There is lots of speculations about free agency, the draft, and for me even who the starters will be. It's a long road ahead of us. Planning, scouting, and cap room manipulation are going to be key here. I see some interesting changes on the horizon for the patriots, despite going to the superbowl with the team we have now.
Of course there is preseason as well, but I would like to take a moment at the possibilities that await our franchise.
QB is a given. But how about RB? Yes, we know that BJGE is a mistake free, dependable RB. I love the guy. However, will he be the starter in the near future? Assuming he does sign, there is now Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. imo Ridley is still the 2nd punch in our running game, but how much could he improve himself in camp, and then in preseason? Will he take the starting role over BJGE? Its a big possibility. Then we have Shane Vereen, who has oodles of potential to be a Ray Rice threat, who can run and catch the ball with ease. Will he pop up? I don't know guys, but we may see a different starter in the near future. Maybe not.
Koppen is getting way too old. I think his replacements did fine, but will we be looking to draft a center early and look to start him? With Dante S. things like that are possible.
And at WR. Will Branch be hear during preseason? Will Ocho take the starting job away from him? Or will we draft a couple WRs and/or grab a WR via free agency where there are plenty of #1 caliber WRs? Our WR core next year may be slightly different. imo there is no way Branch will be starting next year. There are way too many factors that point us in nabbing a WR since this year is chock full of them in FA and the draft. Ocho may be gone as well. Will we be seeing a new face catching footballs from Tom Brady this year? how much will our offense change, and diversify itself?
The TEs will stay the same, although I can see them getting a veteran. I have a feeling they will want a 3rd TE, and keep some depth.But the starters will be the same.
On defense, there are some possibilities. We might grab a DE/DT this draft, and continue to have a rotation. Pryor is coming back too (but who knows if he can stay healthy). I see Deadrick as our future starter, but its not out of the realm of possibilities that the pats will grab a DE/DT to help in the rotation next year, or maybe even start over Deadrick.
How about at LB? It seems we are set with Nink, Mayo, and Spikes, but how about the 4th guy? Yes Anderson could probably start, but may we see another face at OLB this year? Will Markell Carter impress our eyes, or will Jermaine Cunningham emerge as our 2nd round OLB? If not will BB look at the draft and draft one early? its BB, anything can happen. Anderson may very well be in sub packages next year. 0_0
Our front seven is sort of set, but how about our secondary? McCourty will be in the lineup as a CB or Safety, but my money says CB. Will Ras-I be healthy this year, and become our #1 or #2 CB? Will Sterling Moore take the spot over Arrington as the slot guy? Or will any one of them move to FS? For CB, we have 4 guys that can be #2 (and 2 that can be #1) CBs. Thats pretty awesome. Will BB draft a safety this year? I hate to say it, but I think its very belicheckian if he drafts Mark Barron. Top 10 talent who got injured. Or we can somehow grab a 7th rounder and draft Kelcie McKray (who I do have good hopes for. he can also be an UDFA).There is a possibility we may see a completely new face starting in the secondary.
Next season, there is a possibility that we'll see a completely new patriots team. New faces, new starters, etc. This is what I love about offseason. Everything is a guessing game, and it all boils down to planning, scouting, and cap room manipulation (as well as maybe others). And next year? We may see a new, more talented team. The thought of having a deep threat at WR (as well as get younger there), with the possibility of getting a good center through the draft, with the possibility of getting a CB so one of our guys can move to safety or even get a Safety like Barron. Maybe we'll have an emerging OLB, and perhaps a new starter at RB.
Everywhere there are possibilities. Can't wait till the pre-season begins.