Christopher Price puts together ten questions for the Patriots at the midway point of the offesason. Here are a couple:
How many wide receivers can one team carry? The Patriots loaded up with defensive linemen before the start of the 2011 season, sifted through who could play and who couldn’t, and left those who couldn’t by the side of the road. It made for a rocky start to the season as the group learned how to play together, but it all came together in the end. New England is doing the same thing at the wide receiver spot this offseason, picking up some familiar faces and some intriguing old faces to go along with a returning cast of characters. Look for at least one veteran to be let go before the start of the season.
Who is going to take over as the lead back now that BenJarvus Green-Ellis is gone? Green-Ellis was a perfect fit for the New England system: cost-efficient, never fumbled, always hit four yards a carry and was fairly durable. In his place, the Patriots will look to a combination of backs, but it will be second-year running back Stevan Ridley who will get every opportunity to lead the way. That’s not to say that the others won’t get their touches -- and you shouldn’t pencil in Ridley for 250-plus carries -- but he’ll be the closest thing to a lead back that the Patriots have to start the season.
Jeff Howe details five things he'll be watching for today at the first media-allowed full-length practice of OTAs. Click on the link for more.
SECONDARY APPROACH: Cornerbacks Devin McCourty and Ras-I Dowling have some positional versatility that can help the Patriots get creative on defense. Granted, a non-contact practice in May will hardly serve as the barometer for their deployment in September, but it’s never too early to get a read on the Patriots’ thought process. That’s not restricted to McCourty and Dowling, either. Coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia have some options at cornerback with 2011 NFL interception leader Kyle Arrington, surprise playoff hero Sterling Moore, veteran addition Will Allen and rookie seventh-round pick Alfonzo Dennard.
HEY, ROOKIE: The Patriots spent their first six draft picks on defensive players, but how much will the rookies be entrusted this season? Defensive end Chandler Jones, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive end Jake Bequette could make an immediate impact, while Dennard could be a surprising early contributor if he rises through what is a relatively more difficult depth chart. Then, there’s safety Tavon Wilson, who will draw attention because of his second-round status. Belichick keyed on that side of the ball for a reason, so he’ll want a return on his investment.
- The New England Patriots announced today the signing of first-round draft choice DE Chandler Jones.
- Paul Perillo breaks down the roster, position by position: Wide Receiver.
- The AP reports the NFL is making thigh and knee pads mandatory in '13.
- Patriots Today - Importance of OTAs. (3.19 min. video)
- Mike Rodak notes that for the first of three consecutive Thursdays, the Patriots will allow media access to an OTA today.
- Mike Reiss & Mike Rodak take a closer look at the Chandler Jones signing.
- Christopher Price puts together ten questions for the Patriots at the midway point of the offesason.
- Jeff Howe writes about Chad Ochocinco and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
- Jeff Howe notes that when the team gave out numbers to the new Patriots, they reserved Nos. 33, 44 and 93. Interesting.
- CSNNE reports the Patriots release their official 90-man roster with numbers.
- Jeff Howe gives us a few more details from the Eric Kettani story.
- Mike Rodak highlights Zoltan Mesko's Q&A with the media following Tuesday's practice.
- Matt Pepin posts the transcript of Boston.com's online chat with Zoltan Mesko.
- Tom E. Curran thinks the NFL's modified IR rule should be a boon.
- Christopher Price highlights Matt Light's appearance on NFL Network's Total Access Tuesday night.
- Mike Reiss wonders what the Pats might look like in 2015.
- Mike Reiss serves up some leftovers from yesterday's mailbag.
- Jeff Howe Patriots Notebook: Thanks to the NFL's rookie salary scale, the Pats were able to sign their first round draft pick, Chandler Jones, to a four-year contract nearly two months earlier than in prior years; Five of their seven draft picks are already locked up; Chad Ochocinco was more distraught about having his Starbucks Gold Card stolen than anything else; Julian Edelman was nicknamed the "Swiss Army Knife" for a reason and odds are that this season he'll again be playing in more than one phase of the game.
- Kevin Fishbain (Pro Football Weekly) Big-spending offseasons loom for Patriots.
- Staff Writers (Pro Football Weekly) Better NFL offense: Panthers or Patriots? Plus 4.06 min. video.
- Marc Sessler (NFL.com) Chad Ochocinco robbed; WR's Starbucks cards stolen.
- Reid Cherner (USA Today) Packers and Patriots are the regular season bet to make.
- James Walker (ESPN) NFL future power rankings: AFC East.
- James Walker (ESPN) Patriots will struggle in post-Tom Brady era.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Putting the comments of Tom Brady Sr. in perspective.
- Ann Killion (SI) Randy Moss doing all right things in early days as a San Francisco 49er.
- Analysts (NFL.com) Instant debate: Who is the most indispensable player in the NFL today?
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Problems are blown out of proportion as disharmony grows between NFL, players' association.
- Jim Trotter (SI) NFL Players Association files collusion claim against league.
- Michael McCann (SI) Proving that NFL teams agreed to a secret salary cap will not be easy.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) CBA may nullify NFLPA's claim.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Collusion claim seems destined to fail.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFLPA contends cap penalties didn't raise collusion concerns.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) Hitting the books: Educating my clients through the wise words of others.