There was once time where Moss was heralded as the best Deep threat in the game, and he has an argument that he is. Ever since Moss left though, some people have wondered that the pats offense has been figured out, and needs to stretch the field more.
In 2010, after Moss left, we could not complain how the offense was. #1 in the league essentially, and #1 passing. However, we seemed to have a deep threat in Tate. While he was not very productive stats wise, I believe coaches respected his speed enough to keep an eye on him.
Fast forward to 2011, the Pats release Tate, and we may see the emergence of Price. The pats then traded for Ochocinco, so clearly we have seemed to re-establish our deep threat issue. Well the story here is, is that Ocho hardly sees the field, and Price remains injured.
So what's the story now? Pat's offense is figured out? We need a deep threat to compete? Well people have been over-looking at how much our TEs have been in our offense. Well not totally over-looked, but let me explain:
Essentially, the idea is that all the defense has to do is play close coverage on the pats offense. The idea sprouted when.... well when most of us looked at our offense, and saw no one really able to stretch the field. I think we do have deep threat. Maybe 2.
IF the Opposing defense were to play close coverage on the pats offense, what do you think will happen if Gronk or Herndo run deep routes? Think about it. They'll be most likely against a SAFETY. Possibly the best matchup we can have with our TEs.
Our WRs take their #1 and #2 CBs (and possibly get open in the process), while their safeties, and LBs that have to watch out for the middle of the field, have to deal with the Pats tall, receiving TEs that are top 10 in the league, going down the field.
Their is our deep threat folks. Their DC knows he cannot let the Pats TEs make plays, so in a way, not only will they be running deeper routes, but they'll be drawing MORE than one guy to COVER them. I'm specifically talking about Rob, but Herndo has that ability as well. THAT is what a deep threat is supposed to do: Draw coverage, and make the DCs scheme against them because they are lethal.
This, in turn, opens up one on one matchups for Welker, Woody, Herndo/Gronk, and Branch. Our TEs, open matchups for our receiving core.
And I'm sure many of you have noticed this by now, but we have been lining up Herndo and Rob on the OUTSIDE as a WR, and NOT lined up as a TE. Do we have deep threats that we haven't really looked into? I think so. What Rob, specifically, lacks in speed, he makes up for in size, hands, concentration, and route running. Herndo has speed, Route running, and good enough hands to act as that Dallas Clark like receiver who can also go down the field.