a minimal impact this year. But I do think there will be a rookie receiver who makes an impact, with Josh Boyce, Kenbrell Thompkins, and Mark Harrison being the other candidates.
On defense, it kills me to write this, but it could very well be Chandler Jones. He could go either way in my book, and I’m not sure why I’m feeling down on him, but I’m glad the Pats have good defensive end depth in back of him.
And don’t forget about Jake Ballard, let’s just go four tight ends and either a running back or Amendola. Seriously, I wouldn’t rule it out inside the 20 yard line.
But let’s see how good Sudfeld is once the hitting starts. Still, I think the Pats are well-prepared to run their tight end-based offense this season. Between all those guys and Fells and Hoomanawanui they have plenty of insurance for Gronk despite the talent drop-off. Just hope the offense doesn’t become too plodding. They’ll need some explosion from the young guys.
At this point it seems to make the most sense to just PUP him and get him as healthy as possible. It mitigates the risk a little bit, he’ll only miss two division games, and three of the first six are out of conference, so it’s favorable to the Pats if they stumble a bit.
Win the war, who cares about the early battles.