Every year, Patriots fans are anxious to see a few things. One, is how does Tom Brady look and two, how do the guys around him look. After locking up star receiver Julian Edelman and bringing in a big red-zone target like Brandon Lafell, you could make an argument that the Patriots have the most powerful offense heading into the 2014 season.
Here are a few thoughts on free agency so far and what’s to come. First, re-signing Julian Edelman. Arguably the most important thing the Pats have done. He’s Brady’s most reliable receiver and the two of them just click. You can tell when Brady loves a receiver and tom Brady loves Edelman. Expect another year to remember from number eleven (knock on wood Pats fans…).
Secondly, letting Lagarrette Blount walk would be considered a great move in my opinion. “Blount Force Trauma” was all a big scam. Yes, he did have some great runs, and really just a few good games, but that doesn’t mean Patriots fans should be upset for not overpaying on a guy like him. He was average the whole regular season at best. In Baltimore and against Buffalo, he was outstanding. Then we progressed further on in the divisional round, he had four touchdowns. Three out of his four were TWO yard runs that any of the RB’s on the roster could of taken in. Big deal. Yes, the 74 yard outburst was quite impressive, besides that he was really unproductive, racking up 1, 2 and 3 yard runs the entire night. When we got to the AFC championship I will just say this about “Blount Force Trauma,” in the biggest game if his life, career, and season… 5 CARRIES, 6 YARDS. In the AFC Championship, 6 YARDS. I could get six yards. Yes, he has some upside, but Ridley and Vereen are a much better one-two punch then keeping Blount.
Next, the offensive game plan. Brady and McDaniels have many options for 2014. For the run game, Ridley is a great back. He finds the holes, is great in the red zone, and isn’t a bad blocker. Yes, he fumbles but did not fumble once after the Denver game in November. Vereen should have a big year. He is not a bad runner, he is very quick and is good at the goal line. He is fantastic in the passing game and Tom Brady loves dishing it to him in third and short situations. We also have Brandon Bolden who is great in the red zone and comes up big when you need him like in the Denver game. He is also good on special teams. Like I said earlier, don’t be shocked if Belichick selects a guy like Andre Williams or Stanford’s RB Tyler Gaffney.
I think this year will be a “pass happy” year for Tom Brady and his troops. Brady’s been “working harder than he’s ever worked in the offseason” and has all his guys back. Edelman and Amendola could be great if Amendola does better than 2013. Don’t get me wrong, Amendola is extremely talented. Great hands, very quick, and overall a good slot receiver. Yes he has injury problems but played more than normal last season. It was obvious he lacked confidence and Brady didn’t have much confidence with him either. Expect that to change in 2014. Kembrell Thomkins, Aaron Dobson, and Josh Boyce are all tremendous talented young guns. Kembrell showed flashes of dominance, he’s a deep threat and should be even better this year. Dobson struggled early but that was from inexperience He has had great moments too. I think he should have high expectations for himself this season. Josh Boyce is a fast receiver, showed moments of his potential and is pretty quick. He is also a good kick off fit for the Pats. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them excel as elite receivers in 2014. Brandon Lafell is a big target, and Tom Brady will love him in the red-zone.
The Tight Ends are mediocre as whole. Yes, Gronk is outstanding but Williams, Mulligan and Hoomanawanui are not really starters in the NFL. Expect the Pats too draft a TE in the top three rounds. That pick and Gronk could really rise up as one of the best dime Packages in the NFL. The O-line is back to full health and they should only get better from 2013 to 2014.
Lastly, Brady. In my opinion he had his best year ever in 2013. No, the numbers were not amazing but look at the receiving core. If you told me we’d go 12-4, beat the Saints and Broncos and make it to a AFC championship with that defense, and those receivers, I’d laugh! But they did. Because of “Tom terrific.” If you watch the Carolina game when we had all our weapons, even though we lost, Brady was amazing. Made all the throws, and was terrific. In the Denver game, the 2nd half was as good as I’ve ever seen him and the team play. In the second half of the Houston game they were fantastic. All those games were with below average talent. Now imagine if they were more experienced! We’d have a shot at the Super Bowl! And heading into the 2014 season, every receiver has a year under their belt. So now it’s their time to shine. Now it’s time to make a run for Super Bowl 49. We have the talent for sure and the coaching. Now it’s time for Brady too lead them to the promise land, by using the great pieces we have and mastering it.
The Patriots are looking great. Remember, it’s only March. Don’t be surprised if Belichick has another trick up his sleeve and helps his boy Tom Terrific even more.
What do you think ? Leave a comment.