Behind them the depth is either coming off injury or largely unproven. In a league where your defense lives or dies by their pass rush, do the Pats have enough horses to control the edges for five-plus months?
The offensive line has long been a point of pride for the New England Patriots. But recent years have brought transition, and they will be further put to the test with this offseason’s departure of legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
The Pats were able to reinforce their line in the draft this year, and with the return of Sebastian Vollmer, the Pats should once again be able to give Tom Brady top-notch protection.
2013 was a year of transition at the Wide Receiver position for the Patriots. They weathered injuries to almost every receiver, save Julian Edelman, who came through as a breakout go-to star of the offense.
Things should be better for the Pats’ aerial assault in 2014, especially if they can stay healthy. With a year of development under their belt, the Pats collection of second-year pass catchers must be counted on to take significant steps forward.
Running back is one of the most intriguing positions on the New England Patriots’ roster this training camp. The headline of the offseason was the loss of breakout player LeGarrette Blount, but the Pats didn’t make a veteran addition to replace Blount, leaving the spotlight on fourth-year veterans Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, both of whom enter contract years.
With a diverse set of rookies also on the roster, this could be one of the most competitive position battles in training camp.
Our Training Camp Preview series continues with a look at the running backs.
Welcome to part one of our Patriots Training Camp preview that will feature an in-depth look at each position on the roster and what we’ll be looking for in training camp along with our expectations going into the season.
Another Patriots season is upon us, here we go!
The New England Patriots’ offense underwent changes and injuries in 2013. With multiple weapons in their second seasons with Tom Brady, as well as their two top running backs entering contract years, the Pats’ attack is primed be better in 2014.
Tom Brady has gone through multiple phases of offense during his Patriots career. There was the efficiency years of 2001-2006, the Randy Moss years of 2007-2009, then the high-speed blitzkreig of 2010-2012 with Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Deion Branch and Wes Welker.
Now Brady enters the twilight of his career with two highly-drafted young quarterbacks behind him. Brady should have a few more sure-fire seasons left in him, but what can we expect to see out of Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo?
Our training camp preview series kicks off with the quarterbacks.
"I can honestly say it was the greatest sporting event I was ever a part of ," said Giunta. "My view of the Patriots has not changed. They really are one of the greatest teams, and definitely one of the greatest offenses ever in the NFL. And Tom Brady is the best. He really is the best. "But for one game, we beat them."
Another day with media access to the Pats’ OTAs and it’s nice to get some actual observations from those who were there. You know, instead of all the fun listening to how Tom Brady really isn’t that good.
Some general consensus thoughts I found interesting:
Boyce and Thompkins have made good impressions on a number of those watching the practices. I haven’t been especially excited about either, but that doesn’t mean I’ve closed the door on them. It’s certainly not helping Dobson to not be out there.
Undrafted rookie Roy Finch has gotten some attention as well, always with the caveat that we’ll see what happens when the pads come on. But who wouldn’t like another Danny Woodhead-type?
Dennard and Solder are probably two of the bigger injury surprises. Dennard has been MIA, seems like he was always fighting through something last year and dinged his shoulder in the AFCCG. Solder is a mystery.
Looks like Mayo and Vollmer are fully recovered and should have no issues from their injuries last year.
Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, and Will Smith also did a little more today, that’s a very positive sign.
Garoppolo looked inconsistent. Shocker for a rookie QB in this system.
PatsPropaganda is written and edited by Mike Dussault, a card-carrying Belichickian. He has a soft spot for hard core X's and O's, and believes in "throw to score, run to win", low pad level, and touchdown celebrations that last two weeks.
He is a Patriots Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report, and his work has been featured on FoxSports.com, Yahoo Sports, and SI.com. He also co-hosts the weekly PatsPropaganda & Frenz Podcast with Bleacher Report's AFC East Editor Erik Frenz.
PatsPropaganda was TruFan.com/CSNNE's 2011 winner for Best Patriots Blog.
He can be contacted at PatsPropaganda [at] gmail.com
This blog is in no way affiliated with the NFL nor the New England Patriots.